George Carlin has a fine line about how it’s called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. Yet it’s one of the most pervasive myths that America is the place that will reward hard work and application. One of the ironies of the spread of free market fundamentalism is that with the spread of free markets, it has become increasingly difficult to move up (or down) a class. A fine study a few years ago by David Leonhardt and the New York Times looked at class in America over the past three decades. Do click on the link for more, but see below for two graphs that distill the arguments pretty clearly.