The Four Visions of America: Which are you?

This piece says there are four visions of America today and each have pros and cons:

  1. Free America: The most powerful of the four: against regulations, corporate taxes, unions, and most types of government.  The rich, libertarian half of the republican party.  They're too greedy and fight any government tooth and nail.

  2. Smart America: The meritocratic ones, dominate the top 10% incomes, work on Silicon Valley, Wall Street, Urban professionals, very global.  Democrats generally shifted to them and away from the shrinking union voters.  The problem with them is they view patriotism as outdated even though it can be used for good things.

  3. Real America: The Trumpers, Palin voters, Andrew Jackson voters, etc.  Bitter towards both minorities lower in social status to them and the elites.  Unlike Free America they are vehemently against any kind of globalism, and are more nationalist in their outlook.  

  4. Just America: The woke ones who think that America is permanently flawed, and do not think that racial conditions are improving at all.  No progress is ever made, racism is eternal.  Unlike Smart America they hate any kind of meritocracy and want to tear it all down.  While it's true there are racial issues in this country, they are too divisive to bring about change.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021…

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (47)

Sep 9, 2021 - 7:26am

Drumpfy

Oh no, another anonymous prospect called me a retard

Dude, you are giving them what they want.  Ignore them.  

  • 2
Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Sep 9, 2021 - 5:28am

send me your cv

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

  • 4
Controversial
  • VP in RE - Comm
Sep 8, 2021 - 10:19pm

Yes, these categories are trash and this thread is bound to be a clusterfuck so let's start fucking it.

So called "Free America" is using so called "Real America" to keep as much power and wealth as possible and "Real America" is too stupid to realize.   
 

Libertarianism, while perhaps appealing on paper is full of kooks and, again, useful to the corporate overlords and billionaires who run us.

And it's interesting that the assumption seems to be that everyone is one of three Republican type categories and anyone who is not is some kind of woke liberal.  Anyway, whoever came up with this is a hack.

Let the monkey shit begin.

Sep 8, 2021 - 10:27pm

That was my brief summary of the article, which was quite long and covers a political history.

Also, Smart America is supposed to represent the successful liberals while Just America is supposed to represent the others.

Sep 9, 2021 - 2:41am

I mean you can't have one of your categories be called "Smart America" man. If you're smart you wouldn't insert such strong bias into one of your options off the bat. Especially in a forum with largely type A "smart"  personalities. What were you expecting to find?

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
Sep 9, 2021 - 4:32am

The categories are meh. Something the WSJ published earlier this year was that the business class isn't welcomed by either main party anymore. Lot's of recent negativity toward the wealthy from more than one angle. I think that analysis was more relevant than lumping everyone into one of four categories that slant rhyme the political compass, which is already reductive of the range of goals driving individual political projects. Not everything in life or politics fits together like Harry Potter houses or any of the other versions of the same idea.

Sep 9, 2021 - 7:16am

Somehow I'm supposed to believe that Bezos, Gates, Zuckerberg, Buffett, Page, Brin, Soros, Bloomberg, Dorsey etc. are either not rich and powerful or not Democrat donors. 

One of the most delusional, dishonest and blatantly false mischaracterizations of American politics is that Democrats are the party of the people and not the corporate elites, who are ''mostly Republican donors''. Pff. 

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

  • 1
  • 1
Sep 9, 2021 - 1:12pm

neink

Somehow I'm supposed to believe that Bezos, Gates, Zuckerberg, Buffett, Page, Brin, Soros, Bloomberg, Dorsey etc. are either not rich and powerful or not Democrat donors. 

One of the most delusional, dishonest and blatantly false mischaracterizations of American politics is that Democrats are the party of the people and not the corporate elites, who are ''mostly Republican donors''. Pff. 

Corporate elites (successful people)  do not come from one particular party.  Liberals have no issue saying that the many of the "elites" are liberals. In fact, liberals are proud to say that these people have become very successful and wealthy.  Dude, we are not all bending a knee to Elizabeth Warren

  • 1
Sep 9, 2021 - 9:24pm

Except that these are extremeley powerful and influential people that fit category number 1, rank mostly in the top 10 wealthy individuals and.. are key stakeholders of the Democratic party.

If there are so many examples not fitting the categorization, then the categorization is a piece of crap. The rich and powerful are Democrat. Then there's a class of lackeys, highly salaried servants of the former, who serve as propagandists but also filter the feedback from society to match their worldview.

This how the elite can keep talking about ''climate change'' despite being responsibile for 50% of the emissions in the Western world. This is how they can keep talking about ''inequality'' despite largely benefitting from the key drivers, quantitative easing and large scale immigration.

There are only two relevant groups: the liberals and the people.

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

  • 1
Sep 9, 2021 - 7:22am

I am going to give you a serious response, partly because no one else will.  

By process of elimination, I would choose Smart America, which is probably comprised of educated liberals who believe in capitalism like Mike Bloomberg, Warren Buffett and many others. 

