An intergal part of American Exceptionalism has been the fact that persons from all walks of life could suceed. Barriers to intergeneraltioal income mobility have historically been percieved to be small. Observers beginning famously with Alexis de Tocqueville and continuing to modern times have spoken of American egalitarianism, manifesting in what is often called the American Dream. This paper discusses whether we have reached diminishing returns on the American Dream by exploring changes in public policy, higher education, and income inequality in the United States.
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