Photo of the day

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas (Eve).  From a Christmas-themed Big Picture set:

Hundreds of people gather in the rain to attend the opening of the traditional Christmas Market on the Roemerberg square in Frankfurt on November 26, 2012. (Michael Probst/Associated Press)

 

Super-duper important chart of the day

Education should be the great equalizer, but alas, in our society which already has appallingly low inter-generational social mobility, a college education increasingly helps the rich get richer and the poor stay that way.  It’s a pretty depressing state of affairs.  Great NYT article about it in yesterday’s paper.  The key stats are in these two charts:

chart1

Just so we’re clear here, an above average academic ability poor kid is less likely to graduate college than a below average ability rich kid.  That is truly appalling and something our whole society should be scandalized and want to do something about.  This cuts against the very essence of how we think America is supposed to work.  Similarly depressing data in the following chart.

chart2

I’m not going to excerpt from the article, you really should read it.  I will, however, quote my friend in FB and life, John F. on his take via FB:

 The Caste system we’ve created as a country is the system responsible for the increasing inequality of wealth which requires historically little of the wealthy and puts more pressure on the middle and working classes, and our failure to recognize and address poverty as the underlying problem for so many problems. The clear link between both of these factors is in how so many poor and middle class people are priced out of a high quality education from early childhood through college/university.

Republicans and Democrats can disagree on the solutions, but no American should find this an acceptable state of affairs and we should all be working together to remedy the problem.  That said, I’m feeling pretty confident that the solution cannot be found in tax cuts for rich people and less regulations for corporations.

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