Is College The Cause of Income Inequality?

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    Mar 03, 2014 7:12 PM GMT
    From a NYT op-ed: Higher education is becoming a caste system, separate and unequal for students with different family incomes. Where students attend college affects their chances of graduating and how indebted they will become in the process.

    Something else began to happen around 1980. College graduation rates kept soaring for the affluent, but for those in the bottom half, a four-year degree is scarcely more attainable today than it was in the 1970s. And because some colleges actually hinder social mobility, what increasingly matters is not just whether you go to college but where.

    The demise of opportunity through higher education is, fundamentally, a political failure. Our landmark higher education policies have ceased to function effectively, and lawmakers — consumed by partisan polarization and plutocracy — have neglected to maintain and update them.

    More Americans than ever enroll in college, but the graduates who emerge a few years later indicate that instead of reducing inequality, our system of higher education reinforces it. Three out of four adults who grow up in the top quarter of the income spectrum earn baccalaureate degrees by age 24, but it’s only one out of three in the next quarter down. In the bottom half of the economic distribution, it’s less than one out of five for those in the third bracket and fewer than one out of 10 in the poorest.

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/01/college-the-great-unleveler/?_php=true&_type=blogs&hp&rref=opinion&_r=0
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    Mar 04, 2014 1:30 AM GMT
    Huh, the problem isn't college. The problem is college graduates who can't get jobs because Obama is choking the economy.
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    Mar 04, 2014 1:32 AM GMT
    mx5guynj saidHuh, the problem isn't college. The problem is college graduates who can't get jobs because Obama is choking the economy.

    College grads have had trouble getting jobs way before Obama.
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    Mar 04, 2014 1:34 AM GMT
    20% of the people in college shouldn't even be there (btw 40% don't graduate within 6 years and just have debt to show for it). Education is just another racket.

    Now for 60-70% of the people who are enrolled in school, it's great.
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    Mar 04, 2014 1:36 AM GMT
    Asians are the cause of income inequality
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    Mar 04, 2014 1:43 AM GMT
    From the article: The worst problems, though, occur at for-profit schools like those run by the Apollo Group (which owns the University of Phoenix), the Education Management Corporation or Corinthian Colleges. These schools cater to low-income students and veterans, but too often they turn hopes for a better life into the despair of financial ruin.
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    Mar 04, 2014 2:03 AM GMT
    To get a degree in 4 years is very difficult without some outside financial help. Many upper middle class and higher folks can afford to send their kids to college, but also finance their collegiate lifestyle. This week in one of my business classes, new research shows that some Millennials entering the workforce are getting their first job at age 26. Not having had to support themselves financially is unheard of to me... I've been busting my ass since 16 and on my own since 18. Part time in school for three years.
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    Mar 04, 2014 2:06 AM GMT
    College will not in itself reduce income inequality until we are producing graduates with skill sets needed for our economy.

    We produce more liberal arts majors than we need but we also produce fewer engineers than necessary for our economy.

    It's not just about going to college, it's about making the right choices when you are there.

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    Mar 04, 2014 2:13 AM GMT
    TerraFirma said
    mx5guynj saidHuh, the problem isn't college. The problem is college graduates who can't get jobs because Obama is choking the economy.

    College grads have had trouble getting jobs way before Obama.


    way way way waaaaaayyy before OBAMA
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    Mar 04, 2014 2:35 AM GMT
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    Mar 04, 2014 2:56 AM GMT
    Hello,

    To answer your question, you might want to consider the unemployment rate among certain degrees[1], and how future earnings affect mobility from one percentile of income earners to another for a family.

    Excellent discussion by the way.

    References:

    [1] The Wall Street Journal. 2012 Jobs Snapshot: Unemployment Rates by Occupation, Jan. 08, 2013. online.wsj.com[online]. 2014. Available from: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323936804578229873392511426?mg=reno64-wsj

  • FRE0

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    Mar 04, 2014 3:23 AM GMT
    David3000 saidAsians are the cause of income inequality


    More likely the problem is that we don't work as hard as the Asians.
  • FRE0

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    Mar 04, 2014 3:31 AM GMT
    woodsmen saidFrom the article: The worst problems, though, occur at for-profit schools like those run by the Apollo Group (which owns the University of Phoenix), the Education Management Corporation or Corinthian Colleges. These schools cater to low-income students and veterans, but too often they turn hopes for a better life into the despair of financial ruin.


    I've read about them; they are especially problematic for veterans. One of the problems is that many veterans don't know much about colleges and are unaware that bad colleges exist. Most of them come from families in which the parents were not educated beyond high school. The military should teach more about selecting suitable colleges and make it clear that there are some which are more interested in maximizing tuition than in providing a good education.

    It's really tragic when veterans are ripped off by avaricious colleges, do not receive an education that would benefit them, and are saddled with huge tuition loans that they may never be able to pay off. This should not be permitted to occur.
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    Mar 04, 2014 3:34 AM GMT
    Kentuckianaboy saidTo get a degree in 4 years is very difficult without some outside financial help. Many upper middle class and higher folks can afford to send their kids to college, but also finance their collegiate lifestyle. This week in one of my business classes, new research shows that some Millennials entering the workforce are getting their first job at age 26. Not having had to support themselves financially is unheard of to me... I've been busting my ass since 16 and on my own since 18. Part time in school for three years.


