Upward Mobility Quotes

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In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: not necessarily to win, but mainly to keep from losing completely.
Hunter S. Thompson (The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time (The Gonzo Papers, #1))
But as I pursued that dream of upward mobility preparing for college, things just didn't fit together. As I read Scriptures about how the last will be first, I started wondering why I was working so hard to be first.
Shane Claiborne (The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical)
Internet porn makes everything more reasonable -- once you've realized there is a massive subculture of upwardly mobile people who think it's erotic to see an Asian woman giving a hand job to a javelina, nothing else in the world seems crazy.
Chuck Klosterman
One way our upper class can promote upward mobility, then, is not only by pushing wise public policies but by opening their hearts and minds to the newcomers who don’t quite belong. Though
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
The way of the Christian leader is not the way of upward mobility in which our world has invested so much, but the way of downward mobility ending on the cross.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership)
The measure of self-motivation in a young person will become the best way to predict upward mobility.
Tyler Cowen (Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation)
If this book accomplishes anything it will be to have exposed a number of myths about the American dream, to have disabused readers of the notion that upward mobility is a function of the founders’ ingenious plan, or that Jacksonian democracy was liberating, or that the Confederacy was about states’ rights rather than preserving class and racial distinctions.
Nancy Isenberg (White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America)
That is the real story of my lift, and that is why I wrote this book. I want people to know what it feels like to nearly give up on yourself and why you might do it. I want people to understand what happens in the lives of the poor and the psychological impact that spiritual and material poverty has on their children. I want people to understand the American Dream as my family and I encountered it. I want people to understand how upward mobility really feels. And I want people to understand something I learned only recently: that for those of us lucky enough to live the American Dream, the demons of the life we left behind continue to chase us.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
To cultivate love, or whole-soul-fulness, we must resist the temptation to be upwardly mobile, to be always on the move, to pull up our roots and fly to the mythic kingdom of Elsewhere.
Sam Keen (To Love and Be Loved)
We do know that working-class Americans aren’t just less likely to climb the economic ladder, they’re also more likely to fall off even after they’ve reached the top. I imagine that the discomfort they feel at leaving behind much of their identity plays at least a small role in this problem. One way our upper class can promote upward mobility, then, is not only by pushing wise public policies but by opening their hearts and minds to the newcomers who don’t quite belong. Though
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
Saying sorry too much is an anchor on your upward mobility.
Aimee Cohen (Woman Up!: Overcome the 7 Deadly Sins That Sabotage Your Success)
Nowhere was the complacency of the establishment, with its blind faith in progress, more evident than in its attitude toward an elite degree: as long as my child goes to the right schools, upward mobility will continue. A university education had become the equivalent of a very expensive insurance policy, like owning a gun.
George Packer (The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America)
The whitest thing I have ever done in my life was not repeatedly trying to get bangs after seeing pictures of Zooey Deschanel. The whitest thing I've done in my life was trying to save the Flint youth while I was visiting there.
Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (The Undocumented Americans)
At all times, white trash remind us of one of the American nation’s uncomfortable truths: the poor are always with us. A preoccupation with penalizing poor whites reveals an uneasy tension between what Americans are taught to think the country promises—the dream of upward mobility—and the less appealing truth that class barriers almost invariably make that dream unobtainable. Of course, the intersection of race and class remains an undeniable part of the overall story. The
Nancy Isenberg (White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America)
I don't want to be around people who accept me as is, in my unrefined state of becoming. I consistently want people around me who push and encourage me to be my ultimate best, who bring out the inner diamonds. I want to be around those intellectual giants who extract the gold within me, those who force me to read, to attend classes, seminars, conferences, and who steep me in an environment of perpetual growth and upward mobility. Not trying to be funny, but I've learned that I simply cannot afford to invest too much time around mediocrity. It's contagious.
Brandi L. Bates
Black anti-semitism is a form of underdog resentment and envy, directed at another underdog who has made it in American society. The remarkable upward mobility of American Jews--rooted chiefly in a history and culture that places a premium on higher education and self-organization--easily lends itself to myths of Jewish unity and homogeneity that have gained currency among other groups, especially among relatively unorganized groups like black Americans. The high visibility of Jews in the upper reaches of the academy, journalism, the entertainment industry, and the professions--though less so percentage-wise in corporate America and national political office--is viewed less as a result of hard work and success fairly won and more as a matter of favoritism and nepotism among Jews. Ironically, calls for black solidarity and achievement are often modeled on myths of Jewish unity--as both groups respond to American xenophobia and racism. But in times such as these, some blacks view Jews as obstacles rather than allies in the struggle for racial justice.
Cornel West
First known as “waste people,” and later “white trash,” marginalized Americans were stigmatized for their inability to be productive, to own property, or to produce healthy and upwardly mobile children—the sense of uplift on which the American dream is predicated. The American solution to poverty and social backwardness was not what we might expect. Well into the twentieth century, expulsion and even sterilization sounded rational to those who wished to reduce the burden of “loser” people on the larger economy. In
Nancy Isenberg (White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America)
Only three routes of upward mobility were available to socially ambitious upstarts such as Columbus: war, the Church, and the sea. Columbus probably contemplated all three: he wanted a clerical career for one of his brothers, and fancied himself as “a captain of cavaliers and conquests.” But seafaring was a natural choice, especially for a boy from a maritime community as single-minded as that of Genoa. Opportunities for employment and profit abounded.
Felipe Fernández-Armesto (1492: The Year the World Began)
Instead, power went to those who made things happen: businessmen and local magistrates. Over time, human nature being what it is, these men would create a kind of nobility, sometimes even buying titles from cash-poor foreigners, but this in itself underscores the point. Upward mobility was part of the Dutch character: if you worked hard and were smart, you rose in stature. Today that is a byword of a healthy society; in the seventeenth century it was weird.
Russell Shorto (The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America)
our own communities that reinforce the outsider attitude, it’s the places and people that upward mobility connects us with—
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
upward mobility fell off in the 1970s and never really recovered
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
Nations, states, and regions with higher degrees of income inequality actually have less upward mobility, a relationship known as the Gatsby curve.
Keith Payne (The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die)
Inequality is seen as a harbinger of opportunity, a sign that education and other routes to upward mobility might pay off for them and their children.
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
History, in other words, provides little indication, let alone assurance, that political success is a prerequisite of upward mobility.
Jason L. Riley (Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed)
Yet the message of the right is increasingly: It’s not your fault that you’re a loser; it’s the government’s fault. My dad, for example, has never disparaged hard work, but he mistrusts some of the most obvious paths to upward mobility. When
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
I want people to understand how upward mobility feels. And I want people to understand something I learned only recently: that for those of us lucky enough to live the American Dream, the demons of the life we left behind continue to chase us.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
Accident, they say, favors the prepared mind. Opportunity knocks only for those who are ready at the door. If we believe the novels we read, upward mobility is always ambitious, hungry, and aggressive, or at the very least, discontented. The George Willards are forever yearning away from the spiritual starvation of Winesburg toward some vague larger life. But that is not always the way it is. Some of us didn’t know enough to be discontented and ambitious. Some of us had such limited experience and limited aspirations that only accident, or the actions of others, or perhaps some inescapable psychosocial fate, could explode us out of our ruts. In a way, I suppose I had to hitchhike out of my childhood; but if I did, I did it without raising my thumb.
Wallace Stegner (Recapitulation)
Making Waves I would do anything for you. Would you be yourself? In the Hans Christian Anderson classic, The Little Mermaid, Ariel gives up her beautiful voice in exchange for legs. This is a seemingly innocent fable that captures our deal with the modern devil. For aren't we taught that mobility is freedom, whether it be moving from state to state, or from marriage to marriage, or from adventure to adventure? Aren't we convinced that upward mobility, moving from job to job, is the definition of success? Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with change or variety or newness or with improving our condition. The catch is when we are asked to give up our voice in order to move freely, when we are asked to silence what makes us unique in order to be successful. When not making waves means giving up our chance to dive into the deep, then we are bartering our access to God for a better driveway. As a story about relationship, the lesson of Ariel is crucial. On the surface, her desire for legs seems touching and sweetly motivated by love and the want to belong. Yet here too is another false bargain that plagues everyone who ever tries it. For no matter how badly we want to love or be loved, we cannot alter our basic nature and survive inside, where it counts.
Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have)
Len once came to the uncomfortable realization that salesmanship was the key to upward mobility in all careers. You could pretend you were above it, he begrudged, but the truth was you either had to master salesmanship or you’d spend the rest of your life begging for table scraps.
Kevin Gaughen (Interest (Final State #1))
[The] strong belief in opportunity and upward mobility is the explanation that is often given for Americans’ high tolerance for inequality. The majority of Americans surveyed believe that they will be above mean income in the future (even though that is a mathematical impossibility).”5
Barbara Ehrenreich (Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America)
The distribution of wealth and income is primarily the role and responsibility and freedom of individual people and businesses through their voluntary economic interaction with other people and businesses. And their voluntary exchange of economic value through products, services, and ideas. In this way, social mobility is maximized and a fluid class structure allows for both upward and downward economic movements; this is social justice.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr (Principles of a Permaculture Economy)
Information Age will be the age of upward mobility. It will afford far more equal opportunity for the billions of humans in parts of the world that never shared fully in the prosperity of industrial society. The brightest, most successful and ambitious of these will emerge as truly Sovereign Individuals.
