Which of the following has a greater advantage in the game of life:
Person A: born in a first world country, parents both choose to be on welfare/low end jobs, stable in their home (not moving around), know native language (everyone speaks it)
Person B: born in a third wold country, parents are both hard workers but have relatively low paying jobs, pick up their entire life to immigrate to give themselves and their children a better life, end up with same or worse socioeconomic status than before, do not speak the native language, do not have a stable home
Please note that neither one of these people is in the top bracket of income, or close to it - but the next generation from each person has a chance to be.
The immigrants, actually:
immigrants in 2000 reveals that average wages increased by 5 percentage
points relative to non-immigrant wages. Between 1940 and 1970, there was
an increase of nearly 9 percentage points. In both cases, second generation
immigrants continue to have higher wages than non-immigrants.
immigrant wages in a similar manner to non-immigrant parents and children.
● Based on 61 national origin groups, the correlation between first and second
generation earnings in 1940 and 1970 is .42 for all immigrant workers
(compared to .47 for non-immigrants). This means that approximately
40 percent of the difference in relative economic status for immigrants from
various nations passes to the second generation.
I'm not saying that there's no upward mobility, or that everyone in a low wage job was forced into it (I know a lot of lazy people, too), just that a good chunk of the people stuck in those jobs could have been some middle manager making 80k if they'd had different parents.