For those who would like to review the subject of income mobility, there is a good book titled "Myths of Rich and Poor: Why We are Better Off Than We Think", by W. Michael Cox and Richard Alm (Basic Books, 1999). Cox is a Federal Reserve VP in Dallas and Alm is a business reporter for the Dallas Daily News. The book shows that of the lowest quintile (20%) of wage earners, 95% moved to higher brackets over the 16 year period covered by the study (1975-1991). In addition, 37.5% moved from the highest (top 20%) to lower income levels. Data were confirmed by IRS income tax and other data. In short, the book shows that there are very few hardcore poor. Makes you wonder what all the fuss is about, doesn't it? The book ought to be mandatory reading for anyone trying to form or shape opinions on income distribution and programs dealing with poverty.
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