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RIP, American Dream? Why It's So Hard for the Poor to Get Ahead Today

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posted on Jun, 28 2013 @ 10:43 PM
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Came across this interesting article published couple of weeks ago.Thought it would be worth sharing here. I hope this is the right subforum to post it.



RIP, American Dream? Why It's So Hard for the Poor to Get Ahead Today

High-income kids who don't graduate from college are 2.5 times more likely to end up rich than low-income kids who do get a degree

The American Dream isn't dead. It's just moved to Denmark.

Now, we like to think of ourselves as a classless society, but it isn't true today. As the Brookings Institution has pointed out, America has turned into a place Horatio Alger would scarcely recognize: we have more inequality and less mobility than once-stratified Europe, particularly the Nordic countries. It's what outgoing Council of Economic Advisers chief Alan Krueger has dubbed the "Great Gatsby Curve" -- the more inequality there is, the less mobility there is. As Tim Noah put it, it's harder to climb our social ladder when the rungs are further apart.

And it's getting worse.



Source: www.theatlantic.com...


I remember recently reading an article by an economist Stiglitz about social mobility in US, which is very low compared to other first world nations: The ‘American Dream’ Is a Myth: Joseph Stiglitz on ‘The Price of Inequality’


While we all know stories of people who've moved up the social stratosphere, Stiglitz says the statistics tell a very different story. In the last 30 years the share of national income held by the top 1% of Americans has doubled; for to the top 0.1%, their share has tripled, he reports. Meanwhile, median incomes for American workers have stagnated.
Even more than income inequality, "America has the least equality of opportunity of any of the advanced industrial economies," Stiglitz says. In short, the status you're born into — whether rich or poor — is more likely to be the status of your adult life in America vs. any other advanced economy, including 'Old Europe'.
For example, just 8% of students at America's elite universities come from households in the bottom 50% of income, Stiglitz says, even as those universities are "needs blind" — meaning admission isn't predicated on your ability to pay.
"There's not much mobility up and down," he says. "The chances of someone from the top [income bracket] who doesn't do very well in school are better than someone from the bottom who does well in school."



In some ways I personally would agree. Education matters a lot on what one achieves in life. And unfortunately in US quality education has becoming something not everybody are able to afford compared to most other advanced countries. Education has become into a business, which is not good for the society as a whole, as it creates classes - More educated rich upper class and poorly educated poor lower class...

Although as I am not from US I do not want to take much stand on the matter. I am interested in the opinions of Americans on it. What do you think about it? Do you agree with the articles or disagree? Why?
edit on 28-6-2013 by Cabin because: (no reason given)

edit on Sat Jun 29 2013 by DontTreadOnMe because: IMPORTANT: Using Content From Other Websites on ATS




posted on Jun, 28 2013 @ 10:54 PM
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I hate what America has become and it seems to be getting worse. To be honest I do not know if the American dream is dead or dying. What I wish that all Americans would notice the way we live is only making our country worse. We need reforms and to make our lives better.

I cannot believe how people can become like locust at sales for junk and would not want to reform health care or help make the economy better. So many businesses have monopolies and cause small businesses to go out of business and in my opinion ruin communities.

Maybe it's just me and how I grew up observing people in my day-to-day life and I see things are getting worse. I just wish we all could make this country great again.



posted on Jun, 28 2013 @ 10:59 PM
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One of the things that I have noticed in the area where I live, is that quite often the most "successful" people are the ones who were given opportunities based off of who they know. I've seen it happen often to people I know. They will be overlooked for a job, even with a stable work history, for a job hopper who knows someone in the business.

I even know of someone who was very well-qualified for a bank teller position and had an incredibly stable job history, who was overlooked for a high school kid whose family was well-known in the town. Ouch!

The thing is that most of these folks who get hired come from more "elite" families in the area. (If you can even use the word elite to describe less financially-challenged rednecks)




posted on Jun, 28 2013 @ 11:06 PM
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I agree,
I find that there's a lot of things that go on with hiring, that is allowed to get by because it isn't defined within law against discrimination. Society wise perhaps we need to address that, however, with the apparent sharp decline in local business opportunity, it's going to be even harder as in hiring managers abiding by company rule. However, it doesn't end there...

