Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Interesting diary, but are these numbers actually all that bad?

Only 14% of the men born to fathers on the bottom 10% of the wage ladder made it to the top 30%. Only 17% of the men born to fathers on the top 10% fell to the bottom 30%.

If there was perfect mobility you would expect rises and fall of 30%, so 14% and 17% do not seem so bad seeing as how they are the numbers for the biggest (and hence most difficult) rise/fall.

In any case such numbers are a distraction. The rich-poor gap is far more critical that the background of the people that make up any given 10% bracket. There will always be a poorest 10% no matter what way the cake is cut. I would be happy with less class mobility as long as the gap was narrowing (hell, at this stage I would take it if the gap simply stopped expanding).

by det on Sun Feb 15th, 2009 at 11:59:04 AM EST
But the demographic composition of the topmost - say - 10 % can be interesting for other reasons. Such as the undesirable nature of hereditary oligarchies.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 15th, 2009 at 12:18:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm surprised it's 14%. Of that 14%, I'll bet that somewhere along the line, almost everyone in that group (my guess is 80-90% of them) had someone who personally took that person in hand (a teacher, another relative, whoever) and guided her/him along during the critical early/adolescent/young adult years.

Expectations, networks of support, exposure, and guidance are all vital parts of later success.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Sun Feb 15th, 2009 at 09:41:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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