All posts tagged: Rich people

The Lost Boys of Big Tech

The Lost Boys of Big Tech

[ad_1] The original “Burn Book” from Mean Girls was used to spread rumors and gossip about other girls (and some boys) at North Shore High School. Kara Swisher’s new memoir, Burn Book, tells true stories about men (and some women) who ruled Silicon Valley. In the 1990s, Swisher was a political reporter in Washington, but tuned into the dot-com revolution early and moved to California to cover it. As a handful of tech titans grew in fame and power, so did she, styling herself as “the best-connected of the tough reporters, and the toughest of the insiders,” writes the Atlantic staff writer Helen Lewis. Swisher became an innovator herself, starting a famous tech conference, launching several successful podcasts, and building a small media empire along the way. Her book collects those decades of stories and insights. On this week’s Radio Atlantic, Swisher recounts some of the most cringey moments of the early dot-com boom, including strange antics at parties she never really wanted to go to. (“I’ll admit I’m not that much fun.”) But mostly …

Wall Street Is Making Peace With the Idea of a Second Trump Presidency

Wall Street Is Making Peace With the Idea of a Second Trump Presidency

[ad_1] American business elites would prefer a strong economy without a resurgent labor movement, which is exactly what Trump is offering. Illustration by The Atlantic. Source: deberarr / Scott Olson / Ting Shen. February 2, 2024, 6:30 AM ET Wall Street is making its peace with the idea of a second Trump administration. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland in January, Jamie Dimon, the chair and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, spoke warmly of the former president who tried to overthrow American democracy after losing an election. “Take a step back, be honest. He was kind of right about NATO, kind of right on immigration. He grew the economy quite well,” Dimon, an occasional Democratic donor, said. “Trade tax reform worked. He was right about some of China.” Dimon’s sentiments are apparently widespread among the American financial elite. “Many Wall Street executives have made a calculated decision not to speak out against him,” CNBC reported, “and in some cases they will consider supporting the Republican former president over Democratic President Joe Biden.” If you’ve …

A powerhouse of a comedic actress

A powerhouse of a comedic actress

[ad_1] This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here. Welcome back to The Daily’s Sunday culture edition, in which one Atlantic writer or editor reveals what’s keeping them entertained. Today’s special guest is Elaine Godfrey, a staff writer at The Atlantic who has covered the Iowa caucuses, the national fight over abortion rights, and America’s most misunderstood marsupial. Elaine loves TV shows starring the Irish comedic actress Sharon Horgan and all  “varmint-forward” content on Instagram. She is also a Las Culturistas superfan and the proud owner of a gently used Old English Sheepdog lamp. First, here are three Sunday reads from The Atlantic: The Culture Survey: Elaine Godfrey My favorite way of wasting time on my phone: I’m a big fan of Instagram Reels, which is basically TikTok, except a different company gets your secrets. There’s a woman on Reels who cleans people’s houses for free when …

The DeSantis-campaign implosion was inevitable

The DeSantis-campaign implosion was inevitable

[ad_1] This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suspended his campaign. His loss was inevitable, because Republican voters want Donald Trump. First, here are three new stories from The Atlantic: Trump’s for the Asking I wrote back in May that the Republican primary would be over before they really began. Too many of the candidates were featherweights or no-hopers, and even the more substantial challengers couldn’t bring themselves to go after Donald Trump, despite flaming indictments falling from the skies and covering him in a layer of dirty ash. My prediction is one step closer to fulfillment now that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has bowed out, leaving Nikki Haley as the last alternative standing. The reality, however, is that the 2024 GOP primary was never going to end any other way. When the former speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy rehabilitated Trump, …

How Uncovered Windows Became a Status Symbol

How Uncovered Windows Became a Status Symbol

[ad_1] Walk down the block of a wealthy neighborhood at night, and you might be surprised by how much you can see. One uncovered window might reveal the glow of a flatscreen TV across from a curved couch; through another, you might glimpse a marble kitchen island and a chandelier. Of course, some of the curtains are closed—but many are flung open, the home’s interiors exposed, like you’re peering into a showroom. Uncovered windows have quietly become a fixture of high-end homes across America. The New York Times recently referred to the “obligatory uncurtained windows” of Brooklyn Heights, a rich enclave in New York City, and The Root pointed out that this seemed common among wealthy young white people living in gentrified urban areas. On TikTok, onlookers have been baffled by the trend—and, sometimes, tempted to pry. Although this phenomenon is most visible in cities, the link between wealth and exposed windows extends across the United States. Most people do still close their shades, but Americans who earn more than $150,000 are almost twice as …

