The Income Gap Really an Education Gap
Now, thanks to Richard Morrison of the Tax Foundation, we have the following chart showing, "America's income gap is really an education gap."
Laura D'Andrea Tyson, chairwoman of President Clinton's chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers, wrote the following for Economix, a business blog of the New York Times:
"A core American value is that each individual should have the opportunity to realize his or her potential. Birth needn’t dictate destiny. Education has been the traditional American pathway to opportunity and upward mobility, but this pathway is closing for a growing number of Americans in low- and middle-income families.
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"The United States is caught in a vicious cycle largely of its own making. Rising income inequality is breeding more inequality in educational opportunity, which results in greater inequality in educational attainment. That, in turn, undermines the intergenerational mobility upon which Americans have always prided themselves and perpetuates income inequality from generation to generation.
"This dynamic all but guarantees a permanent underclass. Indeed, the process is already under way: An American child’s future income is already more dependent on his or her parents’ income than a child born in most other developed countries."
Stanford University's Center for Education Policy Analysis held a conference this past spring about "income, inequality, and educational success." They introduced the conference by saying:
"Recent evidence demonstrates that the academic achievement gap between children from high- and low-income families has risen substantially in recent decades in the US, as has the disparity in college completion by family income. Indeed, the income achievement gap is now much larger than the black-white achievement gap, a reversal from the pattern 50 years ago, when black-white educational disparities dominated socioeconomic disparities."
A Goodgle search for "education + income inequality" produces a number of helpful articles, including this one from the Harvard Crimson. Finally, a January 2011 article at the Atlantic cites an OECD report that suggests "more education" would "reduce unemployment and income inequality."