- Sep 2022
This point may not appeal as much to liberal sensibilities, but any serious conversation of this study, or upward mobility generally, has to begin with the state of the two-parent family in America.
This seems to fall back on the trope of "two-parent families are the natural state" when in reality, since the late 80's one's chances are better with a two-parent, two-income family which provides far greater stability. His argument here is conflating multiple complex items, an issue he takes with Gladwell himself.
Why not peel apart this two-parent claim the same way? I suspect he may be nodding to the single-earner two-parent mode, but how prevalent is this in American culture now? What other pieces also underpin this? And is it different by state, by race, by culture, etc.
Chetty’s paper reports that “the strongest and most robust predictor [of the level of upward mobility in an area] is the fraction of children with single parents.”
Cross reference with: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/08/raj-chettys-american-dream/592804
I should read more of Chetty's primary material here.