Will You Make More Money than Your Parents?

This map shows that your chances of rising above your birth class vary tremendously depending on where you live.

A major new research study shows that income mobility in the United States is right about where it was forty years ago. That may sound like good news if you were assuming that the American Dream has been in decline over the generations, but don't stand up and cheer just yet.

First, mobility wasn't so dreamy in the 1970s, so the fact that it hasn't budged is hardly cause to celebrate. Second, as Big Thinker Daniel Altman explained yesterday, the increasing gap between rich and poor in America means that the poor in effect have a harder time rising to the highest income levels today than they did forty years ago. "Because inequality has risen," the study's authors write, "the consequences of the 'birth lottery' -- the parents to whom a child is born -- are larger today than in the past."

The study points out a fascinating geographical lottery as well. If you live in Georgia or North Carolina, it turns out, you have a much higher chance of having to get by with an income similar to what your parents made. If you are lucky enough to come from Iowa or Minnesota, on the other hand, you are almost destined to see your income rise over your childhood standard of living. Where do you stand? Check this map over at the Washington Post and zoom in to see how your county fared and how you are likely to fare.

Read on: 

The Problem With Rich Kids

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Are cats jerks, or is it YOU who is the jerk?

A new study from Oregon State University makes it clear: it's you.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons
Surprising Science
  • Researchers discovered that the more attention you give a cat, the more likely they are to return it.
  • Cats are territorial; being in their home environment greatly affects their attitude.
  • The common wisdom that cats are aloof is provably false.
Keep reading Show less

Why avoiding logical fallacies is an everyday superpower

10 of the most sandbagging, red-herring, and effective logical fallacies.

Photo credit: Miguel Henriques on Unsplash
Personal Growth
  • Many an otherwise-worthwhile argument has been derailed by logical fallacies.
  • Sometimes these fallacies are deliberate tricks, and sometimes just bad reasoning.
  • Avoiding these traps makes disgreeing so much better.
Keep reading Show less
  • Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
  • Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
  • But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
Keep reading Show less