James Dale Davidson (The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age)
My dad, for example, has never disparaged hard work, but he mistrusts some of the most obvious paths to upward mobility. When he found out that I had decided to go to Yale Law, he asked whether, on my applications, I had “pretended to be black or liberal.” This is how low the cultural expectations of working-class white Americans have fallen.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
One of the drawbacks of upward social mobility is a sense of guilty indebtedness to the old neighborhood.
Mary Gordon (Good Boys and Dead Girls: And Other Essays)
And Dorothy was of an unusually independent mind, impatient with the pretensions that sometimes accompanied the upwardly mobile members of the race.
Margot Lee Shetterly (Hidden Figures)
In the Catskills, nostalgia runs backwards. The upwardly mobile Jewish masses of the 1950s and 1960s have been replaced by the Jews of 19th century Poland.
Kevin Haworth (Famous Drownings in Literary History: Essays on 21st-Century Jewishness)
Progress is like wheels that never stop; they have to keep turning in order to remain relevant to a car and all of its mechanical parts. Stopping is not an option in real time but it is to those that envy progress and upward mobility. Progress never ends because it is infinite but it rebuilds and readjust (s) to take small steps then massive steps if it is hindered.
Terrance Robinson- Artist Educator Scholar Entrepreneur
In the contest of upward mobility, Barack and Michelle Obama have won. But they’ve won by being twice as good—and enduring twice as much. Malia and Sasha Obama enjoy privileges beyond the average white child’s dreams. But that comparison is incomplete. The more telling question is how they compare with Jenna and Barbara Bush—the products of many generations of privilege, not just one.
Anonymous
It is ironic, in the manner of a dystopian nightmare, that an advanced capitalist empire which is founded on genocide and slavery, which still functions as the global police, which has an armed population, which routinely violates international human rights, which has the largest known military industrial complex in the world, which is the world’s largest producer of pornography, has also produced a saccharine ideology in which ‘positive thinking’ functions as a form of psychological gentrification. And it is not insignificant that the neoliberal lie that one is 110% responsible for one’s life—first powerfully encapsulated by the ‘alternative’ conservative thinker Louise Hay, and more recently echoed by Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now (1997/2005)—is directed at women. Today, gendered victim-blaming has become a form of upwardly mobile common sense ‘wisdom’. Now victimblaming is expressed by voices that sound soothing, wise, calm, above all, loving.
Abigail Bray (Misogyny Re-Loaded)
Progress is like wheels that never stop; they have to keep turning in order to remain relevant to a car and all of its mechanical parts. Stopping is not an option in real time but it is to those that envy progress and upward mobility. Progress never ends because it is infinite but it rebuilds and readjust (s) to take increment steps then massive steps if it is hindered. - Terrance Robinson
Terrance Robinson- Artist Educator Scholar Entrepreneur
Another lesson is that it’s not just our own communities that reinforce the outsider attitude, it’s the places and people that upward mobility connects us with—like my professor who suggested that Yale Law School shouldn’t accept applicants from non-prestigious state schools. There’s no way to quantify how these attitudes affect the working class. We do know that working-class Americans aren’t just less likely to climb the economic ladder, they’re also more likely to fall off even after they’ve reached the top. I imagine that the discomfort they feel at leaving behind much of their identity plays at least a small role in this problem. One way our upper class can promote upward mobility, then, is not only by pushing wise public policies but by opening their hearts and minds to the newcomers who don’t quite belong.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
African Americans, like other groups, have always tried to translate upward class mobility into geographic mobility, but remain physically and psychically close to the poorer neighborhoods they leave behind.
Mary Pattillo (Black Picket Fences: Privilege and Peril among the Black Middle Class)
People are not plants. They are not fixed to any roots or dependent on them. People are mobile and free to move far from their beginnings—far away, if that satisfies them—far upward, if they have the ambition and ability.
Gary Jennings (Aztec)
The notion that egalitarian purposes could be served by the "restoration" of upward mobility betrayed a fundamental misunderstanding. High rates of mobility are by no means inconsistent with a system of stratification that concentrates power and privilege in a ruling elite. Indeed, the circulation of elites strengthens the principle of hierarchy, furnishing elites with fresh talent and legitimating their ascendancy as a function of merit rather than birth.
Christopher Lasch (The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy)
The child of the lower or lower middle class is urged in both overt and subtle ways to surpass his background, his well-meaning parents and friends never anticipating that if their dream of upward mobility is realized, the child may adopt the prejudices of the class to which he's lifted and, with a touch of neurotic distress, may permanently scorn his former life and also, to a certain extent, himself, since the class he's invaded is unlikely to accept him fully.
John Gardner
Through the discourse and institutionalization of meritocracy, the narrative of large-scale upward mobility is thereby made concrete at the individual level. The connection between national success and individual merit is a powerful public and private narrative that shapes those who've arrived, those in motion, and those standing still. To return to the two people who quipped about cold showers and bed bugs, we could say that the national narrative of mobility is powerfully grafted onto their individual narratives of worth
Teo You Yenn
So, who are they really, these hundred thousand white supremacists? They're every white guy who believed that this land was his land, made for you and me. They're every down-on-his-luck guy who just wanted to live a decent life but got stepped on, every character in a Bruce Springsteen or Merle Haggard song, every cop, soldier, auto mechanic, steelworker, and construction worker in America's small towns who can't make ends meet and wonders why everyone else is getting a break except him. But instead of becoming Tom Joad, a left-leaning populist, they take a hard right turn, ultimately supporting the very people who have dispossessed them. They're America's Everymen, whose pain at downward mobility and whose anger at what they see as an indifferent government have become twisted by a hate that tells them they are better than others, disfigured by a resentment so deep that there are no more bridges to be built, no more ladders of upward mobility to be climbed, a howl of pain mangled into the scream of a warrior. Their rage is as sad as it is frightening, as impotent as it is shrill.
Michael S. Kimmel (Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era)
Amy Wrzesniewski, associate professor of organizational behavior at Yale University, has been studying a classification system that can help you recognize your orientation toward your work and attain greater job satisfaction. She defines work in three ways: 1.​A JOB is a way to pay the bills. It’s a means to an end, and you have little attachment to it. 2.​A CAREER is a path toward growth and achievement. Careers have clear ladders for upward mobility. 3.​A CALLING is work that is an important part of your life and provides meaning. People with a calling are generally more satisfied with the work they do.
Vishen Lakhiani (The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Terms)
This isn’t some libertarian mistrust of government policy, which is healthy in any democracy. This is deep skepticism of the very institutions of our society. And it’s becoming more and more mainstream. We can’t trust the evening news. We can’t trust our politicians. Our universities, the gateway to a better life, are rigged against us. We can’t get jobs. You can’t believe these things and participate meaningfully in society. Social psychologists have shown that group belief is a powerful motivator in performance. When groups perceive that it’s in their interest to work hard and achieve things, members of that group outperform other similarly situated individuals. It’s obvious why: If you believe that hard work pays off, then you work hard; if you think it’s hard to get ahead even when you try, then why try at all? Similarly, when people do fail, this mind-set allows them to look outward. I once ran into an old acquaintance at a Middletown bar who told me that he had recently quit his job because he was sick of waking up early. I later saw him complaining on Facebook about the “Obama economy” and how it had affected his life. I don’t doubt that the Obama economy has affected many, but this man is assuredly not among them. His status in life is directly attributable to the choices he’s made, and his life will improve only through better decisions. But for him to make better choices, he needs to live in an environment that forces him to ask tough questions about himself. There is a cultural movement in the white working class to blame problems on society or the government, and that movement gains adherents by the day. Here is where the rhetoric of modern conservatives (and I say this as one of them) fails to meet the real challenges of their biggest constituents. Instead of encouraging engagement, conservatives increasingly foment the kind of detachment that has sapped the ambition of so many of my peers. I have watched some friends blossom into successful adults and others fall victim to the worst of Middletown’s temptations—premature parenthood, drugs, incarceration. What separates the successful from the unsuccessful are the expectations that they had for their own lives. Yet the message of the right is increasingly: It’s not your fault that you’re a loser; it’s the government’s fault. My dad, for example, has never disparaged hard work, but he mistrusts some of the most obvious paths to upward mobility. When
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
You're not something static. You are the mobile consciousness. You can be at 4 levels: (1) body (2) mind (3) soul or (4) supreme-soul (Nothingness) If you're stuck at mind level, come down to body level. Do physical things with all your five senses open. Once you realize that you are mobile, you can move upwards also.
