Heidi Selberg, Envision Board member
Earlier this year, the WBUR program “On Point” discussed poverty in the United States. The guests and their key points are outlined below. It’s remarkable that the points made so compellingly by sociologist Mark Robert Rank were outlined in a book published in 2004 and have received so little public discussion since. A key such point is that the majority of adults in the US will experience poverty as defined by the Federal Poverty Level during their lifetimes. This has important implications for any work designed to address poverty or upward mobility, as poverty is not experienced by a fixed group of people who need to work their way out of the situation. Rather, it is experienced widely.
Written by Heidi Selberg and Judy Nagel, with thanks to Dave Wegge and Jamie Lynch.
One can identify key signals for upward mobility – “The American Dream” – by comparing the Greater Green Bay area to the rest of Wisconsin and to the United States as a whole and also by comparing it to other industrialized countries. While self-determination has, historically, predicted upward mobility in the U.S., an emerging theory suggests that social supports are also clear signals of such success. Countries with more positive rankings, though, sometimes take unique approaches that are also worth studying. Here we present our key findings on the status of upward mobility in our area.
[Link to full Upward Mobility Article and Upward Mobility Power Point]