I had 2 posts over at Demos’ Policy Shop this week. Here is a rundown with links:
Where differential social capital generates differential economic opportunities, it presents a deep problem for justice. Because individuals tend to associate with similar others, the most powerful, wealthy, and prestigious people end up with vastly more social capital than those with less power, wealth, and prestige. Men hang out with men; white people hang out with white people; rich people hang out with rich people; and so on.
The homogeneous networks we tend to form therefore amplify our already deep social inequalities. If we could include the total volume of social capital individuals possess into our wealth calculations, the various wealth gaps we are all familiar with (e.g. race) would doubtlessly explode even wider.
So from 1992 to 2007, four year public colleges dealt with cost increases by heavily dumping them on the upper half of the income distribution, while sparing the poorest quarter of students almost entirely. The rich students saw their costs increase by 11x more than the poorest quarter of students measured in dollar terms, and 7x more measured by percentage points. As of 2007, the poorest quarter of students were paying just 55.7 percent of what the richest quarter of students were paying to attend public four-year colleges.