Bill Ackman Is a Brilliant Fictional Character

Bill Ackman Is a Brilliant Fictional Character

[ad_1] Before last month I knew next to nothing about Bill Ackman. I probably would have recognized his name. I guess I knew he was a hedge-fund billionaire, and his reputation as kind of a jerk. “He has been straddling that line of public recognition for some 20 years now,” a New York writer explained last week, with a “formula for notoriety” based on “making big controversial calls” as an investor “and picking messy, high-profile fights.” My interest was piqued when I learned that he was part of the group publicly attempting to purge Harvard’s first Black president. Ackman attended Harvard roughly a decade after I did, and he has donated roughly $50 million more to the university than I have. Claudine Gay had just started the job last July, but he was angry because he thought she hadn’t condemned (or disciplined) Harvard’s anti-Israel, pro-Palestine, Hamas-apologist protesters quickly enough or strongly enough. That gambit failed to convince Harvard’s governing board, even after Gay’s very inept congressional testimony about free speech and the advocacy of genocide. …

Legacy Admissions Aren’t the Real Problem

Legacy Admissions Aren’t the Real Problem

[ad_1] Getting rid of the preference for children of alumni would hardly make a dent in the staggering inequality at elite colleges. David Degner / The New York Times / Redux December 5, 2023, 7:30 AM ET Legacy admissions are in trouble. Applicants from the richest one percent of families are nearly twice as likely to be admitted to elite Ivy Plus colleges than similarly qualified low- or middle-class applicants, and many of these privileged students benefit from being the children of alumni or donors. Left-leaning groups recently filed a lawsuit challenging legacy admissions on civil-rights grounds, the Department of Education has announced an investigation into the practice, and, last month, the Republican Todd Young and the Democrat Tim Kaine introduced a Senate bill that would effectively ban it. The preference for legacy applicants may be the most visible symbol of unearned intergenerational privilege. But that’s mostly what it is—a symbol. The truth is that banning legacy admissions wouldn’t level the college-admissions playing field at selective schools like Harvard, where I teach. My team’s research …

The Real Cost of Driving Into Manhattan

The Real Cost of Driving Into Manhattan

[ad_1] Next year, congestion pricing is coming to New York City. And maybe, just maybe, the toll for motor vehicles entering the lower half of Manhattan should be set at $100. That number comes from Charles Komanoff, an environmental activist, a transit analyst, and a local political fixture. It represents neither the amount that would maximize revenue nor the amount that would minimize traffic. Rather, it is an estimate of how much it really costs for a single vehicle to take a trip into the congestion zone—in economists’ terminology, the unpriced externality associated with driving into one of the most financially productive and eternally gridlocked places on Earth. To be clear, Komanoff does not actually think that the state should charge each car, pickup, and box truck $100. He doesn’t think the toll should be anywhere near that amount. “At heart, I’m very much a radical,” he told me as we sat outside a stylish coffee shop in SoHo, to which Komanoff had brought his own coffee in a thermos. He has been detained numerous …

The ‘Whiteboy Brooklyn Novelist’ Grows Up

The ‘Whiteboy Brooklyn Novelist’ Grows Up

[ad_1] Jonathan Lethem had come back to Brooklyn, and I wanted to know why. One afternoon a few months ago, he took me to Dean Street, the block in Boerum Hill where he grew up in the ’70s. The area is the setting of his 2003 book (and one of my favorite novels), The Fortress of Solitude, and of his new one, Brooklyn Crime Novel. I was raised in Brooklyn too, some 15 years after Lethem, and he remains, among my childhood friends and I, somewhat of a literary patron saint: the Brooklyn boy who did us proud by immortalizing our borough in contemporary fiction. He was given a hero’s welcome by the literary establishment after publishing Motherless Brooklyn, in 1999, and again after Fortress. But I say “somewhat” because after that, he left town. Both literally—he relocated to Maine and eventually to the West Coast—and in his literature. We old Brooklynites have a high tolerance for crimes, but we consider desertion one of the most egregious. Though he’s written six novels since Fortress, he …

What Bama Rush Reveals About How America Shops

What Bama Rush Reveals About How America Shops

[ad_1] When taking inventory of their rush outfits, the sorority hopefuls at the University of Alabama typically get bogged down in the jewelry. Clothes for the week-long August ritual colloquially known as Bama Rush tend to be simple: Imagine the kind of cute little sleeveless dress that a high-school cheerleader might wear to her older cousin’s outdoor wedding, and you’re on the right track. If you had to spend all day traipsing up and down Tuscaloosa’s sorority row in the stifling late-summer heat, you too would probably throw on your most diaphanous sundress and wedge-heeled sandals and call it a day. The jewelry, by comparison, piles up—stacks of mostly golden rings and bracelets, layers of delicate chain necklaces, a pair of statement earrings to match every flippy miniskirt. On #BamaRushTok, the informal TikTok event that has coincided with actual sorority recruitment at UA since 2021, a subset of the roughly 2,500 prospective sisters documents the experience in real time for an audience of millions. These missives frequently take the form of a long-standing internet staple: …