June 2nd, 2005

Class in America: Washington Post, New York Times

As Rich-Poor Gap Widens in the U.S., Class Mobility Stalls Those in Bottom Rung Enjoy Better Odds in Europe; How Parents Confer Edge Immigrants See Fast Advance
By DAVID WESSEL, Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL May 13, 2005; Page A1
Read more...Collapse )As the gap between rich and poor has widened since 1970, the odds that a child born in poverty will climb to wealth -- or a rich child will fall into the middle class -- remain stuck. Despite the spread of affirmative action, the expansion of community colleges and the other social change designed to give people of all classes a shot at success, Americans are no more or less likely to rise above, or fall below, their parents' economic class than they were 35 years ago.
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Class in America: Shadowy Lines That Still Divide
The New York Times
May 15, 2005 Sunday
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But class is still a powerful force in American life. Over the past three decades, it has come to play a greater, not lesser, role in important ways. At a time when education matters more than ever, success in school remains linked tightly to class. At a time when the country is increasingly integrated racially, the rich are isolating themselves more and more. At a time of extraordinary advances in medicine, class differences in health and lifespan are wide and appear to be widening.

And new research on mobility, the movement of families up and down the economic ladder, shows there is far less of it than economists once thought and less than most people believe. In fact, mobility, which once buoyed the working lives of Americans as it rose in the decades after World War II, has lately flattened out or possibly even declined, many researchers say. Read more...Collapse )