National Review this month featured a cover story by the economist Scott Winship on income mobility, a topic of much debate recently. Winship is an expert on income and social mobility trends, and he's careful to distinguish between relative and absolute income mobility. The U.S. has high absolute income mobility -- meaning that it's possible to move from poor to rich -- yet unusually low relative income mobility -- meaning that people born into lower income households tend to end up in the same place. This seemingly paradoxical phenomenon eludes the likes of many in the left media. Winship's piece is a good explanation of what's going on.
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