The Rich Are the Party of the Left

I’ve argued here now and then that the Democratic Party (and liberalism) is now the natural home for the left. Kevin Williamson writes about corporate leftism at National Review this week, though as far back as the Reagan years conservatives began to perceive that big business is not our friend. (It was blowback from several Fortune 500 CEOs that kept Reagan from reversing the JFK-LBJ era executive order that gave rise to affirmative action quotas.) It is perhaps long past time that conservatives switch places with liberals in attacking big business and the rich generally—especially the Silicon Valley rich.

But if you want a really stunning portrait into the corruption of the rich left, take in a new report from the Brookings Institution (yes, the Brookings Institution!) about ill-liberal arts colleges. Like, oh I don’t know—perhaps Middlebury?

Here’s the relevant text from the piece:

Middlebury’s students are among the richest and most privileged in America. The average enrollee comes from a household making a quarter of a million dollars a year, according to recent research on universities and social mobility. As many students at Middlebury come from the top 1% of households (23%) as come from the bottom four quintiles (24%). The annual cost of attending is almost $64,000 a year. . .

We have crunched some numbers using data gathered by the non-partisan Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, and found that the schools where students have attempted disinvite speakers are substantially wealthier and more expensive than average. Since 2014, there have been attempts at some 90 colleges to disinvite speakers, mostly conservatives. The average enrollee at a college where students have attempted to restrict free speech comes from a family with an annual income $32,000 higher than that of the average student in America.

In the figure below, we plot every university in America based on the proportion of students from families with incomes in the top quintile (vertical axis) and from the bottom quintile (horizontal). Marked in red are the “disinvitation colleges” described above. The pattern is clear: the more economically exclusive the institution, the more likely the students have attempted to hinder free speech:

College Kill Shot

QED. Red dots: red campuses. Eat the rich, as the left used to say. Or at least close down their fancy colleges.