Most Americans like to think of the United States as a classless society. At its core, the American dream has traditionally been defined by the freedom to choose a vocation, a strong belief in economic mobility, and a spirit of egalitarianism.

But over the last several decades we have been bearing witness to the growth of a disturbing streak of aristocratic bias in our cultural fabric and our national temperament, one that is increasingly manifesting itself in the views we hold and the assumptions we make about people who work with their hands.

Judgments about intelligence carry great weight in our society, and unfortunately Americans (especially American lawmakers and media elites) are developing an unsettling tendency to make sweeping assessments of people’s intelligence, as well as their overall worthiness as human beings, based upon the kind of work they do.

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