Prospects For Upward Mobility In America

 - Spencer Platt/Getty Images for Fortune Magazine

Spencer Platt/Getty Images for Fortune Magazine

Prospects For Upward Mobility In America

A growing body of research shows that in the U.S., if you're born poor, you're likely to stay poor. Debate over how to improve prospects for upward mobility in America.

Woven into the American fabric is the idea that anyone in this country can get ahead if he or she works hard enough. But research shows social mobility is much more fixed in the U.S. than in many other wealthy nations. Put simply, if you're born poor in America, you're likely to stay poor. There's little disagreement among economists that social mobility has remained flat for decades. But there is debate over what to do about it. Democrats tend to believe government policy could do a lot to help those on the bottom move up. Traditional conservatives and Tea Party adherents have other ideas. A discussion about prospects for upward mobility in America.

Guests

Richard Reeves

Brookings Institution fellow in Economic Studies and policy director for the Center on Children and Families whose research focuses on economic mobility.

David Leonhardt

editor of The Upshot, a New York Times website covering politics and policy; author of the e-book: “Here’s the Deal: How Washington Can Solve the Deficit and Spur Growth."

Scott Winship

Walter B. Wriston fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research; formerly research manager of the Economic Mobility Project of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Read: New Research

Guest Richard Reeves came out with a new look at equality and the American Dream in this interactive report. Follow the link below to read more, and see where you fall on the income distribution scale.
Saving Horatio Alger: Equality, Opportunity, and the American Dream

Please familiarize yourself with our Code of Conduct and Terms of Use before posting your comments.

Our address has changed!

The Diane Rehm Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.