Author Archives: Tom Masterson

Education is not a cure for inequality or poverty

In his column today, David Brooks furthered the argument that education is the key to reducing inequality, improving one’s lot, etc, etc. He says that

“when you look at the details, you find that most
inequality is caused by a rising education premium, by changes
in household and family structure, by the fact that the rich now
work longer hours than the less rich and by new salary structures
that are more tied to individual performance.”

He argues for a lot of swell policies that would make a difference in a
lot of people’s lives. But he (along with so many other intelligent people) overlooks a tragic flaw in this argument: while a better education will certainly benefit any given individual, that does not mean that better educations for everyone will benefit everyone. A little thought experiment might make this point clearer. Read more

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