Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
First, I acknowledge that this would be a problem
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.[Reuters]
and look forward to reading your links and understanding the data better.

But I think this does not correctly characterize the American dream:

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.
if the intended implication is that an immigrant would move quickly into the top 5% of incomes in America, which I think would be + $150,000 annual income.  

I thought Poemless described the dream well

And to clarify for the Europeans, we were never taught that this just happens organically.  The American Dream did not exist in our psyches through sheer propaganda & mythology.  Sorry to burst your bubbles about that.  Fact is, a significant number of people in this country did become better off than their parents through hard work.  That is because their parents & grandparents were often here as refugees, from poverty, oppression or basic lack of opportunity.  Or as slaves.  So we're talking about starting with nothing but maybe a suitcase and a few contacts, and a few generations later ending up with assets like homes, accomplishments like university degrees, and relative independence to go where, associate with whomever, believe whatever they wanted......
The dream is a dream of families, and work over generations,,not a one shot jump into the top 5%.

But as I said above, I look forward to reviewing the comparative data on the US and other countries.

by wchurchill on Thu Apr 27th, 2006 at 04:13:47 PM EST

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