New: Obama’s Great Conflation and What It Means for Income Mobility

A new study confirms what
the old ones show: Income mobility – the ability to move between
social class – has not changed over the past 40 or 50 years. So
why, asks Nick Gillespie, does President Barack Obama insist that
growing income inequality means declining rates of

From a political perspective, the erroneous but strategic
conflation of inequality and mobility makes obvious sense. After
all, if mobility is as alive and well as it has been in the
post-war era, then the sense of urgency the president needs to sell
any legislation is largely undercut. As important, constant
mobility rates also make a mockery of the president’s
long-preferred strategy of redistributing income from the top of
the income ladder down to the lower rungs. Whether he’s talking to
Joe the Plumber (god, that seems like a different planet, doesn’t
it?) or addressing Congress, Obama rarely misses an opportunity to
ask richer Americans to “do a little bit more.”

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from Hit & Run

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