There's more than one way to save a middle class
In our current “plutonomy”—a term coined by Citigroup analysts back in 2005—economic growth is powered and largely consumed by a wealthy few. Instead of a rising tide, we’re seeing a slow hollowing of the middle class. To reverse this trend, author Don Peck advocates for both a continued push for better schooling and the creation of clearer paths into careers for people who don’t immediately go to college. It must be a combination of the two, he argues: Over the past three decades, college completion rates have risen by just 1 percentage point every four years. Peck thinks that there is no reason to believe that, in our lifetimes, we’ll be able to push this number up to the critical mass needed to keep our economic waterwheel spinning. Instead, improving the quality and rigor of voch-tech programs for adolescents—and opening pathways to profitable career tracks—may well “determine whether the United States remains a middle-class country.” Sage advice, think we.
“Can the Middle Class Be Saved?,” by Don Peck, The Atlantic, September 2011.
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