BUSINESS
01/05/2012 09:14 am ET

Economic Mobility In U.S. Lagging Behind Canada, Europe

WASHINGTON -- Benjamin Franklin did it. Henry Ford did it. And American life is built on the faith that others can do it, too: rise from humble origins to economic heights. "Movin' on up," George Jefferson-style, is not only a sitcom song but a civil religion.

But many researchers have reached a conclusion that turns conventional wisdom on its head: Americans enjoy less economic mobility than their peers in Canada and much of Western Europe.

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