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Income Mobility Myth

Tue, 04/07/2015 - 14:33 -- tbrantley

The News&Observer (April 7, 2015) -- One of the most startling presentations came from David Dodson, head of MDC, the Durham-based think tank that addresses labor market economics.

Dodson displayed a map of the United States showing the chances of a child rising from the bottom 20 percent of family income to the top 20 percent. States with the lowest rate of upward mobility were displayed in red, those with the highest in green. A great blotch of red stretched over the Southeastern United States.

“It is hardest if you are a child born to a family at the bottom to rise to a place of economic security if you are born in the South,” Dodson said. The reason, he said: housing segregation, low-performing schools, and lack of social capital – networks that move children from low-wealth families to living-wage employment.