Economist: I’ve Crunched the Numbers, and the American Dream Is Dead

A California economics professor says he’s crunched the numbers, and he has concluded that the American Dream is dead.


Gregory Clark, a researcher at the University of California, Davis, found that social mobility had diminished significantly in the past 100 years, reported KOVR-TV.

“America has no higher rate of social mobility than medieval England or pre-industrial Sweden,” Clark said. “That’s the most difficult part of talking about social mobility, is because it is shattering people’s dreams.”

He said social mobility is little different in the United States than in other countries, where ancestry strongly predicts adult social status.

“The status of your children, your grandchildren, your great-grandchildren, (and) your great-great grandchildren will be quite closely related to your average status now,” Clark said.

That’s upsetting to many of his students, Clark said.

“My students always argue with me, but I think the thing they find very hard to accept is the idea that much of their lives can be predicted from their lineage and their ancestry,” he said.

Clark’s findings, which were published by the Council on Foreign Relations, showed that Americans with French ancestry, for example, became doctors at a much lower rate than other immigrant groups.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.