In my column for The Week, I discuss the increasingly difficult prospects for the American Dream, and how only Rick Santorum is willing to talk about this problem:
Rick Santorum is not exactly an odds-on favorite in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. And perhaps that’s why it was Santorum who felt free to articulate an important truth in the GOP candidates’ debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday night.
“Believe it or not, studies have been done that show that in Western Europe, people at the lower parts of the income scale actually have a better mobility going up the ladder now than in America. “
The American dream is still alive. It’s just more likely to come true in Denmark than in the USA. In fact, the American dream is less likely to come true in the USA than in any other major economy except the United Kingdom’s.
The freezing of income mobility is distinct from, but probably related to, two other important trends in American life: The stagnation of middle-class incomes and the widening of the gap between rich and poor.