I’ve heard it said several times recently that no one cares about the poor. It’s one of the saddest statements ever uttered.
For a nation that prides itself on creating the “American Dream”, we have learned that location is everything. The Atlantic writes of this in an article called “Why Is The American Dream Dead In The South.”
The top 1 percent aren’t killing the American Dream. Something else is—if you live in the wrong place.
Here’s what we know. The rich are getting richer, but according to a blockbuster new study that hasn’t made it harder for the poor to become rich. The good news is that people at the bottom are just as likely to move up the income ladder today as they were 50 years ago. But the bad news is that people at the bottom are just as likely to move up the income ladder today as they were 50 years ago.
We like to tell ourselves that America is the land of opportunity, but the reality doesn’t match the rhetoric—and hasn’t for awhile. We actually have less social mobility than countries like Denmark. And that’s more of a problem the more inequality there is. Think about it like this: Moving up matters more when there’s a bigger gap between the rich and poor. So even though mobility hasn’t gotten worse lately, it has worse consequences today because inequality is worse.
There really are no words when it comes to studies like this other than we may think we have evolved since the 1960s but we really haven’t.
And that, my friends, is tragic.