Relative economic immobility in the United States is a function of our failed education policy during the past four decades.
According to the Economic Mobility Project conducted by The Pew Charitable Trust, work force participation by women increased 30 percentage points, from 40 percent to 70 percent, during this time. For 30 years (1974-2004), inflation adjusted income for women in their 30s surged 300 percent.
However, these huge increases in mobility were undermined by the stagnation of men’s incomes and their reduced work-force participation rate.
As a result, average inflation adjusted per capita income declined during this time.
The income distribution became greater with larger, less-mobile portions at both extremes. The Pew study suggests economic mobility doesn't occur for approximately 4 percent of individuals in the lowest quintile and highest quintiles of the population (lowest and highest 20 percent).
Public policy initiatives that favored the wealthy were enacted by a political class immune to the economic realities of their constituents.
As a result, education policy suffered greatly. It has produced a relatively low skilled labor force that is ill-less equipped to meet global demand: a trend that will take decades to correct.
Building our economy begins with building our children before they enter formal schooling.
Helping our children build their blocks may be the key to our future.
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