Belief in Bootstraps Is Strongest Where Pulling Up Is Toughest. (The New York Times, (7/3/2019)
Americans, who tend to link rewards to individual effort, routinely overestimate the ease of moving up the income ranks, while Europeans — citing an unfair system, inherited wealth and sticky social classes — consistently underestimate it, surveys have found.
For moving from the bottom of the income ladder to the top, the South offers the worst odds in the United States. But it’s also the region where people are most optimistic about the prospects.