Category: Think Tank, Wages & Income

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

One Response to “Where is the Land of Opportunity?”

  1. LiberTea says:

    “The United States is often hailed as the ‘land of opportunity,’ a society in which a child’s chances of success depend little on her family background.”

    While I believe that the study is interesting and accurate descriptively, I find the opening sentence very interesting, in that it is expressed as a negative definition.

    I realize that this is a null hypothesis, as a part of the experimental design. But it is easy to get stuck in the negative thinking.

    My old fashioned Protestant work ethic upbringing spoiled my mindset by making me think of “land of opportunity” in a positive definition, namely, that a person had the opportunity to develop himself through discipline and education, to apply himself to work hard, to strive to devise a better idea, and to participate in the greater society/polity/economy according to the rules and values of the greater group. Having children in the context of a stable marriage, being free from addiction to drugs/cigarettes/alcohol, and avoiding activities that lead to a criminal record are other positive adjuncts.
    In short, America is the land where a person can pursue his happiness, but the pursuit requires effort, exertion, and intention, with no guarantee of reward.

    To the extent that a person’s family background inculcates values that abet the above traits and ends–or doesn’t–the results of the study are not at all surprising, as we all know.

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