The head start on success by virtue of being born in America doesn’t reach a large section of the public anymore. The poverty rate has stubbornly stayed over 15% in recent years, and far more stumble into poverty at least at one part of their lives. That’s been particularly true during the Great Recession. What’s worse, social mobility has stunted in America to almost the lowest rate among industrialized nations in the world. It’s not really true anymore that 95% of your life is set for you just by being an American.
|By: David Dayen Thursday September 20, 2012 4:15 pm|
|By: David Dayen Wednesday September 5, 2012 2:52 pm|
The problem is that this only plays out along the lines of equality of opportunity. You have to work hard, and there’s this myth that hard work will find its reward in a society without barriers. This was the main theme of Michelle Obama’s speech as well.
|By: dakine01 Tuesday February 21, 2012 6:30 pm|
Once upon a time not so very long ago and a place right close by, there was a land conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men were created equal. Now, reality is, this land was never really the shining city upon a hill as some folks liked to claim but even with all of its problems, it still managed to make the phrases “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free” enough substance to be a bit more than a slogan on a statue.
Now? Eh, not so much.
|By: David Dayen Thursday January 5, 2012 8:00 pm|
We’ve been talking about income inequality lately, and tied into that is the idea of upward mobility. The United States, in the myths of cock-eyed optimists everywhere, remains the land of opportunity, where everyone can get a fair shot at greatness. But that America hasn’t existed for a while. In fact, as Jason DeParle reports, upward mobility doesn’t really exist in this country anymore.
|By: Tula Connell Thursday October 23, 2008 1:30 pm|
Looks like the dictum, “Work hard and get ahead,” is another myth gone bust, along with the other pretty bubbles that make up the American Dream.
A new three-year study deflates the notion of social mobility in the United States. Because the gap between the wealthiest and poorest is larger in the United States than in 30 other developed nations, our ability to improve our economic status is less than that of the United Kingdom.