Thursday, January 17, 2002


"America can be characterized as a 50/50 society, where the chance of experiencing one economic extreme versus the other is roughly 50/50," said Mark R. Rank, Ph.D., first author of the study and professor at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis.

Americans tend to think of poverty and affluence as "something that happens to someone else," but the study's analysis drives home the fact these events are mainstream issues.

51.1 percent of Americans are exposed to at least one year of poverty during adulthood, 51 percent will experience one year of affluence, while four out of five Americans will encounter one or the other of these economic events.

"The opportunity for extreme economic failure and success appears to be a very real component of American society," said Rank, who co-authored the study with Thomas A. Hirschl, professor at Cornell University.

The numbers fall apart for black people, with nine out of ten experiencing experiencing poverty in the lifetimes while only one of eight having a year of affluence. Then Rank says:

"The U.S. has been characterized as a nation of abundant economic opportunities where affluence is within the grasp of many of its citizens, but America has also been depicted as a free-market society that provides little protection from the ravages of poverty," Rank said. "Our analysis reveals that both views of America appear accurate, with race and education being the fault lines that divide Americans into one group or another."

Contrary to popular belief, gender exerts relatively little affect on the probability of experiencing poverty or affluence, with American men and women remaining near equal odds of experiencing poverty or affluence throughout their adult lifetimes.

Gosh, a study that answers questions about racial and gender gaps. Via the evolutionary psychology Yahoo group.

No comments: