Sunday, June 10, 2012
The "American Dream" Is Now A Myth by Henry Blodget
One of the most distressing aspects of the state of the US economy is the decrease in social mobility.
It is much, much harder now than it used to be for Americans to improve their circumstances.
In other words, if Americans are born poor, they're overwhelmingly likely to stay poor.
Similarly, if Americans are born rich, they have a much better chance of staying rich than someone born poor or middle class.
No one minds inequality as long as one's station in life is a function of one's own decisions and effort.
When inequality becomes the luck of the draw, however, if becomes much more profoundly unfair.
America's social mobility is now not only one of the lowest in the country's history--it's one of the lowest in the first world.
If that doesn't change, the fundamental promise of America for the past 250 years will disappear. The country will no longer be a place in which you can control your economic destiny. Rather, it will become the sort of society that so many of those who emigrated here sought to escape: A country in which your destiny is determined at birth.
Earlier this week, professor Joseph Stiglitz sat down with my Yahoo colleague Aaron Task to talk about this issue.
Posted by Michele Kearney at 8:48 PM