Great You Tube video from Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institution entitled: “Is America Dreaming?: Understanding Social Mobility” Highly recommended!
Using legos and in less than four minutes he lays out the basic realities that America is moving farther and farther away from being a place of equal opportunity. Where your status at birth doesn’t matter to your economic well being as an adult.
As You Tube writes: “Reeves shows the chances that the poorest fifth of Americans have to rise to the top, based on their race, the marital status of their mothers, and their level of education.”
For whites born in the bottom quintile the income distribution as adults is about even divided across the quintiles. Not so for blacks. Where if you are born in the bottom quintile, one third will remain there and only 3 percent will make it to the top. (The same disparity patterns holds for those born to never married parents compared to those with married parents.)
Education attainment also is a key determinant of economic mobility. Those born in the bottom quintile who earn a college degree end up about equally represented in the quintiles as adults. That is what economic opportunity looks like. As Reeves says in the video: “Go to college”.