David Craft sends along a wonderful bit of liberal spin:
I love the stat that a child born rich has a 22% chance of being rich as an adult. Of course, the spin is silly, because if only 22% of the rich were born rich, then 78% of the people who are now rich were not born that way. In other words, more than 3/4 of those who are rich are rich because of their own work. Hardly what one might call lack of opportunity.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - America may still think of itself as the land of opportunity, but the chances of living a rags-to-riches life are a lot lower than elsewhere in the world, according to a new study published on Wednesday.
The likelihood that a child born into a poor family will make it into the top five percent is just one percent, according to "Understanding Mobility in America," a study by economist Tom Hertz from American University.
By contrast, a child born rich had a 22 percent chance of being rich as an adult, he said.
"In other words, the chances of getting rich are about 20 times higher if you are born rich than if you are born in a low-income family," he told an audience at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think-tank sponsoring the work.
Breaking the survey down by race spotlighted this as the next most powerful force to explain why the poor stay poor.
On average, 47 percent of poor families remain poor. But within this, 32 percent of whites stay poor while the figure for blacks is 63 percent.
So more than 2 in 3 poor whites do not remain poor, while just 1 in 3 poor blacks manage to escape poverty. While race does matter, our little factoid above (that 3/4 of the rich are that way because of their own actions) leads us away from the liberal conclusion that race is what primarily matters. Why? Because we must presume that the parents of the new rich were of the same race, therefore race is not a factor in that rise. Why should we primarily suspect race, then, when it comes to those who remain poor? Could there be another factor?
Williams thinks there is:
The Children's Defense Fund and civil rights organizations frequently whine about the number of black children living in poverty. In 1999, the Bureau of the Census reported that 33.1 percent of black children lived in poverty compared with 13.5 percent of white children. It turns out that race per se has little to do with the difference. Instead, it's welfare and single parenthood. When black children are compared to white children living in identical circumstances, mainly in a two-parent household, both children will have the same probability of being poor.In short, blacks are more likely to be poor because they are more likely to have single-parent families. When one adjusts for the single-parent family, the differences of race disappear.
Not all of us will make it to the top 5%. After all, by definition (and here's a stat for liberals to chew on) no matter what they do, 19 of every 20 Americans will not be there. Does that mean there's no opportunity? Apparently, according to liberal statistics.
But if we put them in charge, they promise, all of our children can be above average. Wow, I can't wait for 2008 when we can all be in the top 5%. Of course, they'll have to raise our taxes because then we'll be evil as well.