What American Dream? Those seeking the diminished dream are going to learn the hard way being used up as the rest of the US citizens. That is especially now since the Amnesty Bill has passed.



posted on Jun, 29 2013 @ 12:08 AM
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I agree with the article. The American Dream is dead at this point, in my honest opinion. And it has been for quite some time. I also agree that Education plays a large role in inequality these days. It's becoming more and more unaffordable for the average person to enter into a College/University due to rising prices and interest rates. Problems that the more...elite families in our society do not have to worry about.

It's a sad fact really. I'll be turning twenty-two on Sunday. I held back on attending college due to a lack of funds, and the desire to help care for my father. The fact that I was also mentally unprepared to attend college played a role in my desire to take some time off as well. I wanted to grow up a little. Now I feel that it is too late. I have no desire to drown myself in student loan debt. Especially not when unemployment is on the rise, and competitions for what jobs are available is even higher. At this point, I feel as though I may not have a future in this country.

In a way, I envy those who live in countries with affordable educational programs and institutions. Yet at the same time, I am happy that kids in those countries have the chance to excel in life, and live their dreams. I can only hope that this sort of situation never occurs in those areas.

S+F Cabin.



posted on Jun, 29 2013 @ 01:00 AM
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reply to post by Lunarian
 


I feel where you're coming from Lunarian. As I mentioned before the way a majority of Americans live cannot last forever. In the 80's and 90's many people could work low paying jobs and still be able to afford clothes, food, etc. My dad is a carpenter and my mother is a house wife. As a kid I was able to see my dad make a good amount of money despite flooring didn't bring much money and he cared about paying his helpers money.

Now he's in his 60's, sick, but still doing great work. But god forgive he does mess up at times. What I feel is that people need to realize there are a lot of ugly truths in life. Like a lot of people are not responsible with money and lack knowledge of economics. I have seen a lot of people; myself included, who do not manage money as well as we should. I have seen and lived with people who are just whacked out on drugs and alcohol.

There is a lot I could say, but I don't need to go on a rant. To me I wish many people would wake up and try to make their lives better. There is no short cut or any miracle. Just take care of yourself and respect others.



posted on Jun, 29 2013 @ 01:10 AM
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reply to post by Cabin
 


Bureaucrats and Taxes.


Governments make it pretty difficult to start up a business, let alone have it survive over the course of the first few years. Pile on a boatload of taxes to an already struggling upstart, and failure is almost certain. It's gotten to the point where people can't even sell things in their own front yards in some states, that is until you get all the proper paperwork.


This is the reason people start businesses across seas (to avoid harsh taxes/penalties and Paperwork).

Ranking Economies

As you can see, the US is ranked pretty high when it comes to keeping a business running. However, they rank pretty low (with the economical issues) in a handful of other areas. They're not the worst, certainly not the best, but the state the world is in right now seems to be making these numbers look worse than they appear.


That's just my two cents, from an outsiders perspective that doesn't know a whole lot about this subject. I'm just a normal guy and if I can see major problems, then I can only imagine what is really going on beneath the surface.



posted on Jun, 29 2013 @ 01:15 AM
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Originally posted by Komaratzi11
One of the things that I have noticed in the area where I live, is that quite often the most "successful" people are the ones who were given opportunities based off of who they know. I've seen it happen often to people I know. They will be overlooked for a job, even with a stable work history, for a job hopper who knows someone in the business.

I even know of someone who was very well-qualified for a bank teller position and had an incredibly stable job history, who was overlooked for a high school kid whose family was well-known in the town. Ouch!

The thing is that most of these folks who get hired come from more "elite" families in the area. (If you can even use the word elite to describe less financially-challenged rednecks)



I agree with Komaratzi11 here, but I would like to add that the inequality of scholarly rewards relates not only to who you know or what family you come from, but to income as well.

I feel pretty certain a lazy goof-up from a wealthy family will always have a better chance to succeed over a hard working genius from a poor family.

