The formulas for social mobility in the United States show there’s nothing to dream about

6 Dec

UC Davis Economics Professor: There Is No American Dream
http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2014/11/26/uc-davis-economics-professor-there-is-no-american-dream/November 26, 2014 11:44 PM

DAVIS (CBS13)–A UC Davis economics professor has
determined there
is no American Dream.

Gregory Clark is sharing his research as a hard truth with no
hope–whether or not you can get ahead in America is as
predictable
as any formula.

In fact, he says, the formulas for social mobility in the United
States show there’s nothing to dream about.

“America has no higher rate of social mobility than medieval
England, Or pre-industrial Sweden,” he said. “That’s the most
difficult part of talking about social mobility is because it is
shattering people s dreams.”

Clark crunched the numbers in the U.S. from the past 100
years. His
data shows the so-called American Dream–where hard work
leads to
more opportunities–is an illusion in the United States, and that
social mobility here is no different than in the rest of the world.

“The status of your children, your grandchildren, your great
grandchildren your great-great grandchildren will be quite
closely
related to your average status now,” he said.

UC Davis students CBS13 spoke to dismissed the findings.

“The parents’ wealth has an effect on ones life but it’s not the
ultimate deciding factor,” Andy Kim said.

Clark has heard the naysayers before.

“My students always argue with me, but I think the thing they
find
very hard to accept, is the idea that much of their lives can be
predicted from their lineage and their ancestry,” he said.

Stuck in a social status is no American Dream–Clark says it’s
the
American reality.

“The good news is that this is coming from an economist,
because
economists are used to being unpopular, and so we are the
right
people to bear this message that the world is a limiting place,”
he
said.

There’s one caveat to the study, and that is for any one of us,
there is always an exception to the rule.

Clarks’ study was published by the Council on Foreign
Relations.

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