Today is National Be A Millionaire Day, a day for everyone to think and dream about what it would be like to be a millionaire and then make a plan to reach that goal.
Even in America — the land of opportunity — this is easier dreamt than done.
Most of us are taught from a young age that with hard work and determination we can accomplish anything, but in reality, the idea that the U.S. is the land of social mobility is a myth.
From birth, some individuals face huge obstacles on the pathway to opportunity through no fault of their own. If you’re born at the bottom, the likelihood that you will rise to the top is only about 8 percent.
Parental wealth is a major factor in whether children move up or down the socioeconomic ladder. Parental wealth has an even bigger influence than parental education, income or occupation.
It makes sense. Wealth allows families to buy homes in good neighborhoods and send their children to high quality schools and colleges, and gives children a safety net that provides them a variety of opportunities as they enter the adult world.
Unfortunately, an estimated 40 percent of families do not have enough savings to replace even three weeks of income. Even if families experience income gains, they remain economically insecure because they lack a personal safety net that something like a savings account provides.
To top it all off, Governor Snyder raised taxes on hardworking families and made cuts to education to provide wealthy corporations with an unaccountable $1.8 billion tax giveaway that has yet to result in more jobs. He claimed that they were “shared sacrifices” necessary to “reinvent” Michigan. All the while, the governor worked to protect a $41 million furniture contract that his cousin had with the state.
Under Governor Snyder’s leadership, we can expect increasingly more obstacles to arise on our pathway to opportunity. Unless you’re the governor’s cousin or corporate donors, in which case your dreams of being a millionaire are probably already a reality.