Mar 162017
 

The New Land of Opportunities is Cold, but Friendly

Many Americans want nothing more than to have the equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and sheer sticktoitiveness. 🙂 But research from the Pew Research Center suggests that there is a growing gap between the country’s rich and poor. As the middle class gets squeezed it is becoming harder for people to realize their dreams. Some consumers in the lower class are in so much financial distress, they can’t even afford to pay their electricity bills. Excuse the pun but these could very well be the darkest times of their lives, literally.

But there is a silver lining to all this. According to Scott Gilmore, a columnist for Macleans magazine, Canada is a better place than the United States to find life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness by virtually every measure. 🙂 So maybe the American dream hasn’t died. It just moved north.

Canadians are more likely to have college degrees, be employed, own a home, take more vacation days, and even live longer than our neighbours to the south. 🙂 Scott says one contributing factor to a better life in Canada is thanks to our more affordable, public healthcare system. We don’t have people here going bankrupt because of medical bills. We may have to wait longer than Americans to get treatment. But at least Canadians are less likely to take extreme measures to pay for high healthcare expenses.

 

Economic mobility is also higher in Canada. According to Scott, Canadians are twice as likely to move from the poorest quintile of the population to the wealthiest quintile compared to Americans. Similarly, the link between the income of a parent and a child is half as strong in Canada. In other words, individuals have more influence over their future outcomes than the environment they are born into. 🙂 Canadians are also 6 times less likely to be incarcerated.

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Aug 172013
 

Is the United States of America still the land of opportunity or is it becoming more difficult for people at the bottom to live the dream? The answer depends on where you live 😉

Upward mobility measures the likelihood for people to move up their economic status. A recent study published by the Equality of Opportunity Project shows that some US locations have adequate upward mobility compared to other countries. However, other parts of the US have lower levels of economic mobility than any developed country based on current data.

The researchers looked at how many children from families in the bottom 20 percentile of the income distribution ended up rising to the top 20 percentile. They discovered that where you live can make a difference on your upward mobility.

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