"There’s a lot of interest in America in things like early childhood education and how we can intervene early in a child’s life. It would be wrong to conclude that we should give up on all of this, but the amount of change that’s feasible from intervention is tiny—you’re going to be operating on the margins of a much deeper process of social mobility. Modern Sweden, which has very high levels of these types of interventions, has not managed to increase rates of social mobility above that of medieval England, which had none of these government interventions. Or look at post-revolutionary China. Despite the fact that Mao tried to radically remake Chinese society into a new egalitarian system—killing upper-class people, sending them to Taiwan and Hong Kong—surnames that had a relatively high status before the revolution have a relatively high status today. We’re never going to have the kind of society that has the actual social mobility that people are looking for in the United States."