Social mobility is defined as children doing better financially than their parents.
That is not happening in the U.S. according to a 30-nation economic report, “Growing Unequal,” released this week.
The “American Dream” of social mobility is threatened by inequity between the rich and the poor and the gap is getting bigger in the world’s richest countries, particularly the United States.
The “American Dream’ can more likely be found in Denmark, Sweden and Australia, the report finds. It can least likely be found in countries with the highest inequality such as the U.S., Italy and the United Kingdom.
In this 20-year study of member countries by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), wealthy families, found particularly in the U.S., Canada and Germany, are leaving middle-income earners far behind, those most likely to be hurt in a long recession.
The two-decade report covered a time when global trade took hold, the internet allowed us to communicate in new ways, and developed nations experienced overall strong economic growth.
The U.S. has the most poverty and inequality. Mexico and Turkey follow. France has seen inequities fall as poorer workers experienced an increase in wages.
In the U.S. the “haves” earn an average of $93,000, the poorest, the “have-nots” earn an average of $5,800.
Income inequities polarize societies, “making it harder for talented and hardworking people to get the rewards they deserve,” the report concludes.
With several OECD countries already in recession, the report raises the "key question" - whether governments can prevent a possible drop in top earners' incomes from sparking "a second wave" hit to the lowest-income households, said Martin Hirsch, France's high commissioner for fighting poverty, at a news conference.
Children and young adults are now 25% more likely to be poor than the population as a whole.
Single-parent households are three times as likely to be poor than the population average. And yet OECD countries spend 3 times more on family policies than they did 20 years ago. #