News From Terre Haute, Indiana


October 14, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Oct. 14, 2012


American dream very much alive

One of the very fundamental strengths of the United States has always been that it didn’t matter who your parents were. Your success or failure in life depended on what each individual accomplished. It is the American dream. A recent national news magazine had an article saying America had lost that upward mobility.  

As proof, they cited several studies. One claimed that only 35 percent of the Forbes 400 was born lower or middle class. Another statistic used was that two-thirds of children born into the lowest earning 20 percent of society will remain in the lowest earning 40 percent over their lifetime.

Now call me a glass-half-full sort of optimist, but those numbers are really very good. Over one third of the richest “old money” has been replaced by someone who has risen by their own hard work and initiative.  

The second statistic used is much more positive than the writers imply as well. Of people who start their life in the bottom quintile of American society, one-third make it into the middle quintile or higher. Also, of the remaining two-thirds, an unspecified number, but some portion nonetheless, moves up into the second quintile.  

At the same time, having money is no guarantee. As the figures show, for those who move up, someone has to move down the relative pecking order. There could be a whole host of reasons for this. It may be someone who is doing his best and is increasing income, just not as quickly as others. It may also be the prototypical wastrel who chooses an unproductive life over a productive one.

Every parent wants their children to have a better life than they did. That is only natural. The problem today is the government is trying to guarantee that outcome instead of making each individual earn it.

— Dwayne Owens

Terre Haute

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Raw: Earthquake Rocks Mexico's Gulf Coast Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Judge OKs Record-setting $2B Sale of Clipper Mother of 2 Makes NFL Cheerleading Squad at 40 Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix Gaza Official: at Least 100 Killed Tuesday Raw: Airstrike Shatters Fragile Calm in Gaza Raw: NH Man Held on $1M in Teen's Kidnapping
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Two women barely avoid being hit by train Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010