That was always the yuppie dream: an aristocratic life achieved meritocratically.
True dat. For more on this topic, and the current state of the economy, see Time's amazing article titled, The End of Excess: Is Crisis Good For America. Regardless of whether you agree, the thesis is thought-provoking.
[N]o other nation assimilates immigrants as successfully as the U.S. The sooner we can agree on a coherent national policy to encourage as many as possible of the world's smartest and most ambitious people to become Americans, the better our chances of forestalling national decline. The waves of exotic foreigners who arrived in the 19th and early 20th centuries were unsettling, but previous generations got over it, luckily, since those newcomers were instrumental in forging the American Century.
This is thought provoking for what it means for the locals, and for those who came earlier and may be out-competed by more recently-arrived immigrants.
May you live in interesting times.