American Social Mobility Ain’t What It Used to Be
Posted on Jan 5, 2012
This will hardly be news to many, but The New York Times weighed in Wednesday about the American dream being harder to achieve for those occupying the lower socioeconomic levels of society than either their wealthier contemporaries or their counterparts from past eras. Hence, the rise of a certain Occupy movement in recent months. Thank you, New York Times. —KA
The New York Times:
Benjamin Franklin did it. Henry Ford did it. And American life is built on the faith that others can do it, too: rise from humble origins to economic heights. “Movin’ on up,” George Jefferson-style, is not only a sitcom song but a civil religion.
But many researchers have reached a conclusion that turns conventional wisdom on its head: Americans enjoy less economic mobility than their peers in Canada and much of Western Europe. The mobility gap has been widely discussed in academic circles, but a sour season of mass unemployment and street protests has moved the discussion toward center stage.
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