November 26, 2014
"Rags to Riches" Much Easier in Scandinavia than America
We noted in 2010 that the American Dream - the possibility of a "rags to riches" success story - has moved abroad… since social mobility in the U.S. is much lower than in many other developed nations.
(And we pointed out that conservatives are as disturbed as liberals by the collapse of social mobility in modern America.)
A paper published last year by University of Ottawa economics professor Miles Corak tells us exactly where the American Dream has gone… to Scandinavia.
Here’s a chart from the study:
...have the most social mobility (and Sweden is not that far behind).
On the other hand, the UK, Italy and America have the least social mobility.
True, the UK and Italy are a tiny bit worse than the U.S. in terms of social mobility. But the U.S. has the most inequality. Indeed, the U.S. arguably has the worst inequality anywhere in the world at any time in history.
Indeed, inequality is so severe in America that most of the profits are flowing into the hands of an incredibly small group of people… and you’re not very likely to become one of them.
On the other hand, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway have the least inequality. In other words, it’s a lot more likely that you can get a reasonable slice of the pie there.
...but the U.S. has dropped down to 10th place.
The American Dream is now spoken with a Scandinavian accent.