Here in America, the main news story is the Republican primaries. The top concern is a Pew research report that economic mobility here is less than in Europe and Canada. What a blow to people’s sense of national identity. What a blow to economic development. And this in the land of opportunity.
Everybody has their own explanation and facts.
For example, the inequality gap is now too great here – the rungs on the ladder too far apart. Fact: 400 families together have wealth equal to the poorest 60% of the total population.
Family breakdown. Fact: 3 million children have one parent in prison.
Stress. Fact: 1 person in 74 is popping pills relating to mental issues.
Health. Fact: A system based on profit and personal affordability does not take care of pre-natal and early years nutrition.
Skilled people entering work have too much personal debt. Fact: A young woman who recently graduated as a pharmacist explained how she has debts relating to her education of $140,000 (£100,000).
Other reasons given are the disappearance of trade unions, poor public education and the poor performance of charter schools, expensive childcare, racial disadvantage and the erosion of the middle class.
This is the unintended consequence of many government decisions and how public money is spent. Decisions and expenditure often unrelated to the economy. Are we thinking carefully enough about the effect on our economic social mobility of the decisions we are making? After all we are looking across to America for inspiration.