Explain how the United States compares to other countries with regards to social mobility rates. Are there differences between the United States and other countries? Why?
In terms of social mobility rates, the United States still encounters high levels of income-based inequalities and thus the lowest social mobility rates as compared to other countries. This is because the U.S. bases its official poverty statistics on annual income. However, unlike the cases in other industrialized nations, the income tends to change within the year thereby affecting families who depend on low wages and those that could be experiencing long unemployment periods (Kerbo, 2011). Therefore, such income fluctuations on short term basis may most likely result into substantial drops in the standards of living. In fact this situation adversely affects people with little or no savings.
Which group in the society has the opportunity for upward social mobility and why?
Upward mobility rates in the U.S. differ substantially across various social groups. Compared to black families and other minority groups, the whites are more likely to experience upward mobility. This is because of the historical racial discrimination that existed in various social aspects such as the labor market and education system (Kerbo, 2011).
Do you think the United States is truly a meritocracy? Why or why not? Give relevant examples to support your decision. Apply your decision of attending college to the concept of meritocracy.
The United States is not truly a meritocratic society. This is because America realistically presents itself as a land of opportunities for a few people while the rest continue struggling. Inequality prevails; rich families are able to spend more money and time on their children and, over the years, this gap has continuously widened. For example in the period starting from 1972 to 2006, statistics indicate that, whereas low income families 57 percent in inflation-adjusted terms on enrichment activities for their children, the rich families spent 151 percent (Kerbo, 2011).
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