Shunya
After 5 years of college, I got a degree. Right out of the gate, I was at the top of my field, earning a solid mid 5-figure salary. There was no upward mobility. I started at the top, at age 23. I did that for 3 years. With free info from the Internet and one $299 course, I learned everything I needed to know to make 3x that salary in a year and a half. In another 5 years, that meager college-degree salary will be so far in the rear view mirror that I won't even remember what life was like to make so little. The Internet has largely rendered college, and education in general, irrelevant. For those that want to learn anything, open your browser and get to it.41a
M.J. DeMarco (UNSCRIPTED: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship)
Especially for upwardly mobile young females, declaring one's enthusiasm for Austen (whose heroines almost always move up in social and economic status as a result of the sterling marital alliances they form) has been a classic means of indicating one's purported good taste, good breeding, and good sense: I am an especially adorable member of the ruling class.
Terry Castle
I was impressed with Jack [Kerouac]’s commitment to serious writing at the expense of everything else in his life. At a time when the middle class was burgeoning with new homes, two-tone American cars, and black-and-white TVs, when American happiness was defined by upwardly mobile consumerism, Kerouac etched a different existence and he wrote in an original language.
Sterling Lord (Lord of Publishing: A Memoir)
The Ewells, then, are not bit players in our country’s history. Their history starts in the 1500s, not the 1900s. It derives from British colonial policies dedicated to resettling the poor, decisions that conditioned American notions of class and left a permanent imprint. First known as “waste people,” and later “white trash,” marginalized Americans were stigmatized for their inability to be productive, to own property, or to produce healthy and upwardly mobile children—the sense of uplift on which the American dream is predicated. The American solution to poverty and social backwardness was not what we might expect. Well into the twentieth century, expulsion and even sterilization sounded rational to those who wished to reduce the burden of “loser” people on the larger economy.
Nancy Isenberg (White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America)
The Republicans did not set out to establish a strong national state or to facilitate the industrial revolution. They believed strongly in the American dream of hard work and upward mobility. They saw no contradiction between capital and labor, between wealth accumulation and equality. Even in the exigencies of war, they directed their legislation to their political base, the farmers and the small-town merchants. Their vision assumed the virtue of rural and small-town America. The majority of Republicans who enacted the legislation grew up on farms. Yet they created an industrial juggernaut that flung railroads across the continent and grew great cities from seaboard to seaboard that attracted thousands from those small towns and farms. These results must be counted among the most sterling examples of unintended consequences in American history.18
David R. Goldfield (America Aflame)
Moving was one thing that helped me understand what our environment does to us. Another was becoming a foster parent. Our foster kids were born in a county that borders Clemson, where we lived. Their county is in the ninth percentile for upward income mobility—it’s a very poor area with few jobs and fewer opportunities. Due to the legalities surrounding foster children, I cannot go into much detail about their early environment, but suffice it to say their home situation was far from ideal. The chances for these bright, intelligent, loving children to improve their lot in life, as well as their opportunities for happiness and fulfillment, if they had remained in their native environment were practically zero percent. But as Dr. Raj Chetty and Dr. Nathaniel Hendren stated, “The data shows we can do something about upward mobility…Every extra year of childhood spent in a better neighborhood seems to matter.
Benjamin P. Hardy (Willpower Doesn't Work: Discover the Hidden Keys to Success)
Seeing themselves as hardworking and self-reliant, the upwardly mobile sons of white trash parents believed, as Smith put it, that “he is responsible for himself and himself alone.” The same self-made man who looked down on white trash others had conveniently chosen to forget that his own parents escaped the tar-paper shack only with the help of the federal government. But now that he had been lifted to respectability, he would pull up the social ladder behind him.
Nancy Isenberg (White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America)
The conventional understanding of meritocracy is that it is a system for awarding or allocating scarce resources to those who most deserve them. The idea behind meritocracy is that people should achieve status or realize the promise of upward mobility based on their individual talent or individual effort. It is conceived as a repudiation of systems like aristocracy where individuals inherit their social status. I am arguing that many of the criteria we associate with individual talent and effort do not measure the individual in isolation but rather parallel the phenomena associated with aristocracy; what we're calling individual talent is actually a function of that individual's social position or opportunities gained by virtue of family and ancestry. So, although the system we call "meritocracy" is presumed to be more democratic and egalitarian than aristocracy, it is in fact reproducing that which it was intended to dislodge. Michael Young, a British sociologist, created the term in 1958 when he wrote a science fiction novel called The Rise of Meritocracy. The book was a satire in which he depicted a society where people in power could legitimate their status using "merit" as the justificatory terminology and in which others could be determined not simply to have been poor or left out but to be deservingly disenfranchised.
Lani Guinier
Our present system based on preparing children for individual upward mobility into the system by making “us” like “them” is destroying our communities because those who succeed in the system leave the community while those who don’t take out their frustration and sense of failure in acts of vandalism. It is leaving too many children behind, labeling too many as suffering from attention deficit disorder and therefore requiring Ritalin, and widening the gap between the very rich and the very poor. The main cause of youth violence and addiction to drugs, I believe, is youth powerlessness. We have turned young people into parasites with no socially necessary or productive roles, nothing to do for eighteen years but go to school, play, and watch TV. Rich and poor, in the suburbs and the inner city, they are, as Paul Goodman pointed out years ago, “Growing Up Absurd,”4 deprived of the natural and normal ways of learning the relationship between cause and effect, actions and consequences by which the species has survived and evolved down through the millennia. Then we wonder why teenagers lack a sense of social responsibility. Schoolchildren need to be involved in community-building activities from an early age, both to empower themselves and to transform their communities from demoralizing wastelands into sources of strength and renewal. Their heads work better when their hearts and hands are engaged.
Grace Lee Boggs (Living for Change: An Autobiography)
Consumers of racist ideas sometimes changed their viewpoints when exposed to Black people defying stereotypes (and then sometimes changed back when exposed to someone confirming the stereotypes). Then again, upwardly mobile Blacks seemed as likely to produce resentment as admiration. “If you were well dressed they would insult you for that, and if you were ragged you would surely be insulted for being so,” one Black Rhode Island resident complained in his memoir in the early 1800s. It was the cruel illogic of racism. When Black people rose, racists either violently knocked them down or ignored them as extraordinary. When Black people were down, racists called it their natural or nurtured place, and denied any role in knocking them down in the first place.
Ibram X. Kendi (Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America)
In a deglobalized, disconnected world there simply isn’t going to be the same giant pool of upwardly mobile meat-eaters required to sustain animal husbandry on its current, global scale. This shift from high-cost animal protein to low-cost plant protein is a necessary transformation that will probably save a billion people or so from starving to death.
Peter Zeihan (The End of the World is Just the Beginning: Mapping the Collapse of Globalization)
It’s all supposed to be so innocent, upwardly mobile snob, designer shades, beret, so desperate to show he’s got good taste, except he’s also dyslexic so he gets ‘good taste’ mixed up with ‘taste good,’ but it’s worse than that! Far, far worse! Charlie really has this, like, obsessive death wish! Yes! he, wants to be caught, processed, put in a can, not just any can, you dig, it has to be StarKist! suicidal brand loyalty, man, deep parable of consumer capitalism, they won’t be happy with anything less than drift-netting us all, chopping us up and stacking us on the shelves of Suprmarket Amerika, and subconsciously the horrible thing is, is we want them to do it. . . .” “Saunch, wow, that’s. . .” “It’s been on my mind. And another thing. Why is there Chicken of the Sea, but no Tuna of the Farm?” “Um. . .” Doc actually beginning to think about this. “And don’t forget,” Sauncho went on to remind him darkly, “that Charles Manson and the Vietcong are also named Charlie.
Thomas Pynchon (Inherent Vice)
And like any fight, death comes with the territory. As does sacrifice. For me, I had to die to who I could have been if I’d stayed on the path of upward mobility. Even now there are rare moments when I’ll think, What if? I had to make peace with who I am. And who I’m not. I had to let go of the envy, the fantasy, the cancerous restlessness. To accept, gratefully: this is my life.
John Mark Comer (The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World)
children of immigrants from nearly every country in the world, including from poorer countries like Mexico, Guatemala, and Laos, are more upwardly mobile than the children of US-born residents who were raised in families with a similar income level.
Ran Abramitzky (Streets of Gold: America's Untold Story of Immigrant Success)
Capitalism is only sustainable if opportunities exist for everyone having access to opportunities for upward mobility and there is no artificial friction placed in the path of progress.
Tom Golway
The following fundamental question therefore arises: what is the importance of occupational upward mobility today? The last section discussed the difficulties of analysing occupational groups in relation to social stability. If the son of a skilled worker finishes secondary education and becomes a journalist, or the daughter of a commercial employee becomes a lawyer, then both have risen in relation to their parents, according to the traditional model. Their jobs bring greater social prestige—however, they may no longer automatically earn more money than their parents. Likewise, whether they are precariously employed and under constant threat of unemployment is generally not taken into account.
Oliver Nachtwey (Germany's Hidden Crisis: Social Decline in the Heart of Europe)
Many people are probably familiar with the childhood experience of trying to run up an escalator going down. In a society of downward mobility, many people find themselves permanently in this situation. They have to run upward just to keep their position. This leads to constant worry, and ‘status struggles over the entitlement to prosperity’.
