Rich Dad, Poor Son, Unlikely

By on 03/23/2010 in Uncategorized

Rich Dad, Poor Dad was a worldwide publishing phenomenon, allowing Robert Kiyosaki to sell 26 million books packed with the insight he gained through hours of playing Monopoly. Kiyosaki, in turn, trades on and propagates the idea that, yes, you too can become a millionaire through hard work, diligence, and following the advice of your pretend rich dad. This, clearly, is bogus.

I’ve blogged before about quite how misguided this view is, particularly in the United States. Yet more evidence has recently been pulled together to show that, in fact, the United States is one of the hardest places to be able to pull yourself up by your bootstraps (though, once again, it’s never quite as hard as it is in Britain or, in this graph, Italy).

The OECD has launched a report, glossed here, showing quite how sticky class is in the United States. One of the key findings was the extent to which class is transmitted from father to son – a mothers’ income will much less predict her son or daughter’s future, and a father’s income will foreshadow a son’s income more strongly than a daughter’s. More here.