Most researchers now give America much lower marks than they used to for intergenerational economic mobility–the ease with which successive generations move up or down relative to their parents… According to one much-cited study, for instance, more than 40 percent of American boys born into the poorest fifth of the population stay there

via What Land of Opportunity? – Clive Crook – Politics – The Atlantic.

One of America’s fundamental values is opportunity; the idea that no matter into what social or economic strata an individual is born they possess the liberty to grow themselves and their fortune.  Unlike the European bourgeoisie or caste systems of India which relegate one to a life lived at the same level to which they are born, Americans have long prided themselves on the ability for economic and social advancement based on ingenuity and good ole “stick-to-it-adness.” [quoting from Madagascar]

What is now being revealed is that America may no longer be the land of opportunity or advancement.  It appears that many in the United States find themselves dying no better than they were born, at least as it relates to personal economic wealth.  Is this something that we as a society should be concerned with?  Is it the role of the government to ensure that all citizens posses the capability to advance and achieve great wealth?  Should we worry as a society if the American dream is a sham and that you are likely to die poor if born poor, even in the United States?

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