Conservatives love to give lip service to the American Dream. And to achieve it, they insist, all you need to do is work really hard. Who needs all those government programs, asked Marco Rubio, when the son of a bartender and KMart worker is a US Senator?
But the reality is, today the United States lags far behind other advanced countries in social mobility. The "American Dream" is actually easier to achieve in Sweden.
And the least likely place in America to move up the economic ladder? Yep, you guessed it: the Red States.
Climbing the income ladder occurs less often in the Southeast and industrial Midwest, the data shows, with the odds notably low in Atlanta, Charlotte, Memphis, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Columbus. By contrast, some of the highest rates occur in the Northeast, Great Plains and West, including in New York, Boston, Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh, Seattle and large swaths of California and Minnesota.
Just look at the map at the top of the article and look where most of the red is.
This isn't surprising. We already knew the Red States are poorer, less educated, have higher rates of teen pregnancy, divorce and gun deaths. So, it makes sense that the American Dream is harder to come by there.
But what I want to know is this: if right-wing economic policies are so superior, why does living in the Red States make it harder to achieve the American Dream conservatives love to idealize?