But these are short term trends. What would be more interesting to me is how fathers and sons compare. If you are born in a poor family, what is the likelihood that you will be poor as an adult? If you are born to a rich family, then it's not a big deal being poor. Maybe you're poor while you're going to medical school or law school. Then your income takes off. The poor would have a harder time going to law school.
Brookings has the generational comparison here and they do it across various countries. Comparing how fathers compare to sons the US is among the worst. You are more likely to be poor if your father is poor in America than in most other countries surveyed. What's interesting about this is that the perceptions of Americans are precisely the opposite. They think that America is the best place to be if you'd want to pull yourself up from poverty and become rich. Yet fewer in America are actually able to do that as compared to the more socialist European countries, with the exception of England.
Why do Americans have this erroneous perception? Mark Perry is relying on studies from James Pethokoukis from the American Enterprise Institute. Paul Krugman is familiar with it. He calls the work "flat out lies". That's an unusually harsh statement from Krugman. But we are inundated with lies from the AEI. It's their job to convince us that we have it best. That serves the interest of their corporate and wealthy backers. They do it even when the arguments contradict each other. Global warming isn't happening. Or yes it is happening and nobody denies it, but humans aren't the cause. Or wait, yes it is happening and humans are the cause, but that doesn't mean we should do anything about it. Here's how Krugman put it.
You might ask, how is it possible to take such mutually contradictory positions? And the answer is, it’s very easy if confusing the debate is your job.