  • 2
Sep 9, 2021 - 1:36pm

This seems like a characterization of political segmentation between White Americans. 

Array

Sep 9, 2021 - 5:09pm

Bruh you can't post anything from The Atlantic here, no one is going to respond with any nuance as evidenced by the "these categories are trash". It's not that people look at four categories and say "hey, I like that one" like fucking Harry Potter houses, it's that the four biggest forces in the country right now broadly fall into these four characterizations. People on this site are far too literal and specific in their understanding of sociology. 

Sep 9, 2021 - 9:30pm

Most people here are either upper middle class or aspiring to become upper middle class professionals in finance or wherever else. They play the "game" well. Follow the rules, right schools, know the right people, say the right things, don't rock the boat, etc. By all accounts they'd fall into Smart America. They believe in the meritocracy. They don't seek to re-write rules because they're winners in this economy, so to speak. 

George Packer is a good writer.

Sep 10, 2021 - 12:52am

Free America: I'm not against ALL regulations and corporate taxes, just most of them. In general, regulation and taxation are bad (not always).

I'm not against unions. People should have the freedom to bargain however they want to, and if that is collectively then so be it. What I am against is MANDATORY unions, that is not freedom. 

Would say I am pretty libertarian, yeah. Only greedy in the sense that I don't want my things stolen from me. Flipside is I don't want your things either, you own them and if I took them that would be theft. 

Libertarians don't hate all government, they just hate government overreach. Governments only legitimate role is to protect fundamental rights: life, liberty, and property. And no, you can't have a right to someone else's labor (like healthcare). That can only be accomplished through slavery (enslaving doctors and forcing them to provide healthcare to you) or theft (compensating doctors with money that you stole from other people, i.e. taxes), which is the opposite of freedom.

Sep 10, 2021 - 11:46am

I see my ideal as kind of a mix of all four categories. 

1. As Larry Kudlow says, free market capitalism is the best path toward prosperity. I think at this point in history, that's basically indisputable.

2. I'm literally in this group of people--I have two master's degrees and a high paid job with <40 hour work week. I can telework during the pandemic. I live in a very left-wing urban center. 

3. Setting aside the ridiculously biased description, I support nationalism at home and abroad for countries that have earned the right to be nationalist. But more specifically, as Ronald Reagan said, the United States is the last best hope for man on Earth. That was true then and it's true now. If and when we fall it's Katy, bar the door for the rest of humanity.

4. I'm a blue-haired hippie. I think racism is evil. My best friend is gay, my other best friends are Hispanic immigrants. I'm (almost) a vegetarian and I work with dog rescues. I understand these woke people. Ultimately, however, they are consumed with an ideology that Jesus condemned: scorning your ancestors for doing things that you assert you would not have done (or vice versa) (Matthew 23:29-36). As a conservative Christian, I think an evil force has gripped these people and convinced them that they are good and righteous when, in fact, their religion is evil: dissension, hate, bigotry, entitlement, sexual depravity (and scores of other sin). What better way can evil win than by convincing people that evil is good and good is evil? And none of these people are happy or joyful. They are sad and miserable.

Array

  • 10
Sep 10, 2021 - 12:49pm

Memberberries

I see my ideal as kind of a mix of all four categories. 

1. As Larry Kudlow says, free market capitalism is the best path toward prosperity. I think at this point in history, that's basically indisputable.

2. I'm literally in this group of people--I have two master's degrees and a high paid job with <40 hour work week. I can telework during the pandemic. I live in a very left-wing urban center. 

3. Setting aside the ridiculously biased description, I support nationalism at home and abroad for countries that have earned the right to be nationalist. But more specifically, as Ronald Reagan said, the United States is the last best hope for man on Earth. That was true then and it's true now. If and when we fall it's Katy, bar the door for the rest of humanity.

4. I'm a blue-haired hippie. I think racism is evil. My best friend is gay, my other best friends are Hispanic immigrants. I'm (almost) a vegetarian and I work with dog rescues. I understand these woke people. Ultimately, however, they are consumed with an ideology that Jesus condemned: scorning your ancestors for doing things that you assert you would not have done (or vice versa) (Matthew 23:29-36). As a conservative Christian, I think an evil force has gripped these people and convinced them that they are good and righteous when, in fact, their religion is evil: dissension, hate, bigotry, entitlement, sexual depravity (and scores of other sin). What better way can evil win than by convincing people that evil is good and good is evil? And none of these people are happy or joyful. They are sad and miserable.

This is interesting, in that you and I have been on the opposite sides of most political debates, but what you just described fits me perfectly with two exceptions: I think capitalism is by far the best system we've invented, but unfettered "invisible hand" capitalism leads to increased income inequality and massive power held by a few, so I support tax reform and moderate government regulation. 

