Posted 3 years ago on Oct. 3, 2012, 4:37 p.m. EST by brightonsage
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This should come as a shock to exactly nobody, but Stiglitz has the data.
Rising from rags to riches isn't the American dream, it's an American fairytale, according to Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.
"The American dream has become a myth," Stiglitz, an economics professor at Columbia University, told the German news magazine Der Spiegel in an interview published Tuesday. "The belief in the American dream is not supported by the data."
There's evidence to support such claims. The U.S. has less economic mobility than Canada and much of Western Europe, according to economic research cited by The New York Times. Seven in ten Americans that start out in the bottom fifth of family income stay in the lower class as adults, and more than six in ten Americans that start out in the top family income quintile stay in the upper class as adults, according to a July report by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
While the data may not be there to back the idea of the American dream, there are some that still consider it to be pretty important. Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, for his part, said last year that "70 percent of Americans want the American dream. They believe in the American idea. Only 30 percent want the welfare state."
Stiglitz told Der Spiegel that in spite of anecdotes about poor people becoming rich, overall "the life chances of a young U.S. citizen are more dependent on the income and education of his parents than in any other advanced industrial country for which there is data."
Fortunately, Romney only has to come up with a solution for the 53% (Ryan says 70%, you expect them to agree?) minus of course the 2% who are already rich, so 51% who still believe in the myth and want to go there.
His formula was to be born rich and connected, then start a business with Goldman's money and the guarantee of "success or you get your cushy job back." Oh, and after you are doubly rich, give your kids large trust funds and invest in their start up companies, and give the surplus to your favorite nonprofit power block. Do I have that right?
Some of us would have liked to try it with that formula. "Go East young man," said Horace, Not-so Greeley" Try Sweden, Denmark or Estonia.