ETA: Something else to consider, and this is only my opinion here, is that I suspect that when a company or one of it's departments puts out a notice to hire for an upper level position, they already have a candidate lined up and the job posting is a formality. Of course the low level job opportunities are greater for the disenfranchised because of the high turn around (easy come easy go for the company, there is always another person out there to fill the position).
edit on 29-6-2013 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Added last comments



posted on Jun, 29 2013 @ 10:37 AM
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Originally posted by MichiganSwampBuck
ETA: Something else to consider, and this is only my opinion here, is that I suspect that when a company or one of it's departments puts out a notice to hire for an upper level position, they already have a candidate lined up and the job posting is a formality. Of course the low level job opportunities are greater for the disenfranchised because of the high turn around (easy come easy go for the company, there is always another person out there to fill the position).
edit on 29-6-2013 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Added last comments


That's exactly the way it was at a Best Buy I worked at in northern colorado. When a position opened up, they already knew who they wanted for the job, and would even tell that person to apply for it. Usually it was someone you could see as their "friend". Whether or not they hung out outside of work, I don't know, but they sure did act like buddies at work. The type that never seems to get in trouble for little things, yet if you happened to do the same things, you got talked to immediately.

It was so sad to see good, hard-working people apply for those jobs, and never get them all because they weren't buddied up with management. After six years of working for that particular store, I quit when I was turned down for bunk reasons, all so one of their buddies could get the job. Sad thing is, after 5 months of running his dept., not a single person was properly trained in anything. I always had to show them how to do their jobs every Sunday regarding tasking. But then another position opened up, with more responsibility, more pay, and guess who got the job?? Yup, the buddy who failed at his previous position.

It's just so sad that it's more who you know, than how good of a worker you are.
Yet, when you try to tell HR, or even the district GM's about it, nobody believes it, nobody cares. :
edit on Sat Jun 29 2013 by DontTreadOnMe because: trimmed quote Mod Note: Big Quote – Please Review This Link.



posted on Jun, 29 2013 @ 10:39 AM
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Ahead?Lol.I'm permanently disabled and just trying to survive.



posted on Jun, 29 2013 @ 10:45 AM
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I don't disagree that their are problems impacting large numbers of people and usually like problems have a way of doing they impact people in an unfair manner. One thing I don't get is the anger on this site directed towards people that are living the American dream.

Let's say you are doing well, you work hard and it get's you somewhere. Financially you are stable because you don't live beyond your means and you make a great living. On this site if you are one of those people all you get are ,"you are the problem, you need to wake up, stop being a slave, stop supporting buisiness, you are not free"

** I don't mean the OP when I say you below **

You can't have it both ways. You can't cry about the American dream being dead then complain about people that are making that same dream work.



posted on Jun, 29 2013 @ 11:05 AM
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Originally posted by opethPA

You can't have it both ways. You can't cry about the American dream being dead then complain about people that are making that same dream work.


The problem is when people who are living the good life influence and destroy things so those not in the top bracket are worse off.

The hatred is not sor much at the rich but at the bankers and traders who gambled our money behind our backs and lost it all causeing inocent people to loose there jobs or be run out of buisness. These people are basicaly at the top from stealing our money


Yes be rich and succefull great! But dont become succefull at the expense of other people.



posted on Jun, 29 2013 @ 03:33 PM
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I also agree with the poster who mentioned how difficult government regulation makes starting a new small business.

I love to bake and decorate cakes and would love to start a home business doing so, but the regulations are so strict as to make it impossible for anyone without the financial resources to follow them. In our state, a commercial kitchen must be used. Licensing fees are high as well. People like me with limited resources have little chance of doing much.

I remember reading about Marie Callender and how she got her start making pies in a makeshift kitchen under a tent. She created an empire from modest beginnings. That is the American Dream in action! With all the regulation, she would never be able to know that kind of success if she were trying to start up today.



posted on Jun, 29 2013 @ 03:45 PM
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Originally posted by Komaratzi11
One of the things that I have noticed in the area where I live, is that quite often the most "successful" people are the ones who were given opportunities based off of who they know. I've seen it happen often to people I know. They will be overlooked for a job, even with a stable work history, for a job hopper who knows someone in the business.

