This week on TGS I’m cross-posting my recent appearance on my good friend Larry Kotlikoff’s show, Economics Matters. Larry is a professor of economics and the author of many, many books, including last year’s Money Magic: An Economist’s Secrets to More Money, Less Risk, and a Better Life
I'm afraid that the search to end inequality will only result in tyranny. Equality of outcome and Equality of opportunity are both abstract ideas, impossible to implement without controlling every facet of an individual's life, and treating those individuals as a mere means to an end.
Nobody alive today has anything to do with the actions of their progenitures, so affirmitative action and other calls for reparation is forcing the law to engage in a form of historical culpability which is not a game that anyone can win. The best way to ensure equality is to enforce the law equally, and the best way to ensure that social capital is being developed is to give poor people the opportunity to engage the arena without regulatory imposition, and without having to worry about filling some quota. I'm willing to bet you a million dollars that there is a black men, probably mid-40's, who is an epic genius, sitting on his couch, smoking marijuana because school is a bore and because he can't get around the thousands of pieces of legislation that prohibit him from entering the market. Christopher Langan was a bouncer. How many more of them are out there, restricted by the tyranny of psuedointellectuals who monpolize education and industry.
Only 60% of white kids in the US are raised by both birth parents through high school. This is an unmitigated disaster. Only 30% of black kids in the US are raised by both birth parents through high school. What words can you use for this? If this statistic doesn't improve dramatically for all kids, not only will disparities persist but the disparities will be between bad and worse.
As a NYC school teacher, I put most of the blame for the wide discrepancies for example in scores in standardized tests on the failing policies of the public school system. Parents gave been taking their kids out of the public school system in droves. Besides dumbing down what kids learn even in elementary schools, many schools have abandoned reasonable consequences for kids who create disorder in classrooms. Many parents who can afford it hire private math tutors for their kids to get worknat their levels. For years, teachers were told that correcting a student's papers would hurt a child's ego. One year, I was a teacher of 3-year-olds in a housing project in Bed-Stuy. All.of thise children learned to recognize upper and lower case alphabet letters, learning the sounds of the consonants and to varying degrees could read cardsxwith the students' names and word cards placed by dufferent areas in the room. When I ran into some parents in tne neighborhood a few years later. they told me how bored their kids were in school and first grade teachers were teaching what I was teaching in nursery school. Parents who complain to principals that their kuds are bored in school and need more challenging work are told that would be unfaur to the students a5 a lowee level. That's it in a nutshell. Yes, there may be home problems as well, but schools must do their jobs!
Nurse-family partnership. Started in Colorado and now I think nationwide. My daughter works in this program in Philadelphia.
Glenn, I hear you consternate about how to measure "race relations" and I hear your difficulties with affirmative action.... I miss some of the clarity that Morgan Freeman provides here:
I would love to hear you discuss the approach that Morgan Freeman is promoting.