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Old 02-12-2014, 07:18 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
What are those? Is it obvious from the name itself or is there anything more interesting about it?
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
The Bay Area is pretty much tops in the country when it comes to social mobility. That might not be saying much these days but compared to say, Atlanta, it's much better.
This is actually a myth. Social mobility is OK if you start middle class. You have pretty good odds of staying middle class, and perhaps moving up the food chain a bit.

The chances of moving from lower class to middle class are pretty slim. Although Silicon Valley is billed as a meritocracy, it is really cliquey. If you are an outsider, particularly if you are not from an ethnic group stereotyped as "smart," you are not invited to the party. That's the reality. Don't get me wrong, there are a few successful blacks and latinos here and there, but by and large they (and I am including myself in this category) started off from a position of class privilege. Let's just say, 85% of my black and latino peers have college educated parents. Perhaps that rate it is even higher than my similar white and asian peers, but it is definitely higher than the general population.

Quote:
I would be careful about equating the experience of wealthy, white suburbanites with the experience of all white people. Most rich people are white ≠ most white people are rich. The number of white households in the bottom two income quintiles is larger than all non-white households combined.

Most middle-class white people are barely hanging on and I'd actually argue that if you have "reserves" to tap into as opposed to credit (that you use to buy groceries so you can still pay the mortgage) then you're probably not really middle-class.
I disagree....that shifted in the past 10-15 years or show. 20-30 years ago, the very definition of middle class was having reserves. These days, middle class it pretty precarious. The other thing, middle class in CA is a lot more precarious than let's say the midwest or northeast. Or south. These advantages show up in my southern high school peers (the ones who were middle class, all though not many were) as well. As for my sister, she has a broader set of white peers, from lots of different places, and the trend holds up for them as well. Hers are more of a mix of middle class and upper middle class. (Keep in mind we are in our 30s, and things have changed drastically for the middle class over the past 20 years....but we still have the influence of the "old period" of middle class, when keeping up with the Jones didn't require reaching beyond your means.)

Most of my (white) peers in college, were regular middle class, and their parents paid for most of their college education. Very few were above middle class. By and large, they didn't have loans or had very small ones. Overall, most of my non-white peers had loans. Of course, within the about 5-7 years after I started college, the number of people relying on loans to fund college increased a lot. The loan burden of people under let's say, 28-30ish is quite different than it is for my age group. I am not exaggerating when I say that 60% of my non-white peers have loans vs 30% of my white peers had loans after college. These things have a huge impact as you "move into adulthood."
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:03 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,953,913 times
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Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
This is actually a myth. Social mobility is OK if you start middle class. You have pretty good odds of staying middle class, and perhaps moving up the food chain a bit.

The chances of moving from lower class to middle class are pretty slim.
No, it's definitely not a myth. There's been quite a bit written about it over the last year or so
Are the Suburbs Where the American Dream Goes to Die? - Matthew O'Brien - The Atlantic

It may be rare for a kid to move from the bottom quintile to the top (~10%) but it's far less rare for a kid to move from the 2nd lowest quintile to the middle or 2nd highest.

Quote:
Although Silicon Valley is billed as a meritocracy, it is really cliquey. If you are an outsider, particularly if you are not from an ethnic group stereotyped as "smart," you are not invited to the party. That's the reality. Don't get me wrong, there are a few successful blacks and latinos here and there, but by and large they (and I am including myself in this category) started off from a position of class privilege. Let's just say, 85% of my black and latino peers have college educated parents. Perhaps that rate it is even higher than my similar white and asian peers, but it is definitely higher than the general population.
I think that's the problem of forming a world view around where one grew up. Especially when one comes from a large metro. The rest of the country isn't a super zip surrounded by other super zips just like the rest of the country is not a terrible ghetto surrounded by other terrible ghettoes. How most people live is somewhere between the two.


Quote:
I disagree....that shifted in the past 10-15 years or show. 20-30 years ago, the very definition of middle class was having reserves. These days, middle class it pretty precarious. The other thing, middle class in CA is a lot more precarious than let's say the midwest or northeast. Or south. These advantages show up in my southern high school peers (the ones who were middle class, all though not many were) as well. As for my sister, she has a broader set of white peers, from lots of different places, and the trend holds up for them as well. Hers are more of a mix of middle class and upper middle class. (Keep in mind we are in our 30s, and things have changed drastically for the middle class over the past 20 years....but we still have the influence of the "old period" of middle class, when keeping up with the Jones didn't require reaching beyond your means.)

