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Friday Five: Lessons from "To Kill a Mockingbird," Income Mobility in America, and More

On Fridays, we bring you the best of our blog and the best of the web. This week’s roundup includes lessons on human dignity from “To Kill a Mockingbird,” an economic outlook for today’s young adults and more. 1. Dignity, Equality and Atticus Finch: Wesley Gant cites Atticus Finch from the classic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” to describe how universal human dignity should inform public policy.
A proper respect for human dignity should recognize and encourage personal industry and responsibility—for it is this freedom that enables people to flourish and realize their human potential. But socialistic policies do just the reverse. By attempting to level out society they disconnect work from reward, segregate people into groups of this or that characteristic (privileged or not), turn them against one another, and make people into victims of a system, rather than capable and valuable citizens.
2. Is There Income Mobility in America?: In this Learn Liberty video, Professor Sean Mulholland shows that economic growth has been beneficial to both the rich and the poor, and that there is more income mobility in America than most people think. 3. Young people after four years of Obama: AEI’s Karin Agness discusses the growing realization that opportunity is shrinking for today’s young adults.
Why the pessimism about the future of the next generation? The high unemployment rate and a sluggish economy translate into difficult personal realities for many of those high school seniors who supported Obama in 2008. Those students are now looking forward to another graduation-but after this graduation, many will move from their college dorms back to their high school homes, sending out resume after resume with no success.
4. Hollywood 2012: What messages are the movies sending us?: While discussing a few of the most popular films of 2012, RJ Moeller reminds us how important it is for conservatives to do creative and principled work in Hollywood.
Conservatives and libertarians spend a lot of time and money on rallies and events and conferences and Ann Coulter books, but very little on influencing culture. If I had cash to spend on promoting the values and ideas and policies that I believed were best for this country, you can bet that I would be out finding talented directors, writers, and producers who shared those values.
5. Growth in Entitlements Means Less Money to Budget: Veronique de Rugy and Jason Fichtner of the Mercatus Center explain how mandatory entitlement and interest spending is taking over the federal budget.
Hence, the primary drivers of government spending today and into the future are the continual growth in entitlements and interest payments on the federal debt that crowd out all other areas of the budget.
Growth in entitlements