When the Rich Get Richer, It DOESN’T Raise All Boats … It SINKS The Standard of Living For Everyone Else

I’ve repeatedly noted that rampant inequality destabilizes the economy as a whole, and actually causes depressions … but that government policy is increasing inequality.

I’ve also pointed out that no one – liberal or conservative – likes runaway inequality.

Now, Jeffrey P. Thompson (Assistant Research Professor at the Political Economy Research Institute of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst) and Elias Leight (Assistant Analyst Tax Analysis Division of the Congressional Budget Office) have demonstrated that when the wealthiest Americans get richer, everyone else becomes poorer.

For example, they demonstrate that when the wealthiest Americans get 10% richer, middle income Americans get 2% poorer.

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  • The fact that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer has been blamed on Wall Street bankers, lobbyists and others. Today there is evidence that another group is to blame: School district superintendents. And it’s being done at taxpayer expense.
    The Department of Education and Arne Duncan are to be commended on commissioning a study, released yesterday. It looked at more than 13,000 school districts across the country; this covers most of the districts. It found that: “More than one-third of higher-poverty schools (above their district’s poverty average) had lower per-pupil personnel expenditures than lower-poverty schools in their districts at the same school grade level.” In other words, the more poor students get treated worse than their wealthier peers.
    Lower personnel expenditures generally equates to less experienced teachers. Educators aware of social justice have complained for many years that it looks like rookie teachers are assigned to the poor urban schools disproportionately. This study supports that claim.
    Math is a particular concern. Rookie teachers are significantly less effective. The students pay the price for the teacher’s inexperience. (After about ten years, research has shown that there is no statistical improvement in student achievement; a teacher with 25 years of experience is as effective as she was after ten years in general.)
    How is it that 5000 school superintendents supported this inequity? Many of these superintendents have attended conferences on social justice and closing the achievement gap, sometimes in places like Orlando. These 5000 school superintendents are now identified.

    • Herstory

      There also cases of half a million dollar a year superintendents replaced with ones that actually care, who will do a better job for way, way less provided parents make enough noise.
      Of course the first question that pops up is: does the tax savings get passed on to homeowners? No, because prior superintendents contract has to be bought-out and any savings gets re-budgeted for other improvements. Realization dawns that the system is so screwed up by scams and waste, abuse of tax payers, that it even educates at the minimalist level so that the populations cannot even fight back because they do not know how to.
      And- it gets worse, anyone who dares expose critical concerns over the scams gets the old institutional treatment: bullying-harassment- silencing-attempts at entrapment treatment which can mean anything from targeted disparate treatment of a student due the parents activities of exposing the scams, to use of other covert means of dis-empowering advocacy efforts by reform groups. We all know too well they are doing it, and how their doing it, thanks to whistle-blowers.
      Yet all those tactics will never stop people from exposing the scams. Shame on all of them for what they have done to education and for fleecing working class parents and students, shame!