In Obama’s Favorite Gini Daniel Henninger asks/answers “What would a progressive income-inequality policy agenda look like in the U.S.?” before concluding: if you’re not serious about school reform you’re not serious about the problem.
We think we get it: Raise taxes and reflow the money into spending by the federal government on public programs. Merits aside, one may ask: What has the federal government done in recent memory to be entrusted with any such massive, permanent transfer of wealth? Perhaps we should consult first with the high Gini-coefficient French.
Let’s cut to the chase: The real issue in the American version of this subject is the low incomes of the inner-city poor. And let’s put on the table one thing nearly all agree on: A successful education improves lifetime earnings. This assumes one is living in an economy with better than moribund growth, an assumption no one in the U.S. or Western Europe can make anymore.
If there is one political goal all Democratic progressives agree on it’s this: They will resist, squash and kill any attempt anywhere in the U.S. to educate those low-income or no-income inner-city kids in alternatives to the public schools run by the party’s industrial-age unions.
Reforming that public-school monopoly is the litmus test of seriousness on income inequality. That monopoly is the primary cause of America’s post-1970s social-policy failure. And that monopoly will emerge from the Obama presidency and de Blasio mayoralty intact. So will income inequality.