Occupy the Classroom
Published: October 19, 2011
Occupy Wall Street is shining a useful spotlight on one of America’s central challenges, the inequality that leaves the richest 1 percent of Americans with a greater net worth than the entire bottom 90 percent.
Damon Winter/The New York Times
Most of the proposed remedies involve changes in taxes and regulations, and they would help. But the single step that would do the most to reduce inequality has nothing to do with finance at all. It’s an expansion of early childhood education.
Huh? That will seem naïve and bizarre to many who chafe at inequities and who think the first step is to throw a few bankers into prison. But although part of the problem is billionaires being taxed at lower rates than those with more modest incomes, a bigger source of structural inequity is that many young people never get the skills to compete.