A recent article in the Atlantic on the shrinking of the middle class noted that over the past couple of decades there has "been the ever more distinct sorting of Americans into winners and losers." This is borne out by a new study [pdf] conducted by two Stanford professors that shows two types of neighborhoods growing: the affluent and the poor. Families living in middle class neighborhoods have dropped from 65% to 44% since 1970.

One Harvard professor tells the Times that the study shows a "rising inequality" that is producing a "two-tiered society in America in which the more affluent citizens live lives fundamentally different from the middle and lower-income groups." Curiously the report neglects to mention the "vocal minority" of lazy, jealous people.

Lest you believe that growing income disparity and the increasing segregation of the poor from other income groups won't have a lasting effect on our society, one of the professors who wrote the study notes that the gap "in standardized test scores between rich and poor children" is "now 40% bigger than it was in 1970. That is double the testing gap between black and white children." The divide between the rich and poor in college completion "has grown by more than 50% since the 1990s." We'll have the 1% to thank for our own Idiocracy.