Something that people don't really understand (because it's not intuitive) is that moving from a working-class to a middle-class income is a very different process than moving from a middle-class income to a rich one. As a working-class person, you work at a lowish-income job. As a middle-class person, you work at a higher-paying job. In both cases, your income is derived from pay for your work. As a rich person, in almost every case (pop stars, movie stars, TV stars, and sports stars aside), your income isn't just higher but derived from a different source. Rich people derive most of their income from investments, not from pay for their work. It's either from profits of businesses which they own (outright or, more often, partly own in the form of stock), or from interest and capital gains on financial instruments. What this means is that there are two types of income mobility: moving up in job pay, which can turn a working class person into a middle-class person, and moving from paid work to profit income, which can turn a middle-class person into a rich person. These are completely different processes. What's more, these two types of income mobility are antithetical. In order to make it easier for people to move up from the working class into the middle class, we need high-paying jobs in abundance, and easily-affordable education so people can prepare themselves to do those jobs. But in order to make it easier for people to move from the middle class to true riches, we need high profits on business and high returns on investments, together with low taxes on upper income levels, all of which are hurt by the exact things that make moving into the middle class easier. So in the end, we have to choose which kind of income mobility we want. Do we want to make it so as many people as possible can live a middle-class lifestyle? Or do we want to make it so as many people as possible can become truly rich? We can't do both.