Why is it so rare for the most comfortable, articulate and best-educated to grasp that what the poor want most of all is what they themselves have, and to see the value of putting their energy into thinking about what it would take to give the poor a shot at getting it, too?

Too often, confronting this plain — though not easy — challenge comes second to the spectacle of a moral contest in which, you sense, the sole trophy is burnished self-regard. I suspect the reason is that few among the intelligentsia pass the test of closing the conceptual gap between the ideas they say they are committed to and the reality of their own lives; the ideas, choices and formative influences that have made them who they are...

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