I even know of someone who was very well-qualified for a bank teller position and had an incredibly stable job history, who was overlooked for a high school kid whose family was well-known in the town. Ouch!

The thing is that most of these folks who get hired come from more "elite" families in the area. (If you can even use the word elite to describe less financially-challenged rednecks)



This is what America has become, a land of nepotism and cronyism. Before I started working for myself, I worked in pharmaceuticals and people that had higher positions or were getting hired permanently were people who knew someone that had clout with the company. One day, I just had enough of it, and started pooling every cent that I had into getting start up capital to take control of my life.

In the end, if you are satisfied with being apart of the rat race, or have to do what you have to do to survive, so be it. I decided that I had enough, and now I work for myself. It was not easy getting started and it is not easy to maintain it, but I do, and I will leave my children with something that they can start off with when I am done here on this earth so they will not have to go through the same garbage that I had to go through.

Only old coots who are stuck in the past, naive people, or people who have had everything handed to them on a plate via the same system that we are talking about believe that hard work will get you what you want in life. Many times, that is NOT the case. It's about who you you know more than what you know, trust and believe.



posted on Jun, 29 2013 @ 03:49 PM
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Since you mentioned the American Dream, I felt the need to post this informative little cartoon. It explains the root of how we got where we are.




posted on Jun, 29 2013 @ 03:50 PM
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Originally posted by Lunarian
I agree with the article. The American Dream is dead at this point, in my honest opinion. And it has been for quite some time. I also agree that Education plays a large role in inequality these days. It's becoming more and more unaffordable for the average person to enter into a College/University due to rising prices and interest rates. Problems that the more...elite families in our society do not have to worry about.

It's a sad fact really. I'll be turning twenty-two on Sunday. I held back on attending college due to a lack of funds, and the desire to help care for my father. The fact that I was also mentally unprepared to attend college played a role in my desire to take some time off as well. I wanted to grow up a little. Now I feel that it is too late. I have no desire to drown myself in student loan debt. Especially not when unemployment is on the rise, and competitions for what jobs are available is even higher. At this point, I feel as though I may not have a future in this country.

In a way, I envy those who live in countries with affordable educational programs and institutions. Yet at the same time, I am happy that kids in those countries have the chance to excel in life, and live their dreams. I can only hope that this sort of situation never occurs in those areas.

S+F Cabin.


You are young, and I wish I made the decision that you made at your age!!! cheer up, take a step back, and write down a plan for yourself.



posted on Jun, 29 2013 @ 04:00 PM
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Monopoly killed the entrepreneur, they cant compete and the free market died with them. Technology is so advanced that to even conceive a new technology you need capital, backing and decades of research. Advanced capitalism would always develop in to corporatism.



posted on Jun, 29 2013 @ 04:08 PM
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I tried to start my own business about 15 years ago, I was married at the time and my wife made fun of the whole thing.......

I decided to use what skills I had acquired over the years working for other people and essentially wasting my time, to make something I could call my own, made by me with my own hands with materials I modified and assembled into something that was different than other similar things out there.

I sourced materials, bought machines and parts, assembled it into something I was happy with. I had friends and other people who were interested help me test it, and the supporting subsystems of it, and it worked fine.

I even had an influential business in the area willing to assist me in marketing it, and did at about a 500% profit.

All without going into debt to do all of these things over about a five year period.

Then Underwriters Laboratories shut me down because I couldn't afford to provide umpteen million examples for them to destroy in testing, or afford the fees.

My dream was murdered, but I still dream....



posted on Jun, 29 2013 @ 04:09 PM
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reply to post by Redarguo
 


I'm a capitalist and I agree with your post. There are way too many businesses that have strong monopolies that make it difficult to challenge and compete against them. No wonder many people dislike capitalism because it feels like it only rewards a small minority. I guess that's a part of life. Competition!



posted on Jun, 29 2013 @ 04:09 PM
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Its rediculous these days to get ahead. I

Im having a hard time getting my CDL and i dont even know what to do at this point.




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