Prospects For Upward Mobility In America

Source: Diane Rehm Show, August 20, 2014

Woven into the American fabric is the idea that anyone in this country can get ahead if he or she works hard enough. But research shows social mobility is much more fixed in the U.S. than in many other wealthy nations. Put simply, if you’re born poor in America, you’re likely to stay poor. There’s little disagreement among economists that social mobility has remained flat for decades. But there is debate over what to do about it. Democrats tend to believe government policy could do a lot to help those on the bottom move up. Traditional conservatives and Tea Party adherents have other ideas. A discussion about prospects for upward mobility in America.

Richard Reeves – Brookings Institution fellow in Economic Studies and policy director for the Center on Children and Families whose research focuses on economic mobility.
David Leonhardt – editor of The Upshot, a New York Times website covering politics and policy; author of the e-book: “Here’s the Deal: How Washington Can Solve the Deficit and Spur Growth.”
Scott Winship – Walter B. Wriston fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research; formerly research manager of the Economic Mobility Project of The Pew Charitable Trusts.