Reprioritizing the American Dream

Mood of the Market

Last week, we discussed how a housing swap system in the U.K. is showing promise at increasing public housing tenants’ lebenschancen, or life chances, by allowing them the opportunity to relocate to do things like pursuing a job or moving their children closer to school.

German sociologist Max Weber coined the phrase "life chances" to describe the chances a person has to enhance his or her quality of life. Weber intended the concept to refer to the statistical probability that a person could improve what we Americans might call their "lot in life" — it’s a sociological measure of how the amount of access we have to basic resources like food, clothes, housing and health care impacts our ability to obtain the things we need, have a fulfilling career and generally live a fulfilling life.