Americans have historically shown a unique tolerance to accept high levels of inequality. This springs from an embedded national belief in mobility: a conviction that hard work and honest labor deserve just reward, and a confidence that our society is and should be constructed to provide equality of opportunity, not to guarantee equality of outcomes. But if the ladder of opportunity truly is — or is perceived to be — inaccessible to a great number of Americans, this value system is at risk of crumbling. A discussion that identifies and quantifies the drivers of and obstacles to economic mobility should be a top priority for those interested in preserving and protecting the spirit and reality of the American Dream.
REPORTS: From the Pew Economic Mobility Project
Here are a set of new reports focused on the details of economic mobility. "Contrary to American beliefs about equality of opportunity, a child’s economic position is heavily influenced by that of his or her parents. Forty-two percent of children born to parents in the bottom fifth of the income distribution remain in the bottom, while 39% born to parents in the top fifth remain at the top,” Julia Issacs , a Brookings Institution fellow, writes in Pew’s latest analysis.more»