From today’s “Opinionator” with Gail Collins and David Brooks:
David: I once conducted an interview with a businessman in a small town and I pulled up in my Audi A6, which was a very nice car but not super luxury.
Sir David Brooks is wrong about the “not super luxury” part. The 2012 Audi A6 is, in fact, currently ranked #2 by U.S. News & World Report in the “Luxury Large Cars” category and retails, on average, between $41,245 and $49,346. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household — not individual — income (averaged over the period 2006-2010) was $51,914. So an Audi A6 costs somewhere between 79% and 95% of the average American household’s pre-tax income.
Look, I am not one of those people who decry rich people for being rich. Hell, I don’t have a problem with rich presidents, politicians, or candidates. In some cases it may even reduce corruption by limiting the political sway of outside contributions. But New York Times writers really need to stop playing the “seriously, we’re not rich” game that has been increasingly played by the American upper class (including, too often, by writers for the Times). It’s absolutely fine to be wealthy. It’s not fine to pretend to be a member of a more modest social class.