Monday, September 11, 2006

Investing in Human Futures

Brooks with some interesting ideas:

I may be a sucker, but I doubt we can achieve broad-based social mobility unless workers possess the skills that a global economy now rewards. I may be a sucker, but I suspect the most important thing we can do to increase social mobility is to come up with second-generation human capital policies.


The first-generation policies gave people access to schools, colleges and training facilities. The second-generation policies will help them develop the habits, knowledge and mental traits they need to succeed once they are there...


But this debate is not going to be won either by the free-market fatalists or by the angry but amorphous populists. It’ll be won by the human capital reformers, the alliance of progressive conservatives and conservative progressives (like the Clintonites) who believe that the market fundamentally works and that social mobility requires what it has always required, skill and effort.


September 10, 2006

Op-Ed Columnist

Investing in Human Futures



Imagine a classroom of first graders. Now imagine we could get every kid in that classroom to graduate from college, and that we could get every kid in every classroom to graduate from college. Don’t you think that’s the most important thing we could do to make America a richer and fairer place?


Some people, actually, don’t think that. Some people don’t think wage stagnation is mainly about education and skills. They think the economy is so broken, the Republican Party so malevolent and all-controlling, that almost all the gains would go to the top 5 percent or 1 percent anyway.


I may be a sucker, but I think they’re wrong.

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