We make this point all the time. It’s what’s essentially wrong with the arguments that come from Thomas Friedman and the World is Flat crowd.
Education does not work for everyone and it can’t be our only solution to inequality.
Some people just can’t be educated out of their circumstances. Humanity is beset with a capability gap which only evolution can undue. We need better solutions if we’re going to make the world a more equitable and just place.
If we really want to address issues of inequality and economic insecurity, there are a lot of other policies that we have to pursue besides or at least in addition to education policies, and that part of the debate has been totally lost. Raising the minimum wage, or providing a guaranteed income, which the last time we talked seriously about that was in the late 1960’s, increasing workers’ bargaining power, making tax policies more progressive—things like that are going to be much more effective at addressing inequality and economic security than education policies.
So we have this strange situation where we’re trying to address educational inequality while economic inequality is expanding in ways that make educational inequality even worse.
This article is really about wage theft, but no one likes to call it that.
The author commissioned a study to show how we could make up lost income gains by using earned income tax credits for the lowest paid workers.
This is a great idea which the staff generally applauds, but it misses the point of where the lost wages went. In seeking to fund this make-up pay the authors dance around the idea of making those responsible give it back.
economic growth has far outpaced income growth for decades. Gross domestic product for each person in the United States was 78 percent higher in 2015 than in 1979. But the average income for those households at the 20th percentile of the income distribution rose only 6.9 percent in that span.
No one wants to admit that corporations and the wealthy took the profit from productivity gains and GDP growth away from the workers. Now have to carefully beg for it back. This is not NobodyisFlyingthePlane. This is wage theft.
What Would It Take to Replace the Pay Working-Class Americans Have Lost? http://nyti.ms/2htjKcu
Of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Except that that’s not how it’s working out these days. It’s working out to be a government for the rich and for corporations.
A recent study found…
that in policy-making, views of ordinary citizens essentially don’t matter. They examined 1,779 policy issues and found that attitudes of wealthy people and of business groups mattered a great deal to the final outcome — but that preferences of average citizens were almost irrelevant.
“In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule,” they concluded. “Majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts.”
One reason is that our political system is increasingly driven by money: Tycoons can’t quite buy politicians, but they can lease them. Elected officials are hamsters on a wheel, always desperately raising money for the next election. And the donors who matter most are a small group; just 158 families and the companies they control donated almost half the money for the early stages of the presidential campaign.
America the Unfair? http://nyti.ms/1UdlP9G
Theft of wages by employers is estimated to costs low income workers $50 billion a year. That’s 3x greater than the total of all robberies, burglaries, larcenies, and car thefts in a year.
The central theme of NobodyisFlyingthePlane is that we’re not paying attention to the real things that harm us and the real causes of the problems we face. This is a great example. We spend enormous amounts of time, money, and mental efforts fighting theft by the disenfranchised, but we institutionally support theft from them by those higher up on the ladder.
NobodyisFlyingthePlane means we fail to see our problems for what they really are. The same behavior we enshrine as good business practice we imprison others for.
failure to pay what workers are legally entitled to can be called wage theft; in essence, it involves employers taking money that belongs to their employees and keeping it for themselves.
evidence suggests that wage theft is widespread and costs workers billions of dollars a year, a transfer from low-income employees to business owners that worsens income inequality, hurts workers and their families, and damages the sense of fairness and justice that a democracy needs to survive.
All of the robberies, burglaries, larcenies, and motor vehicle thefts in the nation cost their victims less than $14 billion in 2012, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports.That is well over one-third of the estimated cost of wage theft nationwide.
Underscoring how widespread the problem of wage theft is, Kentucky Labor Cabinet spokesperson Daniel Lowry reported that the state collected $4.4 million in restitution on wage theft cases in 2013, while comparatively all robberies in the state totaled $2.5 million.
We know we can’t trust Trump or his word. It’s enticing to believe that he may actually do some good for the country. You can rest assured that it would only be inadvertently if he does. He is out for himself and no one else.
But remember that we’re dealing with a president-elect whose business career is one long trail of broken promises and outright scams — someone who just paid $25 million to settle fraud charges against his “university.” Given that history, you always have to ask whether he’s offering something real or simply engaged in another con job. In fact, you should probably assume that it’s a scam until proven otherwise.
And we already know enough about his infrastructure plan to suggest, strongly, that it’s basically fraudulent, that it would enrich a few well-connected people at taxpayers’ expense while doing very little to cure our investment shortfall. Progressives should not associate themselves with this exercise in crony capitalism.
Build He Won’t http://nyti.ms/2eWb0Pu
It’s still hard to believe that anything but separatism, bigotry, misogyny, and small mindedness drove Trump supporters.
But it’s not hard to believe that Wall Street running our political machine makes people mad. When no one on Wall Street got punished for the recession yet most Americans felt the consequences it was an unspoken travesty. Now maybe it’s going to be dealt with.
“Are you going to return to the situation under Bush and Clinton where Wall Street wrote its own rules in the back room?” Mr. Stanley asked. “Or are you going to put forward something that constitutes a genuine alternative and that will prevent Wall Street from rigging the economy?”
How Letting Bankers Off the Hook May Have Tipped the Election http://nyti.ms/2eoC61h
Giving credence to the message of poor white otherness and woe is me in Hillbilly Elegy is disingenuous at its core. Liberals don’t need J.D. Vance to tell them that there is a huge contingent in the modern world whose needs are not being met by today’s society, our economy, and our political leaders.
A year ago the staff here didn’t see disenfranchised white working class voters as a homogenous group who would vote as such. We’ve woken to this over the last year or so and said many times that we will have to find a way to address their needs. We didn’t and still don’t think these solutions are vastly different than those needed for other poor demographic groups, they just need to be open and inclusive of this group.
The new post election narrative wants us to believe that liberals didn’t see this group at all. That’s just not true. We just didn’t see their needs as being fundamentally different from other poor and working class voters. The root of liberal politics IS the disenfranchised working class and economically disadvantaged voter. The only thing new this year is that the white part of this group now says ‘we are significant, we are needy,’ and it’s seems like they are saying ‘we are separate’.
The failing of liberals this year was not seeing the poor white unhappies as distinct and separate from the other poor unhappies. The failing of the poor white unhappies and the poor minority unhappies is not seeing themselves, their needs, and their solutions as one and the same.
Drumpf won’t fix things for the poor white unhappies and most likely will try to make things worse for the poor minority unhappies. Unless these groups find a path of unity and work together on their common needs, things just won’t get better for them. The rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer. Poverty doesn’t care what your skin color is and where you come from. It treats everyone in an equally despicable manner.
We have been saying we have to address their needs since we became aware of this seemingly distinct group of white working class unhappies. The staff admits that we were saying it from the perspective of ‘when we win this election’, but we still don’t think this group’s needs are significantly different than those of the minority unhappies.
The right solutions to alleviate poverty aren’t specifically racially different. No amount of conflating the existence of a disenfranchised voting block with the need for different solutions will solve the inequality issue.