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.
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.
True dat! Corruption breeds poverty, poverty breeds strife, strife breeds…
Fill in the blank: conflict, crime, terrorism, refugees, unnecessary emigration, smuggling, piracy, human trafficking…
American officials have come to see corruption as a major cause of global instability — hindering development, deepening poverty and undermining people’s faith in their governments. It becomes not just a problem for the countries where the corruption occurs but a threat to American national security.
America’s Global Corruption Crusade http://nyti.ms/2asVUL2
The real issue which plagues humanity’s interactions is not how to fight inequality. It’s not about inequality, there will always be some degree of it. The real question is how will we all get along. How do we find a a way to exist together? What solutions work for society in general not just the elites.
Clearly what we’ve been doing isn’t working.
Current approaches aren’t working — and unless something dramatic happens, Americans are heading for a society in which a tiny elite controls most of the wealth, resources and decision-making power.
that question hasn’t changed much over the last few centuries. “It is the eternal conflict of management and labor, owner and worker, rich and poor — only with one side pinned to the ground and the other leisurely pounding away at its adversary’s face,” he writes. Today, polite circles tend to describe this as the issue of “inequality.” Frank prefers an older formulation. “The 19th century understood it better: They called it ‘the social question,’ ” he writes, defined as “nothing less than the whole vast mystery of how we are going to live together.”
some people are living much better than others — and many of those people are not Republicans. Frank delights in skewering the sacred cows of coastal liberalism, including private universities, bike paths, microfinance, the Clinton Foundation, “well-meaning billionaires” and any public policy offering “innovation” or “education” as a solution to inequality.
‘Listen, Liberal’ and ‘The Limousine Liberal’ http://nyti.ms/1T2ajeU
Time to learn from the past. Families matter when it comes to poverty. Blaming single parents is the wrong solution. Policies to support families, contraception, reducing unwanted pregnancies, protecting a mother’s right to choose to keep an unwanted pregnancy, keeping low level offenders out of prison and in their kids lives, these are the right solutions.
NYTimes: When Liberals Blew It
NobodyisFlyingthePlane has always been about the idea that we are blithely moving forward without a thought to where, how, and why.
The idea of a planet with a third more people has always frightened the staff. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should. It has long been one of our most firmly held beliefs that the solution to humanity’s problems lies in controlling population growth, not allowing rampant unfettered expansion in every pocket of untamed wilds. Clearly we’re not talking about trampling anyone’s rights to procreate. We’re just talking about pursuing policies that reward and encourage responsible growth.
There is a way to live in harmony with our planet. We haven’t found it yet. Its our job to keep working towards finding it, not to fill every square meter with bodies.
The author of this piece had some interesting things to say on the subject, but one quote in particular was very evocative.
Competition and conflict always shadow the broad edges of humanity’s tent, and a bigger tent tends to inflame tensions.
A decent article about gun violence, but a better article for what it says about how we’re all in this together. We can’t really see or solve our problems if all we see is different tribes everywhere we look. We have to alleviate the problems of those below us on the ladder in order to make things better for ourselves.
If you ignore America’s poor, you can make all kinds of problems disappear from view. Not counting the poor and minorities, the country does not have an obesity epidemic. Not counting the poor and minorities, the United States has perfectly adequate schools. Not counting the poor and minorities, America would have a higher average income.
Likewise, not counting hurricanes, America would not have so many natural disasters. Not counting divorces, America would have more intact families. Not counting wars, America would have a smaller public debt. But what’s the point of this exercise? The people who make up America count as Americans, and their problems count as America’s problems. Their problems do not occur in isolation, but are manifestations of failures to which all Americans contributed together.