Summary Of Death Of Horatio Alger By Paul Krugman

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Many economists argue about the exact nature of the relationship of social mobility in the context of the modern economy. One such economist, Paul Krugman, negatively comments in his essay “The Death of Horatio Alger” on the decreasing social mobility among low-wage citizens in the United States. He claims that the American dream of advancement opportunities will diminish as the wealthy aim to prevent others from rising above them in the business world. Moreover, he labels America’s unequal society as a rigid “caste system” and opposes those who ignore the system’s lack of fairness to the lower class (134). Although Krugman strongly criticizes the inflexibility of economic mobility, his informal tone, biased perspective, and unjustifiable approach make his argument not only ineffective but also offensive. Initially, Krugman purposely uses an unprofessional tone to describe Business Week, a source referenced frequently throughout the essay. For example, he refers to Business Week as a “leftist rag” and as “commies” who repeatedly classify America as a minimal class advancement society (133). Despite Krugman agreeing with Business Week in most economic matters, he clearly aims to gain the reader’s attention by shock value through the use of a condescending tone, which not only is offensive to his …show more content…

For instance, he gives one distinct example of a conservative, Glenn Hubbard, who claims citizens with low-wages can easily gain upward mobility. After emphasizing the flaw in Hubbard’s argument, Krugman implies Hubbard’s article is typical of that of a conservative (134). By categorizing conservatives as a whole group, Krugman disrespects their individual opinions, which could differ regarding social mobility. Thus, Krugman’s broad generalization of conservatives presents his argument as biased, and consequently,

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