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In reality, Americans are less likely to move upward from their class of origin than are Germans, Canadians, Finns, French people, Swedes, Norwegians, or Danes. But the myth, fortified with bracing doses of positive thinking, persists. As two researchers at the Brookings Institution observed, a little wryly, in 2006:

“[The] strong belief in opportunity and upward mobility is the explanation that is often given for Americans’ high tolerance for inequality. The majority of Americans surveyed believe that they will be above mean income in the future (even though that is a mathematical impossibility).”
Barbara Ehrenreich, Bright-Sided:  How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America (via reblogfornoreason)

(Source: sociolab)

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