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Discussion: (4 comments)

  1. “This indicates that birth circumstances contribute to the stickiness at the top and bottom/ of income distribution, either directly or through differential access to education.”

    “Birth circumstances” = habits and values of successful people. There’s nothing sinister or exclusionary about it.

    How to stay out of poverty:

    “1. Graduating from high school.
    2. Waiting to get married until after 21 and do not have children till after being married.
    3. Having a full-time job.
    If you do all those three things, your chance of falling into poverty is just 2 percent. Meanwhile, you’ll have a 74 percent chance of being in the middle class.”

    Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/opinion/editorials/2012-01-27/story/three-rules-staying-out-poverty#ixzz2NFHcaySW

    1. Todd Mason

      I’d add a fourth: Invest regularly in Vanguard Total Stock mutual fund and studiously avoid anything or anyone discussing the fate of the stock market, good or bad. Certainly in recent history, patient stock ownership has made and preserved wealth in a way that nothing else has, including employable skills. Trouble is, even the middle class has great difficulty letting stock investments ride.

    2. The issue isn’t neccessarily outright poverty. It is that it is very tough to advance beyond where you began. If you began in the lower middle class, you stay in the lower middle class. Heck even the regular middle class is becoming harder and harder to support family life because wages are stagnant and you can’t advance.

      Graduating from high school is a no brainer. Yet it’s pretty well established that it’s hard to marry when you are lower class, and lack a college education, considering that marriage has disappeared amongst the lower class.

      So while all of these things are important, the situation has become a lot more complicated.

  2. Education is huge no doubt when studying earning potential over a persons life.Last I read was that a individual who graduates high school then goes on to earn a bachelors degree will make on average a million dollars more in lifetime income than a non educated worker in the US.

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