Author: Ben Wilterdink

Dodging the Hard Question on Economic Mobility

A review of Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do About It, by Richard V. Reeves. Brookings Institution Press (June 13, 2017) 240 pages. In an era increasingly defined by arguments about income inequality, any discussion of improving economic mobility is a welcome one. In his recently released book, Dream Hoarders, Brookings Institution Scholar Richard V. Reeves tackles the subject head-on and finds an unlikely culprit for America’s lackluster economic mobility: the upper middle class. The book is well researched and clearly lays out some of the ways in which members of the American upper middle class are entrenching their status by taking advantage of opportunities not available to everyone. According to Reeves’s analysis, this “opportunity hoarding” is a major reason why Americans are not as economically mobile as they have been in the past. Because his findings and recommendations highlight the failures of the upper middle class rather than just the dreaded “one percent,” the book has garnered plenty …