Oliver Nachtwey (Germany's Hidden Crisis: Social Decline in the Heart of Europe)
The new underclass, so the customary reproach runs, shuns education, is work-shy and has lost its orientation to upward social mobility.139 The status anxiety of the middle class leads among other things to the economic interpretation, negative classification and devaluation of weaker groups, as shown in Wilhelm Heitmeyer’s long-term study on xenophobic attitudes among the German population Deutsche Zustände.140 To a certain degree the middle class has abandoned solidarity with the weak; it has built security by shutting itself off. Where there was previously a certain liberality, more rigorous ideas of morality, culture and behaviour have now returned. With increased fears of ‘contamination’ and ‘infection’, people seek the greatest possible distance and strict isolation from the ‘parallel society’ of the lower class.141 They are generally less inclined to accept society’s ‘encouragements to diversity’.142 The precarious middle classes, who actually experience relative downward mobility, count this as personal failure. Here individualistic and fatalistic interpretations of their own work prevail. They seek at almost any price to integrate into society by competition at work. This also has the consequence of resentment towards the weaker, the supposedly lazy or those considered less motivated.143
Oliver Nachtwey (Germany's Hidden Crisis: Social Decline in the Heart of Europe)
To continue the journey upward to ventral connection, we need to connect with the mobilizing energy in an organized way.
Deb Dana (Anchored: How to Befriend Your Nervous System Using Polyvagal Theory)
Barack was cerebral, probably too cerebral for most people to put up with. (This, in fact, would be my friend’s assessment of him when we next spoke.) He wasn’t a happy-hour guy, and maybe I should have realized that earlier. My world was filled with hopeful, hardworking people who were obsessed with their own upward mobility. They had new cars and were buying their first condos and liked to talk about it all over martinis after work. Barack was more content to spend an evening alone, reading up on urban housing policy. As an organizer, he’d spent weeks and months listening to poor people describe their challenges. His insistence on hope and the potential for mobility, I was coming to see, came from an entirely different and not easily accessible place.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
As in the United States, medical professionals in the Global South most often come from higher-income families; even when they do not, they frequently view medicine as a route of upward mobility. As a result, medical professionals tend to ally themselves with the capitalist class, the “national bourgeoisie,” within these countries. They also frequently support cooperative links between the local capitalist class and business interests in economically dominant countries.4 The class position of health professionals has led them to resist social change that would threaten current class structure, either nationally or internationally.
Howard Waitzkin (Health Care Under the Knife: Moving Beyond Capitalism for Our Health)
Although “the American Dream” is a surprisingly recent coinage (the term was first used in its modern sense in the 1930s), the cultural trope of Horatio Alger and the prospect of upward social mobility have very deep roots in our psyche.
Robert D. Putnam (Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis)
Such a down-and-then-up perspective does not fit into our Western philosophy of progress, nor into our desire for upward mobility, nor into our religious notions of perfection or holiness.
Richard Rohr (AARP Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life)
James points to the way in which selfish capitalism stokes up both aspirations and the expectations that they can be fulfilled. ... In the entrepreneurial fantasy society, the delusion is fostered that anyone can be Alan Sugar or Bill Gates, never mind that the actual likelihood of this occurring has diminished since the 1970s – a person born in 1958 was more likely than one born in 1970 to achieve upward mobility through education, for example. The Selfish Capitalist toxins that are most poisonous to well-being are the systematic encouragement of the ideas that material affluence is they key to fulfillment, that only the affluent are winners and that access to the top is open to anyone willing to work hard enough, regardless of their familial, ethnic or social background – if you do not succeed, there is only one person to blame.
Mark Fisher (Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?)
GREED “Fame” is bestowed by each upon the other with nauseating flattery And the lust for money forces its way without mercy Academics sing their own praises without blushing Everyone is obsessed with their own upward mobility When people are blinded by their lust for more And flaunt their repulsive wealth in public Greed spreads through the world unchecked— And in this marketplace the cheapest ideas have the loudest reverberations
Shi Zhi (Winter Sun: Poems)
Culture has sometimes been used to blame poor people and minorities for their own disadvantage. For example, some people believe that cultural values and lifestyles, such as a weak work ethic, childbearing outside of marriage, criminal behavior, and drug use inhibit upward mobility among some groups.
John Iceland (Race and Ethnicity in America (Sociology in the Twenty-First Century))
Culture has also been invoked by some as a possible explanation for relatively high levels of educational attainment among Asian Americans. The thinking here is that Asian Americans highly value education and its potential to foster upward mobility and communicate this to their children, who put more effort into their schoolwork than their white and other non-Asian peers.47 These high levels of education translate into good jobs with high earnings. Asian American families likewise have particularly low levels of single parenthood and high levels of cohesiveness, and this also helps explain relatively low levels of Asian poverty.48
John Iceland (Race and Ethnicity in America (Sociology in the Twenty-First Century))
waste people,” and later “white trash,” marginalized Americans were stigmatized for their inability to be productive, to own property, or to produce healthy and upwardly mobile children
Nancy Isenberg (White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America)
To find a meaningful place in politics, one that doesn’t require us to lie about “white adjacency” or ignore the pain of everyone who looks like us, upwardly mobile Asian Americans must drop our neuroses about microaggressions and the bamboo ceiling, and fully align ourselves with the forgotten Asian America: the refugees, the undocumented, and the working class. What we do now—the lonely climb up into the white liberal elite, the purchase of Brennan’s old house—might lead to personal comfort, but it will never make us full participants in this country, nor will it ever convince others to join in our fight. Naked self-interest and narcissism do not inspire solidarity.
Jay Caspian Kang (The Loneliest Americans)
Every society had its elites, of course: its wealthy, well-educated, upwardly mobile types. Machiavelli, a republican himself, called them the grandi. The trick to preserving a republic was not to allow them to predominate as a class, to amass power at the expense of their fellows. Or more precisely: the key was not to allow them to amass power at the expense of the common man.
Josh Hawley
Of those born poor in America, few make it to the top. In fact, most do not even make it to the middle class. Studies of upward mobility typically divide the income ladder into five rungs. Of those born on the bottom rung, only around 4 to 7 percent rise to the top, and only about a third reach the middle rung or higher. Although the exact numbers vary from one study to the next, very few Americans live out the “rags to riches” story celebrated in the American dream.37
Michael J. Sandel (The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good?)
More to the point, the principles of competition, even when they encourage talent and create upward mobility, don’t answer deeper questions about national or personal identity. They don’t satisfy the desire for unity and harmony. Above all, they do not satisfy the desire of some to belong to a special community, a unique community, a superior community.
Anne Applebaum (Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism)
even the staunchly conservative National Review published an essay that concluded, “What is clear is that in at least one regard American mobility is exceptional . . . where we stand out is in our limited upward mobility from the bottom.
Fareed Zakaria (Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World)
Upward mobility was part of the Dutch character: if you worked hard and were smart, you rose in stature. Today that is a byword of a healthy society; in the seventeenth century it was weird.
Russell Shorto (The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America)
My conclusion is that there is considerable evidence that both Asians and Hispanics have experienced upward mobility across generations, indicative of some measure of incorporation in the United States. Asians have achieved parity, or even an advantage, when compared to whites in terms of education, income, and other outcomes.
John Iceland (Race and Ethnicity in America (Sociology in the Twenty-First Century))
The 1950s, a decade that would become synonymous with unquestioning conformity, had seen the rise of the other-directed character—all those middle-class, upwardly mobile businessmen and consumers who focused on other people’s opinions of them. By the early 1960s, however, more and more Americans were starting to follow an inner voice. There was a new kind of empathic individualism, a nonconformist mentality that would soon see full flowering in the psychedelic drug culture. One way to see this change is through film and theater—the social journey from Death of a Salesman to Easy Rider.
Don Lattin (The Harvard Psychedelic Club: How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith, and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America)
For anyone born after 1945, the welfare state and its institutions were not a solution to earlier dilemmas: they were simply the normal conditions of life - and more than a little dull. The baby boomers, entering university in the mid-'60s, had only ever known a world of improving life chances, generous medical and educated services, optimistic prospects of upward social mobility and - perhaps above all - an indefinable but ubiquitous sense of security. The goals of an earlier generation of reformers were no longer of interest to their successors. On the contrary, they were increasingly perceived as restrictions upon the self-expression and freedom of the individual.
Tony Judt (Ill Fares the Land)
Limbic pursuits sink slowly and steadily lower on America’s list of collective priorities. Top-ranking items remain the pursuit of wealth, physical beauty, youthful appearance, and the shifting, elusive markers of status. There are brief spasms of pleasure to be had at the end of those pursuits – the razor-thin delight of the latest purchase, the momentary glee of flaunting this promotion or that unnecessary trinket – pleasure here, but not contentment. Happiness is within range only for adroit people who give the slip to America’s values. These rebels will necessarily forgo exalted titles, glamorous friends, exotic vacations, washboard abs, designer everything – all the proud indicators of upward mobility – and in exchange, they may just get a chance at a decent life.
