Americans Chasing a Dream Deferred

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Americans Chasing a Dream Deferred

April Adams
Research and Writing 303 AB2
September 20th, 2012

Americans Chasing a Dream Deferred

Pursuing The American Dream: Economic Mobility Across Generations investigates the “health and status” of the American Dream by analyzing economic mobility. The report provides a break down of mobility and a chart book that gives a visual percentage of each segment of mobility, which sums up the idea that many Americans possess higher family incomes than their parents. The report only compares the family wealth of men and their fathers, and does not include single family income which leaves room for one to argue that the findings in the report are not substantial enough, and that inequality could be an issue.

From the report it is fair to say that individuals and families gross more than their parents did. The report defines mobility in two ways, one being economic mobility which measures whether an individual gross more or less income than his or her parents, and the second being relative mobility which measures a persons rank on the income, earnings, or wealth ladder compared to their parents (para 3). The report found that eighty-four percent of Americans exceeded the income of their parents and family (para 6). In relation to relative mobility the report concludes that those raised at the bottom or top of the income ladder will remain there as adults. This conclusion is drawn from the idea known as “stickiness at the ends” which showed that forty-three percent of Americans who were raised in the bottom quintile remain there as adults, and “only 4 percent of those raised in the bottom quintile make it all the way to the top as adults” (para10). These findings depict that inequality is an issue because there is a huge difference in the amount of Americans in the bottom quintile who remain at the bottom and those who actually make it to the top...
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