On your last point, I think some of the wokes are purists, some are hypocrites, and yes some are deeply unhappy and will never be satisfied, but I'd argue the continued depravity and radicalization of conservative Christians and their close alignment with the GOP and the thrice-married, religiously ignorant, porn star-banging President is a far greater danger to this country. They reject Jesus' very teachings with their increasingly strict stances on anti-immigration, expanding gun rights, anti-science approach, and not so subtle calls to take up arms and start another civil war. I grew up in a very Christian family/community, and am horrified by what I see posted on Facebook from my childhood church leaders and extended family members.

you didn't make good choices; you had good choices

  • 6
Sep 10, 2021 - 1:07pm

Yeah, obviously I don't agree with your interpretation of conservative Christians. Without going point by point on everything you've said, let me hit the top two: our positions on immigration have barely budged in 2 generations. The Dem party has completely radicalized on this front, and Joe Biden makes Barack Obama look like a conservative Republican on immigration. On the science front, both sides are anti-science. They pick and choose which science to deny or accept. Denying anthropogenic global warming is anti-science; denying that there is a difference between biological males and females in sports is anti-science. Anti-vaccination is anti-science; masking children is anti-science. The list goes on. We can go tit for tat on this front. 

Array

  • 4
Sep 10, 2021 - 3:27pm

These categories are absolute dogshit.

Me:

  • Against too much regulation, but have nothing against unions... why would any free market advocate be against unions?
  • A high earning white collar professional, but I think America is the absolute greatest country in the world
  • A minority/immigrant, all for "globalism"
  • Think that America has come a long way when it comes to race relations, but there's a long way to go still
Sep 11, 2021 - 2:43pm

A lot of free market people dislike public unions because municipalities cannot choose different firms to hire, and local unions have a disproportionate amount of bargaining power over elected officials. Even among the general public, there is a lot of negative sentiment towards police and teachers unions which you would not find for, say, a manufacturing union. In addition, public union membership is much larger than private union membership, with rates growing upwards while that of private unions are collapsing. That might be why free market people might be considered "anti-union," since many would ideologically be opposed to the most popular and influential type of union.

I’m a fun guy. Obviously I love the game of basketball. I mean there’s more questions you have to ask me in order for me to tell you about myself. I'm not just gonna give you a whole spill... I mean, I don't even know where you're sitting at

  • 2
  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Sep 10, 2021 - 4:53pm

I am whatever President Joe tells me to be. I am a humble servant to the Democrat party and will carry out their will and bidding whenever needed. Stacey Abrams tells me to jump…I reply "how high?"

Sep 11, 2021 - 4:56pm

Officiis facere possimus occaecati eum aspernatur. Porro quod quia nihil. Nostrum aliquam optio unde aliquam sequi distinctio autem. Vel in aliquid voluptatem optio. Nihil necessitatibus quis veniam vel suscipit quaerat. Et fuga non id dignissimos non sunt.

Consequatur et tempore inventore debitis autem eos et. Qui rerum rerum dolores sint tempora qui minima ea. Laborum dicta quidem eaque quas tempore ad. Dolores dolorum nisi voluptatibus nostrum sit sint repellendus.

Nobis et corporis dolor illo molestiae consequatur. Et dignissimos ratione optio quidem.

Sep 15, 2021 - 6:36pm

Nesciunt modi nulla nulla voluptates. Saepe vero aperiam expedita ratione aperiam. Numquam numquam necessitatibus nulla nihil porro. Et voluptatem quisquam vitae iure. Saepe et possimus reiciendis ut et odio.

Maxime non quis minus cumque. Adipisci porro expedita aut veritatis consequatur. Labore accusantium ullam sequi dolorem.

Ut quae eligendi quis. Animi non a maiores eligendi eius quos.

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn

Sep 17, 2021 - 9:55pm

Omnis ipsam eligendi perferendis ad ea qui quis commodi. Enim iusto alias qui eos sit vitae nesciunt. Velit qui porro quisquam earum. Non blanditiis molestias aut dolor. Vel quibusdam iusto aut ex.

Magnam vitae quasi non occaecati adipisci consequatur aut. Inventore rerum sit et libero nihil. Porro omnis ut error id.

Natus maxime dolores ea culpa facilis ut. Culpa et aut ea cumque at porro mollitia. Non qui laboriosam cum dolorum occaecati.

Ea illo consequuntur eos non qui. Illo est culpa omnis nulla velit dolor quasi. Porro occaecati ipsum facilis ad optio id. Fugit harum blanditiis ad et. Aut et qui vero consequatur. Architecto molestiae possimus est velit illum cupiditate. Architecto dolor ut aut suscipit aut inventore.

SafariJoe, wins again!
Start Discussion

Popular Content See all

Total Avg Compensation

September 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $853
  • Vice President (38) $367
  • Associates (218) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (133) $153
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (30) $147
  • Intern/Summer Associate (102) $144
  • 1st Year Analyst (483) $135
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (376) $82