Saturday, December 10, 2016

Inequality and Eduation

If perhaps inequality and poverty were not the entire cause of poor educational and life performance, directly and indirectly, it would almost certainly be vastly reduced in a society of vastly reduced inequality and poverty.
If only we could have and arm and eliminate inequality and poverty, which is of course what politicians sometimes do, especially of the conservative streak, or make outrageous claims that unloading tax from the top will somehow cure all, when it typically has the reverse effect, enabling the top to cash out more freely from social investments. So we have fewer factories, and fewer laboratories than we should have, and way more gilded on great mansions.
Well, actually, we could. Poverty and inequality are greatly affected by public policy choices. A modern society requires a large and useful social democratic state. Free healthcare and education for starters (not unknown in the world). Ultimately, there should be nobody unfed, unhoused, uneducated except by truancy.
And how could this be paid for? Well, the USA is the richest country in the history of the world, has incomparable advantages, incomparable resources, many of the world’s smartest people, and an informative history. We spend a vast fortune on a fantastically wasteful imperial enterprise, almost just for the sake of spending the money, and in fact
actual citizens (if not foreign investments) would almost entirely be safer if the whole project were abandoned, and defense became an entirely internal affair, such as building badly needed renewably energy based infrastructure.
For starters, resume taxing corporations, high incomes, speculative trading. Add to that carbon, offshoring, rents of all kinds. Everything but consumption.
Of course, the trend of the past 36 years is exactly the reverse, and the current scenario is acceleration simultaneously into the sinkhole and over the cliff. And while the democratic socialist approach gained some appeal recently, there has been a longstanding effort of eliminating all such thinking, and mainstream america believes somehow that the source of all their problems will be the cure for it.
This could be reversed by better education, historical and scientific. So maybe the bug is a feature?
Well, there’s another part to this. Are the financial and administrative elite themselves so uneducated as to believe their doing the right thing, that somehow they can continue to live in their isolated sanctums accumulating accounting wealth while the rest of the world collapses? Don’t they understand that true wealth is the ability to create, and that is maximized by having everyone doing their best?

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