In rough times like we’ve experienced since 2000, and especially since 2008, many want to say, “The system is not fair.” That feeling is at the heart of the inequality debate that has driven so much political discourse in recent years. Historically, the best response to those who decry America’s inequality is to cite our exceptional economic mobility. Most people reside in several economic strata over the course of their lives, while relatively few are stuck in poverty or assured of life-long affluence. More importantly, the absolute affluence of even the poorest has tended to rise over a lifetime, across nearly 300 years. But, what are the latest and best numbers telling us about economic mobility, today? How is it changing, and why? What are the implications? We’ll provide the answers.
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