Monday, September 16, 2013

America: Still Land of Opportunity

I know I'm supposed to believe inequality is bad and (somehow) responsible for all sorts of (undefined) evils. For some reason inequality in sports isn't questioned. Superstars make a lot more money than journeymen, and somehow the quality of the sports product has increased dramatically. But if inequality were (somehow) responsible for all sorts of (undefined) evils why does this not seem to be the case in sports? Sports is "different" I suspect will be the (attempted) answer.

I know I'm supposed to believe America is no longer the land of opportunity. We are stuck. If our parents are poor. We will be poor. If our parents are rich we will be rich. This contradicts my own experience and I haven't seen convincing evidence of this assertion.

Forbes recently published its 32nd list of the 400 richest people in America. I glanced at the list and was not very surprised to see 32 of the top 50 (I got bored) were self made and 18 inherited. Even the 18 is probably over-stated, but I'll give inherited wealth a leg up.

The Self-made of the Top 50 are worth $631 billion and the inherited worth $365 billion. No Rockefellers, Kennedy's, Morgan's, Carnegies anywhere.

I know, I'm supposed to believe America is the land of inequality and the common self-made person is a thing of the past. But I don't.


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