(American Prospect) — The American dream promises that anyone can make it if they work hard enough and play by the rules. Anyone can make it by pulling themselves up by their “bootstraps.”

Baloney.

The truth is: In America today, your life chances depend largely on how you started—where you grew up and how much your parents earned.

Everything else—whether you attend college, your chances of landing a well-paying job, even your health—hinges on this start.

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