Thomas Lewis (A General Theory of Love)
In the contest of upward mobility, Barack and Michelle Obama have won. But they’ve won by being twice as good—and enduring twice as much. Malia and Sasha Obama enjoy privileges beyond the average white child’s dreams. But that comparison is incomplete. The more telling question is how they compare with Jenna and Barbara Bush—the products of many generations of privilege, not just one. Whatever the Obama children achieve, it will be evidence of their family’s singular perseverance, not of broad equality.
Anonymous
Appalachia teaches us that breaking people out of bad communities has more promise than changing those communities wholesale; that encouraging family stability—or at least not discouraging it through the tax code or needless incarceration—promotes upward mobility more effectively than transfer payments; that educating people for employment somewhere other than the depressed local labor market is a better investment than short-term public works; and that helping kids overcome low expectations creates more hope than giving money to those kids’ parents. As a policy agenda, this is a little less ambitious than transforming the mountains from a den of poverty into an engine of economic growth. But if the failures of Appalachia are any guide, a narrower policy agenda might actually serve the poor—white and black alike.
Anonymous
The main prize is access to patriarchal wealth—not revolutionary social change: feminism is framed as a symbolic ‘cock block’ that reduces girls’ chances of upward social mobility. Ageism is mobilised in an opportunistic contempt for feminism in the hope that conforming to the new girly normative femininity will be rewarded by greater access to the patriarchal pie.
Abigail Bray (Misogyny Re-Loaded)
For the mass of Israelis not involved in these power plays, however, the ordeal was all-consuming. Throughout the country, thousands were hurrying to dig trenches, build shelters, and fill sandbags. In Jerusalem, in particular, schools were refitted as bomb shelters, and air raid drills were practiced daily. Most buses and virtually all taxis were mobilized, and an emergency blood drive launched. An urgent request for surgeons—“in view of the tough conditions they must be physically fit and experienced”—was submitted to the Red Cross, and extra units of plasma ordered from abroad. Special committees were placed in charge of gathering essential foodstuffs, for replacing workers called to the front, and for evacuating children to Europe. Upward of 14,000 hospital beds were readied and antidotes stockpiled for poison gas victims, expected to arrive in waves of 200. Some 10,000 graves were dug.15
Michael B. Oren (Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East)
Rather than a state of equal brotherhood and sisterhood, Kim had introduced an elaborate social order in which the eleven million ordinary North Korean citizens were classified according to their perceived political reliability. The songbun system, as it was known, ruthlessly reorganized the entire social system of North Korea into a communistic pseudofeudal system, with every individual put through eight separate background checks, their family history taken into account as far back as their grandparents and second cousins. Your final rating, or songbun, put you in one of fifty-one grades, divided into three broad categories, from top to bottom: the core class, the wavering class, and the hostile class. The hostile class included vast swathes of society, from the politically suspect (“people from families of wealthy farmers, merchants, industrialists, landowners; pro-Japan and pro-U.S. people; reactionary bureaucrats; defectors from the South; Buddhists, Catholics, expelled public officials”) to kiaesaeng (the Korean equivalent of geishas) and mudang (rural shamans). Although North Koreans weren’t informed of their new classification, it quickly became clear to most people what class they had been assigned. North Koreans of the hostile class were banned from living in Pyongyang or in the most fertile areas of the countryside, and they were excluded from any good jobs. There was virtually no upward mobility—once hostile, forever hostile—but plenty downward. If you were found to be doing anything that was illegal or frowned upon by the regime, you and your family’s songbun would suffer. Personal files were kept locked away in local offices, and were backed up in the offices of the Ministry for the Protection of State Security and in a blast-resistant vault in the mountains of Yanggang province. There was no way to tamper with your status, and no way to escape it. The most cunning part of it all was that Kim Il-Sung came up with a way for his subjects to enforce their own oppression by organizing the people into inminban (“people’s groups”), cooperatives of twenty or so families per neighborhood whose duty it was to keep tabs on one another and to inform on any potentially criminal or subversive behavior. These were complemented by kyuch’aldae, mobile police units on constant lookout for infringers, who had the authority to burst into your home or office at any time of day or night. Offenses included using more than your allocated quota of electricity, wearing blue jeans, wearing clothes bearing Roman writing (a “capitalist indulgence”) and allowing your hair to grow longer than the authorized length. Worse still, Kim decreed that any one person’s guilt also made that person’s family, three generations of it, guilty of the same crime. Opposing the regime meant risking your grandparents, your wife, your children—no matter how young—being imprisoned and tortured with you. Historically, Koreans had been subject to a caste system similar to India’s and equally as rigid. In the early years of the DPRK, the North Korean people felt this was just a modernized revitalization of that traditional social structure. By the time they realized something was awfully wrong, that a pyramid had been built, and that at the top of it, on the very narrow peak, sat Kim Il-Sung, alone, perched on the people’s broken backs, on their murdered families and friends, on their destroyed lives—by the time they paused and dared to contemplate that their liberator, their savior, was betraying them—in fact, had always betrayed them—it was already much, much too late.
Paul Fischer (A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator's Rise to Power)
Car insurance,” said Serge. “Watch any channel on TV for any length of time, and every other commercial is a British lizard, an upwardly mobile caveman, a calcified chick named Flo, the anthropomorphic jerk named Mayhem who tricks you into accidents, the guy in a hard hat who hits cars with sledgehammers, the character who played the president in the show 24 saying, ‘That’s Allstate’s stand,’ ‘Nationwide is on your side,’ ‘Fifteen minutes could save you some shit.’ ” “I like Mayhem,” said Coleman. “He makes me not feel so bad about breaking stuff.” “And yet we’re still not manufacturing anything you can hold in your hands,” said Serge.
Tim Dorsey (Tiger Shrimp Tango (Serge Storms #17))
Remarkably, Grace never considered pursuing a career and very rarely sought consistent employment. At no time in her long life was Grace driven by the question of how to make a living. Accordingly, political considerations frequently guided her choices about employment, including where to work, for how long, and even whether to take a job. This set of choices, of course, was available to her because of the relative material security she enjoyed at most stages of her life: her comfortable middle-class upbringing and the family support she continued to enjoy when she returned to New York during the 1940s; her marital union with Jimmy; and the support of her political community, as she sometimes worked as a member of the organization’s (minimally) paid staff and later received financial support from Freddy and Lyman. But that alone does not explain her employment decisions. Grace’s indifference to career and upward mobility reflected her decidedly nonacquisitive personality and a complete disinterest in status or the trappings of any sort of professional life. This was evident in 1940 when Grace earned her Ph.D. Securing an academic job “was never on my mind,” she said decades later, thinking back to her mind-set and priorities while completing the degree. With no aspiration of becoming a professor—“ I had not studied philosophy in order to teach it”—Grace had allowed herself to sink into her studies without regard for where they would lead, intellectually or materially. The need to eventually find employment beyond what she had already been doing “was never in my consciousness. It just never bothered me,” she recalled. “What I knew was that by and large I had been able to make a living because I was a very good typist and I figured, if I needed money I can type.” 84 And that is what she did over the next two decades, taking various secretarial and clerical jobs, most of them short term or temporary and some of them part time.
Stephen M. Ward (In Love and Struggle: The Revolutionary Lives of James and Grace Lee Boggs (Justice, Power, and Politics))
Looking at and 'appreciating' art has been understood as an instrument (or at best a result) of upward mobility, in which owning art is the ultimate step. making art is at the bottom of the scale. This is the only legitimate reason to see artists as so many artists see themselves - as 'workers'. At the same time, artists/makers tend to feel misunderstood and, as creators, innately superior to the buyers/owners. The innermost circle of the art-world class system thereby replaces the rulers with the creators, and the contemporary artist in the big city is a schizophrenic creature. S/he is persistently working 'up' to be accepted, not only by other artists, but also by the hierarchy that exhibits, writes about and buys his / her work. At the same time s/he is often ideologically working 'down' in an attempt to identify with the workers outside of the art context and to overthrow the rulers in the name of art.
Lucy R. Lippard
Howard and I now operate a halfway house for wayward or unwanted cats, as well as a boarding school for the truly gifted and a placement bureau for upwardly mobile felines (Fluppies). The Fluppie Phenomenon should not be taken lightly. The time may come when all household appliances, particularly computers, are required to be catproof. Today’s catly mischief could be tomorrow’s CATastrophe.
Lilian Jackson Braun (The Cat Who Had 14 Tales)
the military remains an important source of upward mobility for many Americans, and particularly for women and minorities. Contrary to much popular mythology about dysfunctional vets, most veterans do pretty well economically—better than comparable nonveterans.
Jim Mattis (Warriors and Citizens: American Views of Our Military)
Higher costs, lower value, and growing debt make for a bad deal, and families know that, but they are short on other options for upward mobility.
