[W]e are in a sense living through a cultural war in which some who’ve chosen, say, more leisure and prestige are waging a symbolic struggle against those who’ve chosen more income — the object is to devalue the accumulation of material possessions, to characterize it as “greedy,” etc. Indirectly, the proximate goals are to extract more tax revenue to finance public sector work that, in some but not all cases, offers relative stability if not very high cash incomes. Naturally, risk-averse people and people who are inclined to embrace the “greed” narrative are more inclined to sort into public sector work while risk-taking people who, say, like the idea of achieving some modicum of economic stability for their families by building their private wealth will be more inclined to sort into lucrative private sector work. But a risk-averse individual may nevertheless be a very privileged one in terms of cultural capital, while a risk-taking individual might be much less so.

Reihan in another awesome monster post. (via pegobry)