19 May 2012
Reposted from Jobasanger The American Dream is, in general terms, the belief that anyone can better themselves in this country and that children will do better than their parents did (putting a family on an upward track of economic mobility). It was believed that the lack of a class system and the providing of a good public education to all citizens created this upward mobility advantage that the United States enjoyed over other countries. I don't think there's any doubt that, at least in the past, there was more chance for upward economic mobility in this country -- but the important question is, does this advantage still exist? The Pew Research Center has done an examination of the prospects for upward mobility -- both in the United States and in other developed nations. The results of that examination are very disturbing. While the American people still want to believe in the American Dream, and most still do believe, the awful truth is that among developed nations the United States is dead last in the chance for its citizens to move up economically. The economic prospects of an American are more closely tied to the income and education of his/her parents than in any other developed country (meaning they have a better chance of staying at the parental level, or moving down, than they do of upward mobility). Why is this happening? Don't we still have the same advantages over other countries? Well, no. While other developed nations have moved to eliminate class differences and put greater emphasis on educating all their citizens, we have done just the opposite here in the United States. We have drastically cut funding for public education and are injecting religion and propaganda into our schools. And with the growing gap in wealth and income, we are creating our own version of a class system (although based on money instead of nobility). And who is responsible for this? A huge clue to that can be found in the Pew Research Center's study of mobility among the states. Their study shows that the best opportunity for mobility is in the Northeast region. The states with the best opportunity for upward mobility are New Jersey, New York, and Maryland -- followed by Pennsylvania, Michigan, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Utah. And what are the states with the least opportunity for upward mobility? They are the Southern states -- the anti-union, anti-education, Republican-controlled states. The states with the worst opportunity are Louisiana, South Carolina, and Oklahoma -- followed by Texas, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Kentucky. The Republican policies haven't just created a vast gulf between the rich and other Americans -- and cratered the American economy. Those policies are also destroying the chances for citizens to have a chance for upward mobility. The Republicans may be good at helping the rich, but they are killing the American Dream for most Americans. They must be stopped.