Stiglitz: America no long ‘the land of opportunity’

In his latest book, The Price of Inequality, Columbia Professor and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz examines the causes of income inequality reaches startling conclusions, including that America is “no longer the land of opportunity” and “the ‘American dream’ is a myth.” He noted that the fundamental promise for the past 250 years–that hard work, education, good decisions can improve your social mobility and economic circumstances–is threatened if the state of the US economy remains distressed. In other words, if Americans are born poor, they’re overwhelmingly likely to stay poor. He cited how, in the last 30 years the share of national income held by the top 1% of Americans has doubled but median incomes for American workers have stagnated. He also noted how just 8% of students at America’s elite universities come from households in the bottom 50% of income. He said that because the children of those at the top of society tend to do better than those at the bottom — partly due to better education, health care and nutrition — the income inequality that’s slowly emerged over the past 30 years will only widen in the next 10 to 20 years.

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