How did I miss this thread. The American Dream of upward mobility is now largely a myth. Yes it's possible, it's just not likely.
We mistakenly think that if we simply try harder and redouble our efforts, someday we can eventually "join the club", and so instead of trying to break down barriers between classes, we allow them to be built higher over time, since it's not the size of the barrier that bars us, it's the level of our own individual determination.
The mentality is I don't want to level the odds in the lottery, because someday I'm going to hit the lottery.
I don't want to hinder the unfair advantage of the wealthy because someday I will be wealthy, so when I hinder them, I am hindering myself. I don't want to help people get out of poverty, they could have what I have if only they would work harder and overcome their disadvantages.
Shit rolls downhill by the way. The poor envy/admire the middle class and rich, and the middle class envy/admire the rich. The middle class largely despises the poor as useless idiots (lazy), and don't think for a second the wealthy don't largely despise the middle class in like fashion as useful idiots (mindless consumers and propoganda bearers).
Over time it becomes more difficult for individual determination to overcome class barriers. It's human nature; if you are able to make it to the top, you build a moat to protect yourself and your heirs from competition by whatever means necessary.
I would like to see more wealthy people have the cojones to leave their estate to charity and make their children earn their way in life by merit. That would make a remarkably different world.