Most of my (white) peers in college, were regular middle class, and their parents paid for most of their college education. Very few were above middle class. By and large, they didn't have loans or had very small ones. Overall, most of my non-white peers had loans. Of course, within the about 5-7 years after I started college, the number of people relying on loans to fund college increased a lot. The loan burden of people under let's say, 28-30ish is quite different than it is for my age group. I am not exaggerating when I say that 60% of my non-white peers have loans vs 30% of my white peers had loans after college. These things have a huge impact as you "move into adulthood."
I'd say 20-25 years but in either case it's been long enough that the old definition of middle class doesn't help us in trying to describe the situation today.

If your parents can afford to pay for your college (vs. helping you out by buying your books or something) then only under rare circumstances are you "middle class". The exception would be if you live at home, work 20+ hours while you're studying, and your parents pay for your tuition at a community college and then help you with tuition while you attend the local campus of your state university then I could see people graduating with loans less than $5000 but only with a lot of family struggle and sacrifice.

I don't know anyone who managed to finish school with less than $10k in loans. I went to school on the GI Bill, worked 15-20 hours a week during the semester, went to public college/university, was in the National Guard for a year of it so I didn't have to pay tuition for two semesters at the community college I went to and I still wound up with more than $10k in loans.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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^ actually I spent my formative years not in a super zip. I lived in South Carolina. I know why upward mobility is a super myth in Silicon Valley. I didn't address the different set of problems in South Carolina. It is off topic in this thread.

My point is, if we count Silicon Valley as the best option for upward mobility we have a lot of problems. Upward mobility is not easy in Silicon Valley. The current haves are mostly the children of other haves. Like I mentioned most of my tech company peers have college educated professional parents. Not too many "escaped the wrong side of the tracks" and became a dotcom millionaire.

I left college with a lot of debt. Only 10 years later did I realize how I was in the minority. Literally and figuratively. College prices at my university doubled 2-4 years after I finished. And are now 3x what they were when I was there. I went to a public school.
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
No, it's definitely not a myth. There's been quite a bit written about it over the last year or so
Are the Suburbs Where the American Dream Goes to Die? - Matthew O'Brien - The Atlantic
Another idiotic article from the Atlantic. Where do they come up with this stuff? The "sprawl versus social mobility graph" shows very little relationship; the relationship it has is strictly due to the two outlying points (SF and Atlanta).... and why did they pick those 10 cities? In particular, where is New York City (population weighted density 31, social mobility 9.7)? The map shows the real effect is regional, not having anything to do with sprawl.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:04 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Another idiotic article from the Atlantic. Where do they come up with this stuff? The "sprawl versus social mobility graph" shows very little relationship; the relationship it has is strictly due to the two outlying points (SF and Atlanta).... and why did they pick those 10 cities? In particular, where is New York City (population weighted density 31, social mobility 9.7)? The map shows the real effect is regional, not having anything to do with sprawl.
I think they picked the largest metros in the country. New York City is missing because it would be off the chart; the rest of the cities would be crunched together. The weighted density vs black % is bizarre. After doing all those weighted density stats, I wouldn't have expected someone to compare those two. Correlation is rather, good, though adding NYC (about the same black % as Chicago or Houston) would stick out even more. DC has a slightly lower weighted density and a higher black population, and that means what for the article's arguement?

As for the numbers, I think it mostly reflects a measure of racial polarization, places with a large minority population and a stronger history of ethnic/racial polarization tend to be less mobile. The exceptions are high immigrant areas, where the poor immigrants are poor because they're starting out rather entrenched poverty. Take a look at the chart here with a larger list of metros:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/22/bu....html?hp&_r=1&

What's the pattern? The ones that rank highly are either relatively white (Pittsburgh or Seattle), so there's less of a racial dynamic in poverty. Or with a very high immigrant % (New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco/San Jose). The bottom are mostly low-immigrant cities with a large black urban underclass (Atlanta, Detroit, Cleveland). The pattern for what happens to the top 20% is a bit more muddled, sunbelt and western cities seem to rank lower in the rich child will be rich.
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:12 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,953,913 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
As for the numbers, I think it mostly reflects a measure of racial polarization, places with a large minority population and a stronger history of ethnic/racial polarization tend to be less mobile.
But they point that places with racial polarization have less mobility for blacks and whites . . . maybe because the places where those two dynamics are strong are also the places that haven't bounced back from deindustrialization and/or are more rural and lack economic growth engines?

I don't know, just throwing it out there.
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:46 AM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,953,913 times
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Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
^ actually I spent my formative years not in a super zip. I lived in South Carolina. I know why upward mobility is a super myth in Silicon Valley. I didn't address the different set of problems in South Carolina. It is off topic in this thread.

