Is the American Dream dead? The vast majority of Americans born into poverty are unable to make much more than their parents. According to data released earlier this week from a study spanning three decades, Americans living below the poverty line had less than a 10% chance of making it into the top tier of earners.
In some metropolitan areas, the chances for upward economic mobility were even worse. A child born in Memphis between 1980 and 1985 had just a 2.6% chance of making it into the top 20% of earners by the time he or she had reached adulthood. Based on the difference in the expected economic outcomes between children from high-income and low-income families, these are the cities where the poor cannot get rich.
The underlying forces preventing upward mobility are a matter of debate, but there…
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