Yuval Levin (The Fractured Republic: Renewing America's Social Contract in the Age of Individualism)
But many southern whites were not under the racist hold of the Democrats. As they became more prosperous, these whites came to see the GOP reflect their beliefs in economic opportunity and upward mobility. They also found Republicans more in tune with their patriotism as well as their socially conservative views. Quite naturally, they moved over to a party that better reflected their interests and aspirations.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
Lincoln never defended rich people. His Republican Party was not the party of the 1 percent. Rather, Lincoln defended upward mobility—the right to try one’s chances at moving up the ladder, at getting rich. Lincoln’s Republican Party sought to remove government obstacles to that process. In his time the main such obstacle was slavery. Slavery, Lincoln knew, hurt the value of people’s work because it placed them in competition with slaves who worked for nothing. Today’s Republicans make a similar point about illegal immigrant labor. Illegal immigrants don’t have to pay taxes. For this and other reasons, they can price their labor markedly below that of citizens. Consequently, illegal immigration harms the upward mobility of American workers. Today’s Democrats howl that such rhetoric is racist, but since there is no implication of racial inferiority, the charge is baseless. Democrats make it only because they derive political benefits from illegal immigration. In reality, the GOP is right that illegal immigration has held back the standard of living of many American workers, making it difficult for them to achieve the upward mobility that Lincoln knew epitomized the American dream.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
The promise of equality is often described as a promise of mobility. That is, national leaders emphasize that they are focused on delivering opportunities for upward movement, for improvement: we cannot say the outcome will be equal, but we can promise that everyone will get to fairly play the game.
You Yenn Teo (This Is What Inequality Looks Like)
Skunk? Was there skunk in Ireland? Taking out an evidence bag, she tried to pinpoint the area it seemed strongest, but it was impossible to tell. In any case, she swabbed a small area from the wall and then the ground, bagged them, and in addition picked up a sample of grit from the same area on the floor. The tower, with its two battered old wooden slat windows, was completely empty, save for some pigeon droppings. As birds didn’t urinate, Reilly already knew the foul smell definitely wasn’t coming from them. Moving tighter into the wall, she began stepping in concentric circles inwards, her gaze scanning the ground area. Then, her keen eye noticed some tiny bluish dots that were slightly incongruous amongst the grit and the droppings. She pulled out her tweezers and, bending low, carefully lifted one up for inspection. With some idea of what it was, she held it to her nose, sniffed, and removed all doubt. Rubber. Reilly’s mind raced, wondering if this was of any significance. Had the killer dropped it? Probably not. Whoever had hoisted that poor man up into the tree and slashed open his torso surely wouldn’t have then gone to the trouble of coming all the way up here to watch him die. Or would he? She craned her neck, looking upwards into the gloom, then made her way to the window. As she did, she let out a breath. There, framed perfectly in the opening as if it were a painting, was the hawthorn tree, the misfortunate victim dramatically hanging front and center. Leaving little doubt in Reilly’s mind that such positioning was completely intentional. It took a while, but eventually the local police managed to arrange for a mobile elevating platform to be sent to the site from the nearest town. The ME, having repositioned the man’s innards as best she could, wrapped the mutilated body in the tarpaulin and, with the platform operator’s assistance, accompanied it down to the ground, where she could examine it more closely. Reilly took a lint roller from her bag, took samples from the body and then concentrated her efforts around the perimeter of the tree, walking in concentric circles around the base amongst the humongous roots poking through the soil. Granted the victim was not a heavy man, but even so, it
Casey Hill (CSI Reilly Steel 3 Book Boxset: Taboo / Inferno / Hidden)
In a remarkable book, The End of Southern Exceptionalism, Byron Shafer and Richard Johnston make the case that white southerners switched to the Republican Party not because of racism but because they identified the GOP with economic opportunity and upward mobility.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
The fascist leaders were outsiders of a new type. New people had forced their way into national leadership before. There had long been hard-bitten soldiers who fought better than aristocratic officers and became indispensable to kings. A later form of political recruitment came from young men of modest background who made good when electoral politics broadened in the late nineteenth century. One thinks of the aforementioned French politician Léon Gambetta, the grocer’s son, or the beer wholesaler’s son Gustav Stresemann, who became the preeminent statesman of Weimar Germany. A third kind of successful outsider in modern times has been clever mechanics in new industries (consider those entrepreneurial bicycle makers Henry Ford, William Morris, and the Wrights). But many of the fascist leaders were marginal in a new way. They did not resemble the interlopers of earlier eras: the soldiers of fortune, the first upwardly mobile parliamentary politicians, or the clever mechanics. Some were bohemians, lumpen-intellectuals, dilettantes, experts in nothing except the manipulation of crowds and the fanning of resentments: Hitler, the failed art student; Mussolini, a schoolteacher by trade but mostly a restless revolutionary, expelled for subversion from Switzerland and the Trentino; Joseph Goebbels, the jobless college graduate with literary ambitions; Hermann Goering, the drifting World War I fighter ace; Heinrich Himmler, the agronomy student who failed at selling fertilizer and raising chickens. Yet the early fascist cadres were far too diverse in social origins and education to fit the common label of marginal outsiders. Alongside street-brawlers with criminal records like Amerigo Dumini or Martin Bormann one could find a professor of philosophy like Giovanni Gentile or even, briefly, a musician like Arturo Toscanini. What united them was, after all, values rather than a social profile: scorn for tired bourgeois politics, opposition to the Left, fervent nationalism, a tolerance for violence when needed.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
I grew up urban and poor and lived in apartment buildings in crowded rental-based neighborhoods. In my childhood, there were many people of color around me. But I knew that if I was to improve my life, I would not stay in these neighborhoods; upward mobility would take me to whiter spaces, and it has. I did not maintain those early relationships with people of color, and no one who guided me encouraged me to do so. Segregation was still operating in my life at the wider societal level: it dictated what I learned in school, read in books, saw on TV, and learned to value if I wanted to improve my life.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
The way of the Christian leader is not the way of upward mobility in which our world has invested so much, but the way of downward mobility ending on the cross.
C. Gene Wilkes (Jesus on Leadership)
As such, different configurations of racialized desires, social status, business success, and hope for upward mobility all play out differently in the four niche markets in which I conducted fieldwork.
Kimberly Kay Hoang (Dealing in Desire: Asian Ascendancy, Western Decline, and the Hidden Currencies of Global Sex Work)
As we learned in response to the last great economic calamity to confront the country, to ensure broad prosperity government has four crucial roles to play: first, to help people weather the vicissitudes that easily plunge families into poverty, for instance job loss or ill health; second, to provide escalators of upward mobility, such as quality schooling, higher education, and mortgage assistance; third, to build the nation’s infrastructure, thus laying the groundwork for the next great economic boom; and fourth, to rein in marketplace abuses through regulation, and to prevent excessive concentrations of wealth through progressive taxation. This is the New Deal liberal vision that propelled the largest expansion of the middle class ever seen, and that once enjoyed broad support across the whole country. Throughout
Ian F. Haney-López (Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class)
The Wall Street Journal (The Wall Street Journal) - Clip This Article on Location 1055 | Added on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 5:10:24 PM OPINION Baltimore Is Not About Race Government-induced dependency is the problem—and it’s one with a long history. By William McGurn | 801 words For those who see the rioting in Baltimore as primarily about race, two broad reactions dominate. One group sees rampaging young men fouling their own neighborhoods and concludes nothing can be done because the social pathologies are so overwhelming. In some cities, this view manifests itself in the unspoken but cynical policing that effectively cedes whole neighborhoods to the thugs. The other group tut-tuts about root causes. Take your pick: inequality, poverty, injustice. Or, as President Obama intimated in an ugly aside on the rioting, a Republican Congress that will never agree to the “massive investments” (in other words, billions more in federal spending) required “if we are serious about solving this problem.” There is another view. In this view, the disaster of inner cities isn’t primarily about race at all. It’s about the consequences of 50 years of progressive misrule—which on race has proved an equal-opportunity failure. Baltimore is but the latest liberal-blue city where government has failed to do the one thing it ought—i.e., put the cops on the side of the vulnerable and law-abiding—while pursuing “solutions” that in practice enfeeble families and social institutions and local economies. These supposed solutions do this by substituting federal transfers for fathers and families. They do it by favoring community organizing and government projects over private investment. And they do it by propping up failing public-school systems that operate as jobs programs for the teachers unions instead of centers of learning. If our inner-city African-American communities suffer disproportionately from crippling social pathologies that make upward mobility difficult—and they do—it is in large part because they have disproportionately been on the receiving end of this five-decade-long progressive experiment in government beneficence. How do we know? Because when we look at a slice of white America that was showered with the same Great Society good intentions—Appalachia—we find the same dysfunctions: greater dependency, more single-parent families and the absence of the good, private-sector jobs that only a growing economy can create. Remember, in the mid-1960s when President Johnson put a face on America’s “war on poverty,” he didn’t do it from an urban ghetto. He did it from the front porch of a shack in eastern Kentucky’s Martin County, where a white family of 10 eked out a subsistence living on an income of $400 a year. In many ways, rural Martin County and urban Baltimore could not be more different. Martin County is 92% white while Baltimore is two-thirds black. Each has seen important sources of good-paying jobs dry up—Martin County in coal mining, Baltimore in manufacturing. In the last presidential election, Martin Country voted 6 to 1 for Mitt Romney while Baltimore went 9 to 1 for Barack Obama. Yet the Great Society’s legacy has been depressingly similar. In a remarkable dispatch two years ago, the Lexington Herald-Leader’s John Cheves noted that the war on poverty sent $2.1 billion to Martin County alone (pop. 12,537) through programs including “welfare, food stamps, jobless benefits, disability compensation, school subsidies, affordable housing, worker training, economic development incentives, Head Start for poor children and expanded Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.” The result? “The problem facing Appalachia today isn’t Third World poverty,” writes Mr. Cheves. “It’s dependence on government assistance.” Just one example: When Congress imposed work requirements and lifetime caps for welfare during the Clinton administration, claims of disability jumped. Mr. Cheves quotes
Anonymous
Lawns were invented in the late Middle Ages by nobles who wanted to flaunt their wealth. Lawns are pure luxury. The bigger your lawn, the more land and peasants you needed to cultivate it. Lawns became a primary symbol of political power, so much so that upwardly mobile merchants and other nouveau riche couldn’t wait to grow their own.
