Here’s a gem of a piece from the Washington Post on the subject of opportunity for the rich vs the poor. Let’s face it. The post, and other dying mainstream media outlets, are desperately trying to hold on to readers. People, they are telling you what you want to hear, and right now it’s just the newest craze to bash the rich and claim the poor have no opportunities. But it’s pretty easy to flesh out the heavy bias in this article. Take a look at this statement:
Even poor kids who do everything right don’t do much better than rich kids who do everything wrong. Advantages and disadvantages, in other words, tend to perpetuate themselves. You can see that in the chart above
The chart is pretty simple (cartoon like, the way it’s readers like). It’s bold conclusion? Rich high school dropouts do better than poor college graduates financially. So according to this article graduating from college is “doing everything right”. Hmm, that doesn’t sound right. If it was that easy to categorize people, it would be easy for recruiters to hire the right people. But it isn’t. But there’s a lot more to being successful than graduating from college. The above statement is just silly. But if you hate the rich, the silliness just magically melts away!
But maybe the problem is just the author of this article, right? Maybe there’s more to this. The author references a book written by a distinguished team of economists, sociologists, and experts in social and education policy, “Whither Opportunity?” (at 50$, I guess you need to be among those considered more equal to afford it). So who are authors? :
GREG J. DUNCAN is distinguished professor in the Department of Education at the University of California, Irvine.
RICHARD J. MURNANE is Thompson Professor of Education and Society at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Not surprisingly, they are professors, so they wouldn’t really know much about the skills required to fill the positions these “rich kids” are working at. And frankly, I doubt they know what it’s really like to grow up poor either. (and in case you’re wonder, I do). But what of this distinguished team? Indeed, there are 52 contributors, nearly all of them in academia. Harvard, Yale, Columbia, NYU, etc.
I’m not going to shell out 50$ and spend hours of my time reading this book. I will say that, based on the summary, I don’t see any solutions proposed. However, not surprisingly, all these professors decided that the best solution is improved public education! I guess it never occurred to them that public education might be responsible for:
the gap between rich and poor children’s math and reading achievement scores is now much larger than it was fifty years ago
The last sentence in the summary is:
For generations of Americans, public education provided the springboard to upward mobility. This pioneering volume casts a stark light on the ways rising inequality may now be compromising schools’ functioning, and with it the promise of equal opportunity in America.
But is it rising inequality that is compromising schools? Does this make any sense? What is causing the inequality? Do they even rase that question? See, they don’t have to. It’s not their concern. They have a hammer and they WILL find nails.