Americans have always believed that the united states is a land of opportunity. We came from an oppressive society in search of freedom. We believe and rightfully so that any american if they work hard enough will be able to move up the economic ladder. When we talk about economics one of the first things to consider is jobs. Jobs are the legal way to get money and often define who we are as people. Unfortunately, for americans it has become more difficult to move up the economic ladder. While we don't have a readily apparent class system where others are simply treated as second class citizens it still exists.
If you question this assumption than i beg you to turn on the tv or radio, and listen to the economic movement occupy Wallstreet. Where those without good money jobs are protesting the simple fact that it is to difficult to break through the glass ceiling. While you can look at historical figures like Henry Ford, or recent ones such as Mark Zuckerberg and say the american dream is still alive and well. Other studies such as the Pew Charitable Trusts' Economic Mobility Project has found that if you are born into the bottom one fifth of the economic bracket you only have a 15% chance of pulling yourself out.
However, defining a cause for this newfound lack of mobility isn't easy. One key factor in this is the inequality of the classes. In other european countries equality is a much higher priority. Which makes it easier to move up in the world because the gaps between the economic classes are closer together. One huge contributor is the credit card and house bust this single handedly erased the largest chunk of middle class wealth. With all this inequality it can make it hard to advance.
What can you do to ensure you and your family advance in the economic ladder? While certain people are statistically at a disadvantage minorities, women, and those born into poor families there are things you can do to aid in your success. You have to have to succeed at the important life stages. Early childhood it's about helping your kids learn to read, and do math. It's also important in these formidable years to instill appropriate behavior and keep them healthy. Middle childhood it's about teaching them self regulating behavior, or instilling values of success, handwork, and setting and reaching goals. During adolescence the high school diploma and getting a good gpa, and above all not being convicted of a crime or getting pregnant. During adulthood do everything you can to get into a good college and get a bachelors or masters this will ensure the highest chance to get the american dream.