Can we dispense with the myth that it's easier for minorities and the poor to succeed now than it used to be. Can we also dispense with the myth that it doesn;t matter where you start out in life. If you're born poor in the USA (and here too) you are almost certainly going to die poor.
"Family origins matter more in the United States in determining where one ends up in life compared to other wealthy democratic countries. This is a recent development. Studies of social mobility as far back as the 1950s and 1960s showed that rates of movement in the United States were generally comparable to other developed countries. This finding itself challenged the longstanding image of America as exceptionally open, but it is a far cry from today, when the United States rates at or near the bottom in comparative studies of social mobility.
To take just two examples, a study by Jo Blanden and colleagues at the London School of Economics found that a father's income was a better predictor of a son's income in the United States than in seven other countries, including Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom. And a review article by Miles Corak at the University of Ottawa, based on 50 studies of nine countries, found the United States tied with the United Kingdom as having the least social mobility, trailing not only Norway and Denmark but France, Germany, and Canada."
I haven't read the last 10 or so pages, but I think that goes back to a post I made earlier about proper role models. The welfare state here has made for some shitty role models. People learn that they can get by doing nothing and in return getting subsistence living. Is it ideal? No. Is it good enough? To a lot people, apparently yes.
Some people have no problem trading the rat race of consumerism for free handouts and watching TV all day.