Ideas that add up #70

In the latest issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, the intellectual historian of capitalism Jerry Muller argues that the age-old Washington remedy for inequality –“investing” in education – may actually exacerbate inequality. Prof Muller quotes the late political scientist Edward Banfield in The Unheavenly City Revisited: “All education favours the middle and upper class child, because to be middle or upper class is to have qualities that make one particularly educable.” Education is a good that benefits the already well-positioned, rather as stimulus tends to benefit the cronies of those in government.

Christopher Caldwell in the FT, March 9th, 2013

We, the well-heeled and highly educable, do seem particularly adept at helping ourselves to public resources nominally established in the name of society’s less fortunate.

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