The New York Times ran a long and very good article on poverty. In it, they quote Education Secretary Arne Duncan:
“What I fundamentally believe — and what the president believes,” Duncan told me, “is that the only way to end poverty is through education.”
This thinking is the biggest enemy of poverty reduction. Poor people are poor because they don’t have enough money, not because they don’t have enough education. Lucky for us, we can actually get poor people more money right away. Despite that, we insist on making poor kids run the education gauntlet instead of attacking poverty head on. Meanwhile, the case for how education is supposed to end poverty is extraordinarily weak.
If I could achieve anything in my blogging life, it would be to obliterate this line of thinking. It is the mythology of the ruling class that poor people are poor because they don’t have enough education. That must explain why the mythology has so much purchase, even among do-gooder left-liberals. So long as that mythology remains in place, we will continue to waste our time, effort, and money on this ridiculous education garbage, and poverty rates will never decline.