inspiral + socialmobility   24

Higher Estate Taxes Can Prevent a Nation of Dynasties - Bloomberg
But inherited wealth means that wins and losses aren’t so temporary. Unlike income, wealth is easy to pass on to your descendants — you just sign it over in your will. Even if heirs make bad financial decisions and spend down their fortunes over time, inheritances can lead to inequality that persists for generations. And if heirs squirrel away the money in well-diversified portfolios of stocks and real estate, wealth inequality may actually be self-reinforcing.
inheritance  incomeinequality  socialmobility  politics  estatetax  DonaldTrump  USA  author:NoahSmith  Bloomberg  2018 
november 2018 by inspiral
How the aristocracy preserved their power | News | The Guardian
After democracy finally shunted aside hereditary lords, they found new means to protect their extravagant riches. For all the modern tales of noble poverty and leaking ancestral homes, their private wealth and influence remain phenomenal
aristocracy  socialmobility  wealth  review  critique  UK  Guardian  2017 
september 2017 by inspiral
Stop Pretending You’re Not Rich - The New York Times
So imagine my horror at discovering that the United States is more calcified by class than Britain, especially toward the top. The big difference is that most of the people on the highest rung in America are in denial about their privilege. The American myth of meritocracy allows them to attribute their position to their brilliance and diligence, rather than to luck or a rigged system. At least posh people in England have the decency to feel guilty.

In Britain, it is politically impossible to be prime minister and send your children to the equivalent of a private high school. Even Old Etonian David Cameron couldn’t do it. In the United States, the most liberal politician can pay for a lavish education in the private sector. Some of my most progressive friends send their children to $30,000-a-year high schools. The surprise is not that they do it. It is that they do it without so much as a murmur of moral disquiet.

Beneath a veneer of classlessness, the American class reproduction machine operates with ruthless efficiency. In particular, the upper middle class is solidifying. This favored fifth at the top of the income distribution, with an average annual household income of $200,000, has been separating from the 80 percent below. Collectively, this top fifth has seen a $4 trillion-plus increase in pretax income since 1979, compared to just over $3 trillion for everyone else. Some of those gains went to the top 1 percent. But most went to the 19 percent just beneath them.
socialclass  socialmobility  comparison  UK  USA  review  critique  NYTimes  2017 
june 2017 by inspiral
The Grim Biology of Being Poor
Now, new evidence is emerging suggesting the changes can go even deeper—to how our bodies assemble themselves, shifting the types of cells that they are made from, and maybe even how our genetic code is expressed, playing with it like a Rubik’s cube thrown into a running washing machine. If this science holds up, it means that poverty is more than just a socioeconomic condition. It is a collection of related symptoms that are preventable, treatable—and even inheritable. In other words, the effects of poverty begin to look very much like the symptoms of a disease.

That word—disease—carries a stigma with it. By using it here, I don’t mean that the poor are (that I am) inferior or compromised. I mean that the poor are afflicted, and told by the rest of the world that their condition is a necessary, temporary, and even positive part of modern capitalism. We tell the poor that they have the chance to escape if they just work hard enough; that we are all equally invested in a system that doles out rewards and punishments in equal measure. We point at the rare rags-to-riches stories like my own, which seem to play into the standard meritocracy template.

But merit has little to do with how I got out.
children  poverty  biology  stress  socialmobility  meritocracy  review  critique  personalaccount  Nautilus  2017 
april 2017 by inspiral
The Spiritual Crisis of the Modern Economy - The Atlantic
In the absence of other sources of meaning, Americans are left with meritocracy, a game of status and success, along with the often ruthless competition it engenders. And the consequence of a perspective of self-reliance—Americans, compared to people in other countries, hold a particularly strong belief that people succeed through their own hard work—is a sense that those who fail are somehow inferior.
workingclass  white  politics  selfreliance  socialmobility  education  opportunity  religion  review  critique  grace  TheAtlantic  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
Is the new meritocracy a sham? | Society | The Guardian
Like many Tories before her, Theresa May has said that talent should rise to the top, regardless of background. But can you have equality of opportunity when the gap between the haves and have-nots is wider than ever? Ed Miliband, Michaela Coel and Ken Loach talk about the wisdom of reviving this postwar dream
meritocracy  socialclass  socialmobility  critique  review  SuttonTrust  UK  Guardian  2016 
august 2016 by inspiral
The Experience of Class - RSA
Why is class still so central to the experience of living in Britain?

Entwined with class is the idea of aspiration, of social mobility, which is perceived as an unequivocally positive phenomenon for individuals and for society as a whole. Yet for the many who experience it, changing class is like emigrating from one side of the world to the other, a disruptive process that can leave people divided between the place they left and the place they have to inhabit in order to get on.

At the RSA, writer and journalist Lynsey Hanley explores the idea of class in Britain today, examining how people are kept apart, and keep themselves apart, and the costs involved in the journey from ‘there’ to ‘here’.
socialclass  socialmobility  UK  talk  LynseyHanley  London  RSA  2016 
june 2016 by inspiral
Uber: a route out of the French banlieues -
Ride-hailing apps have created jobs for Paris’s poorer youth, but a regulatory clampdown looms
Uber  ridesharing  banlieues  socialclass  immigration  socialmobility  Paris  France  regulations  review  FinancialTimes  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
Why It's So Hard for Millennials to Find a Place to Live and Work - The Atlantic
Lots of graphs, lots of colors, but this is a pretty simple conclusion. The American Dream begins with a good job and place to live that you can afford. But today, those two halves of the American Dream are living apart. The good jobs and high wages are in unaffordable cities. The affordable homes cluster in the cities with lower wages and less upwardly mobile families.
socialmobility  employment  property  realestate  critique  USA  TheAtlantic  2014 
november 2014 by inspiral
Gregory Clark | The American Dream is an Illusion | Foreign Affairs | Foreign Affairs
The United States seems to cherish an image of itself as a country of opportunity for all, a country that invites in the world’s tired, its poor, and its huddled masses. But the United States is not exceptional in its rates of social mobility. It can perform no special alchemy on the disadvantaged populations of any society in order to transform their life opportunities. The truth is that the American Dream was always an illusion. Blindly pursuing that dream now will only lead to a future with dire social challenges
immigration  socialmobility  critique  USA  ForeignAffairs  2014 
september 2014 by inspiral
The Gangster's Guide to Upward Mobility
The point of the crooked-ladder argument and “A Family Business” was that criminal activity, under those circumstances, was not rebellion; it wasn’t a rejection of legitimate society. It was an attempt to join in.
organisedcrime  Mafia  crime  NewYork  socialmobility  author:MalcolmGladwell  NewYorker  2014 
august 2014 by inspiral
Sweden has lots of wealth inequality
Sweden is viewed as an egalitarian utopia by outsiders, but reality is complex. In some ways Sweden has less social equality than the United States. While the American upper class is largely meritocratic, the upper class in Sweden are still mostly defined by birth.
Sweden  wealth  incomeinequality  inequality  socialmobility  critique  MarginalRevolution  2014 
may 2014 by inspiral
More Americans slip out of middle class | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram
Studies confirm the downward mobility as years of job losses, higher costs, vanishing pay raises and other factors take a toll.
middleclass  socialclass  socialmobility  decline  USA  PortlandPressHerald  2014 
april 2014 by inspiral
Your Ancestors, Your Fate -
Inequality of income and wealth has risen in America since the 1970s, yet a large-scale research study recently found that social mobility hadn’t changed much during that time. How can that be?
GregoryClark  socialmobility  socialclass  inequality  opportunity  research  NYTimes  2014 
march 2014 by inspiral

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