Wednesday, July 30, 2008

David Brooks is not your Friend


This threatens the country’s long-term prospects. It also widens the gap between rich and poor. Goldin and Katz describe a race between technology and education. The pace of technological change has been surprisingly steady. In periods when educational progress outpaces this change, inequality narrows. The market is flooded with skilled workers, so their wages rise modestly. In periods, like the current one, when educational progress lags behind technological change, inequality widens. The relatively few skilled workers command higher prices, while the many unskilled ones have little bargaining power.

I'm sure you can make the numbers work this way, in particular if you want to portray inequality as primarily existing between white and blue collar employees instead of, say, labor and capital. But what's the takeaway here supposed to be again? We need a better education system so that professionals will make less and thus close the wage gap with unskilled labor?

Also, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Brooks.

1 comment:

Bill Kerr said...

If the cake becomes bigger in a particular country there are more crumbs to share around; the fat capitalist can be more generous than the skinny capitalist. I think that is what Brooks is saying in more system compatible language (similar to Tom Friedman's analysis in 'The World is Flat')