Matt HealeySaturday,28 December 2013

The Snap:

Fine. So I took a bit of a break from the income inequality discussion. Well, I said it would be a multi-part series and I intend to continue with it. All be it a bit later than I would have wanted. Today’s segment will focus on education.

The Download:

We have already covered McResources, the wonderfully named help line for McDonalds workers to sign up for McShelter and McWelfare (Nicely done @AdriniBot), and the negative effects of technology in terms of eliminating low-skilled jobs. So where do we go next? Well, it is my contention that we have a massive education problem in this country, and the poor education system is contributing to the structural unemployment and the lack of mobility. There was a recent story about how far American kids suck in a variety of categories. While this is clearly bad for the US, it is even worse for Slovakia, as Jon Stewart explained.

For me, then better question is not “Is our children learning?”, but what will it take for us to become more competitive on the global stage. Granted the “why is the American education system failing?” question could be an entire series of posts. We could go into the problems with a union that rewards longevity over performance. We could discuss the decades of bad management that led to the development of tenure so that teachers could not be fired without due cause. But for me, the connection to income inequality comes down to a curriculum that does not teach the skills that are needed. In an era where science and technology are the pathways to wealth, we have a system that is unwilling to abandon superstition and creation myths and move into the 20th century and teach something like evolution. We have a one-size-fits-all system that doesn’t have the ability to prepare different children for different careers. It is either a 4 year college or a path to a low-skilled minimum wage job where you can sign up for McResources. Basically, the entire system needs to be overhauled. The problem is there are way too many entrenched interests, from teachers unions to local school boards, to parents that want to make sure their kids learned the same things in the same way they did, even though the world has changed. So while education is one of the ways to correct income inequality, I suspect that it will not be the approach we take.

Take Action!

Hat Tips:

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons



  2. […] is now time to get back to the income inequality series because I have more time to do research while waiting for the “New Years” to figure out how to […]

Subscribe to get updates delivered to your inbox