Downward Mobility

What happened to the American Dream?


The United States was built on a dream of ever-increasing prosperity, but that dream is being supplanted by the specter of downward mobility. After two decades of sluggish economic growth, hundreds of thousands of Americans have found themselves sliding down the economic ladder. Plant closings have wiped out blue-collar jobs. Corporate “downsizing” has thrown white-collar workers into the job market. And employers are making growing use of “contingent workers” who get lower pay and benefits than full-time employees. Some observers say the generation entering the work force today may never equal the standard of living their parents achieved. The financial impact of downward mobility can be severe, but the psychological effects can be even more devastating. And those scars may last long after the U.S. ...

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