The Republican Attack on the American Dream

In an age of political polarization, one of the few values with near-universal bipartisan support is upward mobility—the idea that poor young Americans should have a chance to escape poverty and become middle-class or even rich adults. Most people simply call it the American Dream. But to understand how Donald Trump’s presidency might help or hurt people’s chances of achieving that dream, the best place to look might not be inside the White House, but rather inside that other large, white, marble building a few blocks away.

In Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan has put upward mobility front and center in his new conservative reform plan. Ryan’s thesis sounds simple, moral, and intelligent: Work is the surest path out of poverty, and government programs should encourage low-income workers to find jobs, develop skills, and work their way off government support.

– The Atlantic

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