Are You Better Off than Your Parents Were? Really?

“There is less social mobility in England,” Gordon Brown, England’s prime minister, said, “than at any time in the past 50 years.”

It was a political speech. Normally I pay no attention to political speeches, but this caught my attention. Less social mobility. That means a statistically lower chance for people to better themselves financially. Fifty years? Where’s the progress?

I remember something Bill Bonner, founder of Agora, wrote about the U.S. economy in The Daily Reckoning. He said the average wage earner is poorer now – on an inflation-adjusted basis – than he’s been in 30-odd years.

We are supposed to be living in a world where things are gradually getting better. But for most people, things are stalled or getting worse.

I mentioned Brown’s remark to one of the people who write for Agora’s newsletters in England. He dismissed it. “It’s just political pandering,” he said. “Something the Tories say to get the working class behind them.”

Politicians do pander. But in this case – and in the case that Bill Bonner made – my experience corroborates the data. It seems as hard, or perhaps harder, to get ahead today than at any point in my lifetime.

And that’s not how it should be.

Of course, there are plenty of good reasons why it’s tough to get ahead. Right-leaning politicians tell us that competition from China and India is high on the list. The common complaint from leftward-postured pols is that the government spends too much money on helping the rich get richer and practically ignores the wage earner.

You can’t avoid – and shouldn’t rue – globalization. It’s the inevitable consequence of a linked, 21st century world and will eventually bring a better future for everyone. What you have to worry about is all the laws that politicians pass – pols from both sides of the aisle – to fix social immobility. Most of those regulations simply clog things up and make it more, not less, difficult for ambitious people to move up the social scale.

At ETR, we don’t see any significant obstacles on the road to success. Yes, there are fallen trees and boulders to get around. But if you are willing to take a running jump every once in a while, you can move along at a satisfactory speed.

In other words, we believe that any individual can beat the odds and get ahead. And that’s what we help you do.

Are you ready for that? Are you prepared to be the one person in 10 who steadily gets wealthier while his friends, colleagues, and neighbors sit back and do nothing but vote for pandering politicians whose job it is to put the blame where it doesn’t belong and make promises they can’t possibly keep?

Yes, Gordon Brown is right that most people in England are financially stalled. And, yes, it’s also true that most U.S. citizens are poorer than they were in the 1970s. But we are living at the dawn of a brand-new century, and everything is very different than it was 50 years ago. The whole world is connected through wireless communications and the Internet. We are very lucky to be alive right now. In fact, this is probably the best time to have wealth-building ambitions in more than a hundred years.

Most of your friends and colleagues and neighbors won’t do anything about it. But you can be the exception that gets plugged in and starts an Internet-based business. In the 21st century, millions of new millionaires will be made – and most of them will start with nothing but a small bank account, some good advice, and the wisdom to see the writing on the wall.

[Ed. Note: The Internet is flush with money. All you have to do is take action and grab your share of the profits. The best way to do it is by starting your own Internet business. And it doesn’t have to be difficult. ETR’s team of marketing and business-building experts can walk you through each and every step. Learn how to build a full-fledged business quickly – without a lot of risk – right here.] [Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]