    I was a drop out and ended up getting my degree 11 years late. That included taking night courses for six consecutive years. The idea that every college student should get a degree within six or fewer years seems somewhat dated.
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    Mar 04, 2014 3:38 AM GMT
    Cleveland job bank operator Kelly Blazek shamed after brutal rejection letters go viral
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/cleveland-job-bank-operator-kelly-blazek-shamed-brutal-rejection-letters-article-1.1706857


    Although I don't condone how she did it and it was certainly unprofessional, but Kelly Blazek does have a point on the sense of entitlement generation which we all know about, this girl brat got butt hurt icon_rolleyes.gif


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  • FRE0

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    Mar 04, 2014 3:43 AM GMT
    FLgator saidCollege will not in itself reduce income inequality until we are producing graduates with skill sets needed for our economy.

    We produce more liberal arts majors than we need but we also produce fewer engineers than necessary for our economy.

    It's not just about going to college, it's about making the right choices when you are there.



    I agree, but college should not be considered only as a way to get a higher income. Of course it should help to get a higher income, but it should not be that narrowly focused.

    I believe in a good broad liberal education, but it should also include knowledge that will help produce a good income. It is true that we are producing too few engineers; that is a situation that should be corrected. But I would hope that engineers would learn about other things too, such as history, psychology, anthropology, literature, music, etc.

    One of the things that determines professional success is the ability to get along with other people. In fact, more people are fired for inability to get along with other people than for professional incompetence. An education that is too narrowly focused will not help with that problem.
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    Mar 04, 2014 3:46 AM GMT
    tereseus1 said
    TerraFirma said
    mx5guynj saidHuh, the problem isn't college. The problem is college graduates who can't get jobs because Obama is choking the economy.

    College grads have had trouble getting jobs way before Obama.


    way way way waaaaaayyy before OBAMA


    Quite true. But for some reason, the person who happens to be president is often blamed for all the problems of the country, even including problems that he inherited. Hoover was blamed for the Great Depression even though it occurred when he had been in office for only a few months and the problems had been building for years before he was elected.
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    Mar 04, 2014 3:50 AM GMT
    More from the article: Nearly three-quarters of American college students attend public universities and colleges, historically the nation’s primary channels to educational opportunity. These institutions still offer the best bargain around, yet even there, tuition increases have bred inequality. For those from the richest fifth, the annual cost of attending a public four-year college has inched up from 6 percent of family income in 1971 to 9 percent in 2011. For everyone else, the change is formidable. For those in the poorest fifth, costs at State U have skyrocketed from 42 percent of family income to 114 percent.
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    Mar 04, 2014 3:54 AM GMT
    debt = slavery





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    Mar 04, 2014 3:54 AM GMT
    scruffLA saidCleveland job bank operator Kelly Blazek shamed after brutal rejection letters go viral
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/cleveland-job-bank-operator-kelly-blazek-shamed-brutal-rejection-letters-article-1.1706857


    Although I don't condone how she did it and it was certainly unprofessional, but Kelly Blazek does have a point on the sense of entitlement generation which we all know about, this girl brat got butt hurt icon_rolleyes.gif


    71sQ92K.png?2


    That was really cunty.
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    Mar 04, 2014 4:08 AM GMT

    haven't we got it yet?

  • AMoonHawk

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    Mar 04, 2014 4:24 AM GMT
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  • ai82

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    Mar 04, 2014 4:51 AM GMT
    I think you should only go to college if that is what you need for your future career. There are too many people going to college just to say they've gone to college and then getting jobs outside their major that don't pay that well. Then they end up in debt that they can't pay back. Way too few people take advantage of vocational careers.
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    Mar 04, 2014 8:33 AM GMT
    College does not cause income inequality. The laws passed by the US congress do. We used to have a progressive income tax system and an estate tax on the very wealthy that raised a lot more revenue, allowing the government (among other things) to fund higher education for all through cheap direct government loans. Where one went to college was dependent only on the merit/achievement of the student. True, only the best students could get into Harvard, Yale, or Princeton, and then go on to top graduate business schools, so they could get top jobs on Wall street if they wanted, but all qualified students could afford to do so. (Same applies to law schools and medical schools.) Not anymore. The government has gotten rid of that loan program (for the most part), and could not afford it today anyway, because congress voted to cut the taxes on the rich. Ironic that Warren Buffet proclaims that his secretary pays a higher tax rate than he does - because she is a worker, and not a rich investor favored by Congress. And to think we have the best congress that can be bought.

    Now, most students that are below middle class cannot afford to attend the top universities, if they can afford to attend any at all. And with the lousy educational system throughout the country for low income areas, because of inadequate funding, low income students are lucky to get even a decent high school education.
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    Mar 04, 2014 10:54 AM GMT
    somersault said20% of the people in college shouldn't even be there (btw 40% don't graduate within 6 years and just have debt to show for it). Education is just another racket.

    Now for 60-70% of the people who are enrolled in school, it's great.
    I'm in the 40%... Maybe even the 20%...