Eliot Peper (Bandwidth (Analog #1))
Individuals support growth-oriented policies, because they believe growth will give them an ever increasing welfare. Governments seek growth as a remedy for just about every problem. In the rich world, growth is believed to be necessary for employment, upward mobility, and technical advance. In the poor world, growth seems to be the only way out of poverty. Many believe that growth is required to provide the resources necessary for protecting and improving the environment. Government and corporate leaders do all they can to produce more and more growth. For these reasons growth has come to be viewed as a cause for celebration. Just consider some synonyms for that word: development, progress, advance, gain, improvement, prosperity, success.
Donella H. Meadows (Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update)
The “American Dream” is grounded in the promise of the transcendence of social class boundaries, as in the opportunity to enable one’s children to climb the social ladder through educational and financial achievement. The mythology of upward mobility encourages Americans (including many in the academy) to pathologize poverty and disregard the influence of privilege
Anita Harris (All about the Girl: Culture, Power, and Identity)
Segregation is often lessened somewhat for poor urban whites who may live near and have friendships with people of color on the local level because white poverty brings white people into proximity with people of color in a way that suburban and middle-class life does not (except during gentrification, when the mixing is temporary). Urban whites from the lower classes may have more integrated lives on the micro level, but we still receive the message that achievement means moving away from the neighborhoods and schools that illuminate our poverty. Upward mobility is the great class goal in the United States, and the social environment gets tangibly whiter the higher up you climb. Whiter environments, in turn, are seen as the most desirable.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
The American sociologist Barrington Moore proposed a longer-term explanation for the emergence of military dictatorship in Japan. Seeking the ultimate roots of dictatorship and democracy in different routes toward the capitalist transformation of agriculture, Moore noted that Britain allowed an independent rural gentry to enclose its estates and expel from the countryside “surplus” labor who were then “free” to work in its precocious industries. British democracy could rest upon a stable, conservative countryside and a large urban middle class fed by upwardly mobile labor. Germany and Japan, by contrast, industrialized rapidly and late while maintaining unchanged a traditional landlord-peasant agriculture. Thereafter they were obliged to hold in check all at once fractious workers, squeezed petty bourgeois, and peasants, either by force or by manipulation. This conflict-ridden social system, moreover, provided only limited markets for its own products. Both Germany and Japan dealt with these challenges by combining internal repression with external expansion, aided by the slogans and rituals of a right-wing ideology that sounded radical without really challenging the social order. To Barrington Moore’s long-term analysis of lopsided modernization, one could add further short-term twentieth-century similarities between the German and Japanese situations: the vividness of the perception of a threat from the Soviet Union (Russia had made territorial claims against Japan since the Japanese victory of 1905), and the necessity to adapt traditional political and social hierarchies rapidly to mass politics. Imperial Japan was even more successful than Nazi Germany in using modern methods of mobilization and propaganda to integrate its population under traditional authority. Moore’s perceived similarities between German and Japanese development patterns and social structures have not been fully convincing to Japan specialists. Agrarian landlords cannot be shown to have played a major role in giving imperial Japan its peculiar mix of expansionism and social control. And if imperial Japanese techniques of integration were very successful, it was mostly because Japanese society was so coherent and its family structure so powerful. Imperial Japan, finally, despite undoubted influence from European fascism and despite some structural analogies to Germany and Italy, faced less critical problems than those two countries. The Japanese faced no imminent revolutionary threat, and needed to overcome neither external defeat nor internal disintegration (though they feared it, and resented Western obstacles to their expansion in Asia). Though the imperial regime used techniques of mass mobilization, no official party or autonomous grassroots movement competed with the leaders. The Japanese empire of the period 1932–45 is better understood as an expansionist military dictatorship with a high degree of state-sponsored mobilization than as a fascist regime.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
Perhaps it has never struck you how consistently the great religious teachers and founders leave home, go on pilgrimage to far-off places, do a major turnabout, choose downward mobility; and how often it is their parents, the established religion at that time, spiritual authorities, and often even civil authorities who fight against them.
Richard Rohr (AARP Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life)
you were born in 1980, you have only a 50 percent chance of making more money than your parents. If you were born in 1950, you had a 79 percent chance, according to research done by Raj Chetty and his team of economists. That’s one hell of a drop over just three decades! Upward mobility in the United States was once one of the easiest accomplishments in the developed world. Now it’s ranked as one of the hardest.
Harry S. Dent (Zero Hour: Turn the Greatest Political and Financial Upheaval in Modern History to Your Advantage)
Upward mobility is the great class goal in the United States, and the social environment gets tangibly whiter the higher up you climb. Whiter environments, in turn, are seen as the most desirable.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
Uplift suasion also failed to account for the widespread belief in the extraordinary Negro, which had dominated assimilationist and abolitionist thinking in America for a century. Upwardly mobile Blacks were regularly cast aside as unique and as different from ordinary, inferior Black people.
Ibram X. Kendi (Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America)
they reached as far upmarket as they could in each new product generation, until their drives packed the capacity to appeal to the value networks above them. It is this upward mobility that makes disruptive technologies so dangerous to established firms—and so attractive to entrants.
Clayton M. Christensen (The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail)
sensible resource allocation processes were at the root of companies’ upward mobility and downmarket immobility across the boundaries of the value networks in the disk drive industry.
Clayton M. Christensen (Disruptive Innovation: The Christensen Collection (the Innovator's Dilemma, the Innovator's Solution, the Innovator's DNA, and Harvard Business Review Article "How Will You Measure Your Life?") (4 Items))
During disintegrative trend reversals, these processes work in reverse. Abatement of elite overproduction decreases intraelite competition. Additionally, there is another curious dynamic that tends to increase intraelite homogeneity, the “closing of the patriciate”, in which the established elites close their ranks to newcomers and dramatically reduce, or even reverse upward social mobility.
Peter Turchin (Ages of Discord: A Structural-Demographic Analysis of American History)
Whigs and Republicans supported all kinds of “improvements” to promote economic growth and upward mobility—"internal improvements” in the form of roads, canals, railroads, and the like; tariffs to protect American industry and labor from low-wage foreign competition; a centralized, rationalized banking system.
James M. McPherson (Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era)
The stress laid on upward social mobility in the United States has tended to obscure the fact that there can be more than one kind of mobility and more than one direction in which it can go. There can be ethical mobility as well as financial, and it can go down as well as up.
Margaret Halsey
As people and as a planet we suffer from upward mobility and downward nobility.
Vicki Robin (Your Money or Your Life)
The killers had a few commonalities, by and large. They were young and lawless and lacked formal education. They came of age at a time of collapse, saw no end to the ruin, and no geyser of upward economic mobility besides taking money and things from people who had both.
Ben Montgomery (The Man Who Walked Backward: An American Dreamer's Search for Meaning in the Great Depression)
Life with an unreliable mother had robbed her of the sense of security necessary for upward mobility. It had rendered her anxious and shortsighted.
Kristin Gore (Sweet Jiminy)
African Americans have even less mobility. For those born to parents in the bottom income quintile, over half (53 percent) remain there as adults, and only a quarter (26 percent) make it to the middle quintile or higher. Considering the disadvantages that low-income African Americans have had as a result of segregation - poor access to jobs and to schools where they can excel - it’s surprising that their mobility, compared to that of other Americans, isn’t even lower. Two explanations come to mind. One is that many African Americans heed the warning that they have to be twice as good to succeed and exhibit more than average hard work, responsibility, and ambition to supplement a little luck. The other is that our affirmative action programs have been moderately successful. Probably some of both are involved.
Richard Rothstein (The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America)
The nearly uniform advantages received by the children of the college-educated professionals suggest the evolution of an increasingly distinct subculture in American society, one in which adults routinely transmit to their offspring the symbolic thinking and confident problem solving that mark the adults' economic activities and that are so difficult for outsiders to acquire in mid-life. A trend toward separation into subcultures jeopardizes the upward mobility that has given this nation greatness and presages the tragedy of downward mobility that produces increasing numbers of working poor. If this trend is to be reversed, a beginning must be made now. The issue is no longer one of eradicating poverty or of putting welfare recipients to work but of reversing a trend, the downward drift of the working class.
