Is Education the Answer to Economic Inequality?

I thought this was interesting, as education may be seen as a panacea for the impoverished. Education is surely important, but I appreciate how this post underscores how “education simply won’t address the root causes of today’s economic inequality.” The post suggests solutions like “public policies that will create more jobs, increase wages…and protect people from the financial ravages that often accompany illness, natural disasters, and other devastating and expensive events.”
What do you think about these suggestions or this post?

Working-Class Perspectives

One of the most common solutions offered to reverse America’ growing economic inequality is increased access to education.  President Obama may have started the trend with his call for universal, high-quality preschool, but others have joined the fray.  In March, Ronald Brownstein argued in National Journalthat “Education remains critical to reversing the erosion in upward mobility that has made it harder for kids born near the bottom to reach the top in the United States than in many European nations.” On The Century Foundation’s website just last week, Benjamin Landy posted a blog entitled “To Battle Income Inequality, Focus on Educational Mobility.”   

According to Brownstein, colleges and  universities are failing to make those opportunities available, because higher education has become too expensive and doesn’t do enough to help lower-income students succeed. In their 2009 study of college completion rates, William G. Bowen, Matthew M. Chingos, and Michael…

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kp
    Apr 20, 2013 @ 10:30:45

    I think that while education may not be a panacea, it is THE most important step. Until attending public school guarantees that all children will receive at least an education of favorable comparison, we will continue to see the same problems we do now. This is going to be really unscientific, so my apologies-if everyone had a similar education, and there still weren’t opportunities AND people had similar bases of education, wouldn’t we see poverty deconcentrated? Part of why anti-poverty legislation is so hard to sell right now is because of how heavily concentrated poverty is–someone from Ladue has to step a long way out of their comfort zone to see someone from Wellston or Hillsdale… equal education would help to spread out the disadvantage, and I like to think that if people saw it at home on a daily basis, they would be less likely to oppose measures meant to deal with it.

    Also, you should comment on the recent NPR piece on disability. The uproar over this story seems quite silly to me… she wrote a story which, without saying it, said that many people are receiving disability through malingering and the use of scummy disability lawyers… folks are upset that she DIDN’T write a story about how difficult it is for the truly disabled to be connected to benefits…these are both problems. Anyways, if you haven’t already, you should read the story and comment on it here. I’m interested to hear your thoughts.


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