Obama: America Has a ‘Great Smugness’ About Wealth, Status

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While speaking Tuesday at Rice University’s Baker Center with author Jon Meacham and former White House chief of staff, James Baker, former President Barack Obama discussed identity politics and its history regarding race in the United States.

Obama said that America, particularly American elites, have had a history of “great smugness” when it comes to wealth and status,

So, part of what’s happened is that when people feel their status is being jostled and threatened, they react. What I would agree with is that the Washington consensus, whatever you want to call it, got a little too comfortable with — they are looking at GDP numbers and looking at the Internet and everything is looking pretty great, particularly after the Cold War. After what you guys engineered, you had this period of great smugness on the part of America and American elites thinking, “We got this figured out.” … That came back to bite us.READ MORE

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