28 April 2006

Rag-to-riches dream an illusion

I thought this study was interesting as it punctures a major American myth:

America may still think of itself as the land of opportunity, but the chances of living a rags-to-riches life are a lot lower than elsewhere in the world, according to a new study published on Wednesday. The likelihood that a child born into a poor family will make it into the top five percent is just one percent, according to "Understanding Mobility in America," a study by economist Tom Hertz from American University. By contrast, a child born rich had a 22 percent chance of being rich as an adult, he said. "In other words, the chances of getting rich are about 20 times higher if you are born rich than if you are born in a low-income family," he told an audience at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think-tank sponsoring the work. He also found the United States had one of the lowest levels of inter-generational mobility in the wealthy world, on a par with Britain but way behind most of Europe.

4 comments:

1337hax0r said...

This study seems way off, because you are telling me that 1 out of a 100 of the poor will become ultra rich in the states?

And 78/100 of their children will end up poor?

These numbers seem nuts.

Karlo said...

What's wrong with the numbers? They sound reasonable to me.

Arnoud Boer said...

They should dub it ´the American nightmare.´

Pisces Iscariot said...

There's always 'American Idol'; The biggest loser; America's Next Top Model...