Really interesting, though, is the hole Gladwell punches through the hoary stereotype we sometimes hold about America – that it is a classless meritocracy.
“While it appears meritocratic, in large part it is not.”
Gladwell cites studies showing that Europeans in the lowest economic classes have a far greater chance of moving up in the world than Americans.
“Once you are rich in America you stay rich… but if you are at the bottom it just never happens, statistically, it never happens that people make it. And that’s very different from western European counties.”
…so much for the land-of-opportunity myth.