The American Dream is a vast topic that differs from person to person, and it would be disingenuous to proceed without addressing the many different versions of the American Dream, A New York Times poll found that the three most agreed upon versions of the American Dream are freedom/opportunity at 27%, hard work leads to success at 18% and a secure job at 11%. To look at both opportunity and hard work translating to success, I will look at the US’ social mobility. Social mobility is a person’s ability to overcome their current economic class and move into a higher one. This kind of social mobility is called “relative social mobility.” It’s important to note that it is distinctly different from “absolute social mobility” which measures the wealth of the population as a whole. If a newer generation of a country has higher wages while adjusting for inflation, then that country has a positive absolute social mobility. Relative social mobility takes a look at the individual, absolute mobility looks at the country as a whole.

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