As the importance of intellectual capital grows, privilege has become increasingly heritableWhich anyone who read the Bell Curve recognizes as a major theme. If the Bell Curve is racist nonsense then why is the apparently "reputable" Economist running with the same claims?
Intellectual capital drives the knowledge economy, so those who have lots of it get a fat slice of the pie. And it is increasingly heritable. Far more than in previous generations, clever, successful men marry clever, successful women. Such “assortative mating” increases inequality by 25%, by one estimate, since two-degree households typically enjoy two large incomes. Power couples conceive bright children and bring them up in stable homes—only 9% of college-educated mothers who give birth each year are unmarried, compared with 61% of high-school dropouts. They stimulate them relentlessly: children of professionals hear 32m more words by the age of four than those of parents on welfare. They move to pricey neighbourhoods with good schools, spend a packet on flute lessons and pull strings to get junior into a top-notch college.This could have easily been lifted from The Bell Curve. You'd recognize it if you read it.
Nurseries, not tumbrils The solution is not to discourage rich people from investing in their children, but to do a lot more to help clever kids who failed to pick posh parents. The moment to start is in early childhood, when the brain is most malleable and the right kind of stimulation has the largest effect. There is no substitute for parents who talk and read to their babies, but good nurseries can help, especially for the most struggling families; and America scores poorly by international standards (see article). Improving early child care in the poorest American neighbourhoods yields returns of ten to one or more; few other government investments pay off so handsomely. [my underlines]Did this person write what I thought they wrote? This person does understand that children do not "pick" their parents right? Secondly, as shown in The Bell Curve, the data does not support long term effects of early child care on intellectual capabilities. What DOES actually help is parents talking to and reading to their children rather than plopping them down in front of televisions.
Finally, America’s universities need an injection of meritocracy. Only a handful, such as Caltech, admit applicants solely on academic merit. All should.At which point the minority...no...sorry...certain "minority" groups will see their numbers drop at the more selective schools because going simply by merit (cummulative academic performance up to application to college) would reduce the number of eligible students (as we saw when Affirmative Action programs were dropped in California). Also why we see so few black and hispanic students at NY City's top high schools. One other thing when it comes to the school reform ideas. There is often a claim of how many students at such and such charter school went to college. What we actually need to know is what happened after enrollment. What percentage graduated at all? How many graduated with their original major? How many who had STEM majors made it all the way through? I've seen a lot of school brag about "record enrollment" in the fall semester only to see most of that "record enrollment" fail out and the numbers return to "normal". Point being that getting into college does not guarantee graduating from college or graduating with a useful (ie: money making) degree.