The American Dream Is Dead In The South

Eileen Shim | PolicyMic | January 27, 2014

The entire premise of the American Dream is that if you work hard, your life, or your childrens' lives, will be better. It's the promise that has brought immigrants to these shores for centuries, and it's the most frequently-touted line by Republicans who oppose social safety nets. If you have good ideas and you work hard, the logic goes, then you can lift yourself up by the bootstrap and move up in the world.

But it seems we may have definitive proof that the idea of upward mobility is a myth — in certain parts of the country, at least.

Researchers at Harvard have released a new study showing that while the income gap is as wide as ever, there is still some chance for those at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder to climb up. The study analyzed various social factors — parent/child income, college attendance, teenage birth — and calculated the likelihood of a child from the bottom 20% of the economy working up to the top 20%.