HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Another gem by Nick Hanau...

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 08:46 PM

Another gem by Nick Hanauer, author of "The Pitchforks Are Coming... For Us Plutocrats"

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/07/education-isnt-enough/590611/?utm_source=pocket-newtab



"Long ago, I was captivated by a seductively intuitive idea, one many of my wealthy friends still subscribe to: that both poverty and rising inequality are largely consequences of America’s failing education system. Fix that, I believed, and we could cure much of what ails America.

This belief system, which I have come to think of as “educationism,” is grounded in a familiar story about cause and effect: Once upon a time, America created a public-education system that was the envy of the modern world. No nation produced more or better-educated high-school and college graduates, and thus the great American middle class was built. But then, sometime around the 1970s, America lost its way. We allowed our schools to crumble, and our test scores and graduation rates to fall. School systems that once churned out well-paid factory workers failed to keep pace with the rising educational demands of the new knowledge economy. As America’s public-school systems foundered, so did the earning power of the American middle class. And as inequality increased, so did political polarization, cynicism, and anger, threatening to undermine American democracy itself.

Taken with this story line, I embraced education as both a philanthropic cause and a civic mission. I co-founded the League of Education Voters, a nonprofit dedicated to improving public education. I joined Bill Gates, Alice Walton, and Paul Allen in giving more than $1 million each to an effort to pass a ballot measure that established Washington State’s first charter schools. All told, I have devoted countless hours and millions of dollars to the simple idea that if we improved our schools—if we modernized our curricula and our teaching methods, substantially increased school funding, rooted out bad teachers, and opened enough charter schools—American children, especially those in low-income and working-class communities, would start learning again. Graduation rates and wages would increase, poverty and inequality would decrease, and public commitment to democracy would be restored.

But after decades of organizing and giving, I have come to the uncomfortable conclusion that I was wrong. And I hate being wrong."


................

More by Nick Hanauer

Stock Buybacks Are Killing the American Economy
Nick Hanauer
'Middle-Out' Economics: Why the Right's Supply-Side Dogma Is Wrong
Eric Liu Nick Hanauer
Rich Americans Aren't the Real Job Creators
Nick Hanauer

6 replies, 555 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply Another gem by Nick Hanauer, author of "The Pitchforks Are Coming... For Us Plutocrats" (Original post)
alwaysinasnit Jun 10 OP
FakeNoose Jun 10 #1
zipplewrath Jun 10 #2
Blue_true Jun 10 #4
zipplewrath Jun 10 #5
Blue_true Jun 10 #3
appalachiablue Jun 10 #6

Response to alwaysinasnit (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 08:59 PM

1. Best quote from the OP


- snip -
Today, after wealthy elites gobble up our outsize share of national income, the median American family is left with $76,000 a year. Had hourly compensation grown with productivity since 1973—as it did over the preceding quarter century, according to the Economic Policy Institute—that family would now be earning more than $105,000 a year. Just imagine, education reforms aside, how much larger and stronger and better educated our middle class would be if the median American family enjoyed a $29,000-a-year raise.

In fact, the most direct way to address rising economic inequality is to simply pay ordinary workers more, by increasing the minimum wage and the salary threshold for overtime exemption; by restoring bargaining power for labor; and by instating higher taxes—much higher taxes—on rich people like me and on our estates.

Educationism appeals to the wealthy and powerful because it tells us what we want to hear: that we can help restore shared prosperity without sharing our wealth or power.
- snip -


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to alwaysinasnit (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 09:05 PM

2. Education isn't the "answer"

People frequently assert that education is the solution to some cultural or social problem. I've often thought that is provably wrong. Some of the most educated people become substance abusers, often in the medical industry where they should be the most knowledgeable. I work in a highly educated and technical industry, and it is filled with republicans who don't believe in climate change, or in many cases, evolution. Education only teaches skills, not necessarily knowledge.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to zipplewrath (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 10:08 PM

4. Our economy has a lot of educated people working well below their capability.

There are software developers without jobs because of outsourcing of code writing to cheaper places, the power of the Internet make that trend even more dangerous.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Blue_true (Reply #4)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 10:11 PM

5. That too

Although I suspect that one would find, if the study was done, that the children of upper middle class do better at that "first job" than equally educated people from lower classes/educational backgrounds.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to alwaysinasnit (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 09:58 PM

3. Thanks for the link. The whole thing was just a wonderful rabbit hole.

The guy who wrote the piece on education clearly has been thinking hard about what builds a stronger and more equitable society.

A lot of wonderful reading in that link. I had to stop myself from reading everything there, the ideas were that wonderful.

He made a powerful case for an idea that the combination of the Nixon and Reagan presidencies is the driver of the continuous decline of American society, I whole heartedly agree with such a synopsis.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to alwaysinasnit (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 10:43 PM

6. Many companies left or folded that bright, young people

could have had careers with, so there's that too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread