• Lauren Bloom is an interfaith minister and attorney who focuses on professional and personal integrity. Her career has been devoted to helping business professionals earn and maintain the trust of their clients, cutomers, colleagues and associates. An internationally-recognized expert on business and professional ethics, Lauren has appeared as a keynote speaker across North America and in Europe.

    Lauren lives in Springfield, Virginia outside of Washington, D.C.

  • Is the American Dream Becoming a Myth?

    Posted on by smartauthorsites

    This morning, NPR provided a stunning report on how the circumstances of children’s birth determine their futures.  In the forthcoming book The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth, and the Transition to Adulthood, researchers from Johns Hopkins University report on their study of nearly 800 schoolkids from Baltimore over a 25-year period. Their findings are disturbing, to say the least.

    According to The Long Shadow, kids’ opportunities to prosper – or not – are largely determined by the families they’re born into.  Kids with wealthy, married parents generally do well; kids from impoverished, single-parent households generally don’t.  So, for example, only 33 of the children from low-income families managed to move into higher income brackets, less than half of what would have been expected if family circumstances weren’t a factor.  Kids from low-income families were less likely to go to college, less likely to get decent jobs, and more likely to end up in jail than their wealthier peers. Separately reporting on the study, Hub.com quoted one of the co-authors, sociologist Karl Alexander, as saying that “‘a family’s resources and the doors they open cast a long shadow over children’s life trajectories… This view is at odds with the popular ethos that we are makers of our own fortune.'”

    No kidding.

    So, here’s my concern.  The resource disparity between the rich and the rest of us continues to widen.  I believe that the public has tolerated the growing wealth gap, at least in part, because they still believe that, with hard work and talent, anyone can make it in America.  The Johns Hopkins study demonstrates otherwise.  The longer we tolerate a business model that richly rewards the few while generating widespread and deepening poverty, the more doors we close in the faces of our children and grandchildren.  We can’t expect future generations to pull themselves up by their bootstraps if their parents can’t make enough money to provide them with any.

     


    This entry was posted in Business Ethics, corporate responsibility, ethics, Personal Ethics, Social Ethics. Bookmark the permalink.

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    • “This splendid little book not only contains much of practical value (I was personally helped by it), it will encourage the development of such virtues as honesty and humility and that is no small gift.”

      --Rabbi Harold Kushner, author,
      When Bad Things Happen to Good People.

    © 2014 Lauren Bloom, J.D., LL.M. All Rights Reserved.

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