Went to the class reunion.
Of over 1000 graduates, easily half are in the same tax bracket as their parents.
I'm betting about 200 are above their parents tax bracket and about 30 are earning easily 250k or more.
Another 200 are below their own parents' bracket.
The same or less crowd got drunk that night. It's a common weekend thing. I've seen it for decades.
They don't have a lot of money, but enough to drink. and smoke. and whatever.
Didn't hear too many complain. It's life and they live it. They are mostly happy, or it is a good disguise.
Those that improved their lives were the top students in the school and became doctors, engineers, construction companies, entrepeneurs, etc. They worked harder than everyone else in school then and are outperforming them now. I know many as I'm with them. A lot of work and no play. Work and school at the same time, double jobs after college to pay the loans and get started.
Difference at graduation - not income, we didn't have any. We all lived within walking distance of the school as they were neighborhood schools. The housing was the same around the schools. No one financially was above the others.
When I look at the even playing field from my past, the choices made the difference. Bad choices had bad outcomes. Good choices had good outcomes.
One memory stands out. One kid, a real dull person. Took home every text book, work book, and copy book every day. He studied and had straight A's. Had no life. He couldn't come out and play. He's the richest in the class.