GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - As the economy slowly improves, a new report reveals that climbing the income ladder is more about WHAT you know, not WHO you know.
A new study found that young americans from low-income families are on a level playing field with those from affluent backgrounds.
The national bureau of economic research counters the widespread belief that a widening gap between the rich and poor has made it harder to climb the economic ladder. In fact a new report reveals that 9 percent of children born in 1986 to the poorest 20 percent of households were likely to climb into the top 20 percent.
Some students say the job market is competitive but fair, and it’s not where you come from but what you know. Izrael Miller told 22News he thinks the job market is based on experience not background. “I don’t think it’s because of family. I think it’s more like if you have the experience or if you know somebody who’s in the business it’s a lot easier to get a job there.”
Another student told 22News that one disadvantage young adults from low income families may have is not being able to afford the same opportunities as those from the upper class. Blake Mallet told 22News, “just in the fact if they wanted to go to a big university they might not be able to pay for it. but i feel that would be the only disadvanatage they have.”
However, help is out there. Some students told 22News they’ve found government programs that help them afford the same opportunities. Daemon Nubile told 22News, “I say I’m on a level playing field with everyone else, you know financial aid helps you get into the college, so that’s help me get a certification to get into something.”
The results of the study are open to different interpretations..one suggesting that economic advancement would be harder without government programs like financial aid. The top 1 percent of the country controls more than 20% of the country’s wealth today. That’s almost three times the amount in 1976.