Friday, January 07, 2011

Class mobility in America

David Sirota has a great piece on the American media's use of the case of Ted Williams to congratulate the United States for the opportunities it supposedly affords everybody.

I'm sure you know the story, but the short version is this: homeless ex-addict is discovered to have an amazing radio voice, is offered employment, and is now a success. Horatio Alger all over again.

Sirota does a great job of pointing out the myths and ironies of the situation, and I commend the entire column to you.

I will just point out one thing that he's missing: contrary to what many people say, there is actually a lot of class mobility in America. Just look at all the formerly middle-class families who have been plunged into poverty by job loss or medical emergencies, or who have been plunged into homelessness by predatory lending, financial deregulation, and foreclosure .

We have class mobility all right. It's just not anything to brag about.

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