mauldineconomics.com / JOHN MAULDIN / OCTOBER 19, 2016
I can remember writing in the ’90s and early 2000s that one of the great things about the United States was our economic mobility. By that term, economists mean the ability of people to shift around on the economic spectrum – to move from being a low-income family to being a high-income family, for example. Karl Marx, in the 1850s, even cited the US as an exception to his struggle-of-the-classes theory, because the economic classes in the US kept changing so much.
The last few years have seen a flurry of studies asserting that this mobility is no longer the case. That is a very uncomfortable fact for me – it cuts right into my emotional comfort zone. If that is true, then the America I grew up in is changing. Which of course should not surprise me because (a) the US is always changing and (b) the evidence in front of my eyes about cultural shifts and the economic difficulties of the younger generation is readily apparent.
An old friend of mine sent me the essay you’re about to read. It’s by Frank Buckley, who is a professor at the Scalia Law School at George Mason University. It appeared in the Hillsdale College publication Imprimis.
Outside the Box is supposed to make you think, even when it is uncomfortable to do so. And Buckley’s essay will make many Americans uncomfortable, even as it allows my Canadian friends to continue to feel smug and superior (although they are always too polite to flaunt it).