Ruby K. Payne (Bridges Out of Poverty)
JULY 12 Making Waves I would do anything for you. Would you be yourself? n the Hans Christian Anderson classic, The Little Mermaid, Ariel gives up her beautiful voice in exchange for legs. This is a seemingly innocent fable that captures our deal with the modern devil. For aren't we taught that mobility is freedom, whether it be moving from state to state, or from marriage to marriage, or from adventure to adventure? Aren't we convinced that upward mobility, moving from job to job, is the definition of success? Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with change or variety or newness or with improving our condition. The catch is when we are asked to give up our voice in order to move freely, when we are asked to silence what makes us unique in order to be successful. When not making waves means giving up our chance to dive into the deep, then we are bartering our access to God for a better driveway. As a story about relationship, the lesson of Ariel is crucial. On the surface, her desire for legs seems touching and sweetly motivated by love and the want to belong. Yet here too is another false bargain that plagues everyone who ever tries it. For no matter how badly we want to love or be loved, we cannot alter our basic nature and survive inside, where it counts. o Sit quietly and consider your own history of love. o As you exhale, consider a time when you gave up some aspect of yourself in order to be loved. o As you inhale, allow yourself to reconnect with this silenced part of your nature. JULY
Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have)
The story of a marriage was an excellent way to fulfill the goal of discussing class without discussing class, and to tell an audience that they were upwardly mobile.
Jeanine Basinger
What is key to America's understanding of class is the persistent belief - despite all evidence to the contrary - that anyone, with the proper discipline and drive, can move from a lower class to a higher class. We recognize the mobility may be difficult, but the key to our collective self-image is the assumption that mobility is always possible, so failure to move up reflects on one's character.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
It was in this environment of entrenched racism that America’s first minstrel shows appeared, and they began attracting large audiences of European immigrants, native Whites, and sometimes even Blacks. By 1830, Thomas “Daddy” Rice, who learned to mimic African American English (today called “Ebonics”), was touring the South, perfecting the character that thrust him into international prominence: Jim Crow. Appearing in blackface, and dressed in rags, torn shoes, and a weathered hat, Jim Crow sang and danced as a stupid, childlike, cheerful Black field hand. Other minstrel characters included “Old darky,” the thoughtless, musical head of an enslaved family, and “Mammy,” the hefty asexual devoted caretaker of Whites. The biracial, beautiful, sexually promiscuous “yaller gal” titillated White men. “Dandy,” or “Zip Coon,” was an upwardly mobile northern Black male who mimicked—outrageously—White elites. Typically, minstrel shows included a song-and-dance portion, a variety show, and a plantation skit. In the decades leading up to the Civil War, blackface minstrelsy became the first American theatrical form, the incubator of the American entertainment industry. Exported to excited European audiences, minstrel shows remained mainstream in the United States until around 1920 (when the rise of racist films took their place).15
Ibram X. Kendi (Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America)
Those who resented Sanjay’s bossism within the party and government were sidelined. A new generation of brash, young, socially upwardly mobile wannabes including Akbar Ahmed, Gundu Rao, Rukhsana Sultana, Jagdish Tytler, Kamal Nath, Ambika Soni, Bansi Lal and so on, acquired prominence both in party and government.
Sanjaya Baru (P. V. Narasimha Rao vs the Nehru-Gandhi Family)
that White people could be persuaded away from their racist ideas if they saw Black people improving their behavior, uplifting themselves from their low station in American society. The burden of race relations was placed squarely on the shoulders of Black Americans. Positive Black behavior, abolitionist strategists held, undermined racist ideas, and negative Black behavior confirmed them. Uplift suasion was not conceived by the abolitionists meeting in Philadelphia in 1794. It lurked behind the craze to exhibit Phillis Wheatley and Francis Williams and other “extraordinary” Black people. So the American Convention, raising the stakes, asked every free Black person to serve as a Black exhibit. In every state, abolitionists publicly and privately drilled this theory into the minds of African people as they entered the ranks of freedom in the 1790s and beyond. This strategy to undermine racist ideas was actually based on a racist idea: “negative” Black behavior, said that idea, was partially or totally responsible for the existence and persistence of racist ideas. To believe that the negative ways of Black people were responsible for racist ideas was to believe that there was some truth in notions of Black inferiority. To believe that there was some truth in notions of Black inferiority was to hold racist ideas. From the beginning, uplift suasion was not only racist, it was also impossible for Blacks to execute. Free Blacks were unable to always display positive characteristics for the same reasons poor immigrants and rich planters were unable to do so: free Blacks were human and humanly flawed. Uplift suasion assumed, moreover, that racist ideas were sensible and could be undone by appealing to sensibilities. But the common political desire to justify racial inequities produced racist ideas, not logic. Uplift suasion also failed to account for the widespread belief in the extraordinary Negro, which had dominated assimilationist and abolitionist thinking in America for a century. Upwardly mobile Blacks were regularly cast aside as unique and as different from ordinary, inferior Black people.
Ibram X. Kendi (Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America)
Boxers, then, embodied a distinctly working-class version of the American dream, providing models of upward mobility within bounds acceptable to the street culture.
Elliott J. Gorn (The Manly Art: Bare-Knuckle Prize Fighting in America)
So there is more to their stance than a wistful yearning for acceptance in a world they never made. Their real motivation is an instinctive certainty as to what the score really is. They are out of the ballgame and they know it. Unlike the campus rebels, who with a minimum amount of effort will emerge from their struggle with a validated ticket to status, the outlaw motorcyclist views the future with the baleful eye of a man with no upward mobility at all. In a world increasingly geared to specialists, technicians and fantastically complicated machinery, the Hell’s Angels are obvious losers and it bugs them. But instead of submitting quietly to their collective fate, they have made it the basis of a full-time social vendetta. They don’t expect to win anything, but on the other hand, they have nothing to lose. If
Hunter S. Thompson (Hell's Angels)
They assume that women are on a mommy track, an unofficial career track that firms use for women who want to divide their attention between work and family. This assumption would be false if applied to all women. It also implies that corporate men are not interested in maintaining a balance between work and family. Even competitive, upwardly mobile women are not always taken seriously in the workplace (Carlson, Kacmar, and Whitten 2006; Heilman 2001; Schwartz and Zimmerman 1992).
Richard T. Schaefer (Racial and Ethnic Groups)
a modern community, social services are offered to everyone, not only the poor. There was a time in our not-too-distant past when universal public school education, playgrounds, and public health measures were considered to be radical ideas, and these programs were only for poor people. Better-off people purchased these services on their own. But over time, it was discovered that these services were good for the entire community. Public school education in the twentieth century has served as the major institution for integrating the great masses of immigrants into American society, providing opportunities for upward social mobility never before known, and as an enormous force for democratizing the American community.
Harry Specht (Unfaithful Angels: How Social Work Has Abandoned its Mission)
Her sense of self was also inseparable from her sense of community. She also believed that we have to learn how to relate to one another again, to smile and laugh again, to fall into one another’s arms and love each other again. We have to live with less and be happy baking bread, restoring a house. We need more control over how things are made, more self-reliance. We need to be closer to the source of what things are made of and how they are made. We need to stop thinking that every problem has to be solved by an expert and to depend more on ourselves and one another. One of the main reasons for today’s violence, Dorothy used to say, is the stress on individual upward mobility: “You can work hard and get good grades in high school, go to college, and yet when you get your degree there is no job for you. So under the pressures of your house note and car note you explode.” Before she met Jimmy and me, Dorothy had never spoken in public. “He encouraged me,” she said at the service we held for Jimmy a week after his death, “and I haven’t shut up since.
Grace Lee Boggs (Living for Change: An Autobiography)
What's more, by increasing the flexibility of the labor supply, the temp industry contributes to downward pressure on wages, decreased employment security, and limited upward mobility for all workers, not just temps.3
Erin Hatton (The Temp Economy: From Kelly Girls to Permatemps in Postwar America)
Even today, many poor and lower-middle-class whites feel more solidarity with Bill Gates and George W. Bush than with African-Americans or Hispanic-Americans of comparable economic status. Indeed, as many have observed, large numbers of working-class whites in the United States oppose welfare and increased government spending on social services, often voting against what might be expected to be their economic self-interest. It is widely suspected that racism (together with a thriving ideology of upward mobility) plays a role in this pattern.
Amy Chua (World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability)
Through the discourse and institutionalization of meritocracy, the narrative of large-scale upward mobility is thereby made concrete at the individual level. The connection between national success and individual merit is a powerful public and private narrative that shapes those who've arrived, those in motion, and those standing still.
You Yenn Teo (This Is What Inequality Looks Like)
American educational institutions were failing at this, instead becoming politically craven institutions offering, at best, upward mobility. Rather than promoting intellectualism and cultural enrichment, they are purveyors of “the trivia of vocational tricks and adjustment to life—meaning the slack life of the masses.
Aaron Good (American Exception: Empire and the Deep State)