Sunday, September 13, 2015

Land of Limitations- Kristof

      In Nicholas Kristoffs August 8, 2015 article he dives into to the topic of "social mobility" which is the idea that people can or cannot move from one social class to another. Kristof makes his stance very clear, he feels that whatever class your parents and or grandparents were in will be the class that you yourself will end up in as well. He states that the "intergenerational income elasticity" in the United States does not measure up to some of our fellow 
countries like Canada, Sweden, 
and Japan.
This graph helps to better understand where the U.S.A stand in comparison to
other countries around the world in terms of their ability to change economic classes. The line in the middle represents the median range.

This bar graph gives a clearer picture of how we stand as Americans compared
to other countries when it comes to changing economic classes.
      My stance on intergenerational earnings elasticity is that your chances of jumping from one class to another is better here in the United States than in many other countries. If you refer to the graph you can clearly see that the countries that are struggling most with this reside primarily in the western hemisphere. This is why you see so many immigrants coming from countries like Brazil, Argentina and Peru. 
  The United States is referred to as the "Land of opportunity" and even though that may have been disproved in this article, the United States is a primary destination for immigration because of its safety. Many immigrants are leaving their home countries to flea from war, violence and poverty.
Curitba, Brazil
  My wife for example is from Curitiba, Brazil. She moved here with her family when she was 9. My wife comes from a family that would be considered upper middle class in Brazil. Now what many people don't understand about Brazil is that there is almost no middle class. In my wife home country you are either rich or you are poor, there is no middle. What happens as a result of this is you have two different types of people, the people that have nothing and will do anything to survive and you have the people that have everything and give nothing back. This leads to a ton of crime and corruption which was a major deciding factor for my wives family to come to America. In Brazil employees get paid monthly and her father got holdup at gun point two months in a row immediately after cashing his check. They came to America for safety and a better school system to send their daughter to. 
  So maybe the United States may no longer be the land of opportunity,
 but it should still be known as the land of the free. 

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