Moving up or down

The Washington Post recently had an article that started with “The overwhelming majority of Americans still make more money than their parents, but upward mobility is elusive for many…” It also said, ” The chances of moving from the bottom of the income spectrum to the very top is only 4 percent.”

Let me get this straight. We are supposed to be upset by these numbers, but it tells me that in a typical first grade class of twenty-five students in “the bottom of the income spectrum” that one of the students would move to the “very top.” That’s really not bad, considering what these children have to contend with. I believe most people growing up with parents in the bottom of the income spectrum have the following problems:

1. No role model of successful parents, particularly parents who work hard within the system to earn a lot of money.

2. No one at home who can help them do their school work..

3. No money for a college education.

4. More likely poorer than average health, due to lack of medical care, starting with the mother during pregnancy and including less dental care.

5. Uneducated parents who do not teach them many things that educated parents teach their children, such as a love of reading.

Ignore the well known fact that their is a correlation between the intelligence of children and the intelligence of their parents. It isn’t a perfect correlation, but it’s there. Children at the bottom of the economic scale start with many other obstacles, some of which I’ve listed. One in twenty-five makes it out of poverty into wealth? That’s not bad.


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