George Will has penned a remarkable opinion piece in the Washington Post, in which he postulates (in so many words) that the diminishing opportunities for upward mobility in US society are also diminishing the possibilities for limited government. In other words, the less potential for upward mobility in society, the greater the demands for 'Big Brother' to redistribute rewards downwards in society. Here are a few excerpts.
...expanding equality of opportunity increases inequality because some people are simply better able than others to exploit opportunities.
. . .
Lindsey cited research showing that “by the time they reach age 3, children of professional parents have heard some 45 million words addressed to them — as opposed to only 26 million words for working-class kids, and a mere 13 million words in the case of kids on welfare.” So, class distinctions in vocabularies are already large among toddlers. Parental choice of neighborhoods and schools mean that children of college-educated parents hang out together. Such peer associations may have as much effect on a child’s development as do parents. These factors, Lindsey said, explain why “people raised in the upper middle class are far more likely to stay there than move down, while people raised in the working class are far more likely to stay there than move up.”
. . .
Today, the dominant distinction defining socioeconomic class is between those with and without college degrees ... Soon the crucial distinction will be between those with meaningful college degrees and those with worthless ones.
. . .
“Most American kids,” Lindsey concluded, “are now raised in an environment that is arguably less favorable for developing human capital than that in which their parents were raised.” America’s limited-government project is at risk because the nation’s foundational faith in individualism cannot survive unless upward mobility is a fact.
There's more at the link.
I think George Will has struck gold here. I highly recommend reading his column very carefully, and more than once. There's a lot hidden between the lines . . . and it's bound to make those of conservative and/or libertarian persuasions very unhappy indeed.