The Great Gatsby Curve

In a recent survey of 44 countries, the respondents in the U.S. were the only ones who systematically UNDERESTIMATED the extent of inequality in their country.

The Great Gatsby Curve has the potential to break that ice in the respondents’ heads. One way to explain the implication of the curve is to point out that the American Dream is alive and well, but not in America.  Rather, Canada and the Northern European Social Democracies are the most fertile places for inter-generational mobility.

If I had to guess a reason for this paradox, it would be that the governments in those countries with bright prospects for inter-generational mobility invest heavily in providing tax-financed services for those unlucky enough to be born into socioeconomic conditions that work against every personal effort to fashion personal achievements.

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