Forbes James Marshall Crotty Disagrees with the Times Paul Krugman on Education as Way to Decrease Economic Inequality

James Marshall Crotty argues that education can offer remedies for economic inequality in his 2-part essay in Forbes, “Education Is the Answer to Income Inequality: Part One” and “Education Is the Answer to Income Inequality: Part Two.”. Crotty critiques views that propose reforms in higher education that focus on specific skills and learning outcomes. He disputes the notion that students with those skills can make smooth transitions into the workforce. Crotty claims that skills without cultural capital will not reduce the income gap — and, in fact, may not lead to jobs. As Crotty explains, the haves will have regardless of whether they graduate from college or not because

“when you look at the lives of Jobs, Gates, and Zuckerberg (not to mention Krugman and Chomsky) you quickly see that, growing up, they were surrounded by highly educated people (not necessarily highly wealthy people), versed in the liberal arts and able to navigate the dominant cultural conversation of their day.”

Essentially, Crotty posits that producing a culture that values education rather than focusing on increasing actually numbers of college graduates can close the gap. Another thinker might counter that the first leads to the second.


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