My point is, if we count Silicon Valley as the best option for upward mobility we have a lot of problems. Upward mobility is not easy in Silicon Valley. The current haves are mostly the children of other haves. Like I mentioned most of my tech company peers have college educated professional parents. Not too many "escaped the wrong side of the tracks" and became a dotcom millionaire.
Upward mobility isn't easy in the US (at least not compared to other OECD countries) so if we're going to talk about it all it should be recognized that it's in relative terms. So then mobility isn't limited to being a kid in a broke family who goes on to become the next Zuckerberg or Gates. Even in the most upwardly mobile societies that's not the case. There are tens of millions of people who live somewhere in between. A kid with a mom who cleans houses and a dad who works in landscaping, neither of whom speak english very well, who gets some college credits under his belt and goes on to become middle management at a retail chain has moved up the income ladder. That's what social mobility is. It's not about winning the Silicon Valley lottery.

Quote:
I left college with a lot of debt. Only 10 years later did I realize how I was in the minority. Literally and figuratively. College prices at my university doubled 2-4 years after I finished. And are now 3x what they were when I was there. I went to a public school.
Average student loan debt is just under $30,000 nationally. In CA it's around $20k. In SC $27k, NJ $29k, PA $32k. In CA 52% of grads have debt. In SC it's 55%, NJ 65%, PA 70%

The debt burden for poor and middle class families is pretty similar with slightly higher debt for the middle class families (i'd imagine because of less access to scholarships and being more familiar with/comfortable with borrowing).

In terms of race some 35% of all white people over the age of 25 have a degree. That's compared to 52% of Asians, 22% of blacks and 15% of Latinos. On the other hand, when you look at enrollment and drop out rates over the last decade you get a much different picture and I think this has a lot do with the the geography of who goes to college - with urban dwellers twice as likely to go to college as their rural (mostly white) counterparts and 50% more likely to go when compared to those from small cities.

So I'm not sure what you really mean about "being in the minority" unless you're comparing yourself to rich, white kids from the peninsula . . . but again, I wouldn't equate that with a "white experience" because that's not the experience of an overwhelming majority of white people. It's not even the experience of the majority of white kids who go to college.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:30 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,655,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
Upward mobility isn't easy in the US (at least not compared to other OECD countries) so if we're going to talk about it all it should be recognized that it's in relative terms. So then mobility isn't limited to being a kid in a broke family who goes on to become the next Zuckerberg or Gates. Even in the most upwardly mobile societies that's not the case. There are tens of millions of people who live somewhere in between. A kid with a mom who cleans houses and a dad who works in landscaping, neither of whom speak english very well, who gets some college credits under his belt and goes on to become middle management at a retail chain has moved up the income ladder. That's what social mobility is. It's not about winning the Silicon Valley lottery.



Average student loan debt is just under $30,000 nationally. In CA it's around $20k. In SC $27k, NJ $29k, PA $32k. In CA 52% of grads have debt. In SC it's 55%, NJ 65%, PA 70%

The debt burden for poor and middle class families is pretty similar with slightly higher debt for the middle class families (i'd imagine because of less access to scholarships and being more familiar with/comfortable with borrowing).

In terms of race some 35% of all white people over the age of 25 have a degree. That's compared to 52% of Asians, 22% of blacks and 15% of Latinos. On the other hand, when you look at enrollment and drop out rates over the last decade you get a much different picture and I think this has a lot do with the the geography of who goes to college - with urban dwellers twice as likely to go to college as their rural (mostly white) counterparts and 50% more likely to go when compared to those from small cities.

So I'm not sure what you really mean about "being in the minority" unless you're comparing yourself to rich, white kids from the peninsula . . . but again, I wouldn't equate that with a "white experience" because that's not the experience of an overwhelming majority of white people. It's not even the experience of the majority of white kids who go to college.
I grew up black and middle class. A rarity in both SC and CA being completely honest. Sadly I think social mobility is a myth. My high school peers? Most are in the same station in terms if income as their parents. A handful broke out and went to college and entered the middle class. Most didn't although quite a few did complete some college. I am over 15 years out if high school at this point so things are pretty set.

My college peers and professional peers? Well 80% had college educated parents. To be honest the black ones are more likely to have college educated parents than the white ones. That's reality. Upward mobility? Not a whole lot, most of us are matching the station of our parents. I probably know 10 people where they actually increased a class compared to their parents. And I know quite a few people.

Technically I started off in a place or privilege. My parents went to college. And I have lots of relatives that went to college before my generation. Now as a mid level professional, I am doing ok. Fairly average for my peer group. Above average for Americans. But now more than ever I realize equal opportunity and social mobility are pretty much a myth in the US. Particularly if you starting off with a "low opportunity" base. And it keeps getting worse.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:31 PM
 
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I grew up black and middle class. A rarity in both SC and CA being completely honest. Sadly I think social mobility is a myth.
I grew up white and upper middle class. I'm sure social mobility is no myth; I've seen people move down.
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