This is the second of these types of articles that I have seen. It is by Fareed Zakaria in the Washington Post. That is an article not on income inequality but on social mobility. When did the ability to move from your social class change? That is an important question that needs to be answered by US society. I believe that once this is answered the income inequality problems by begin to rectify themselves.
What is different in society today than 80 years ago when there were millions of uneducated immigrants from Europe coming to the US? I think it all comes down to family and not government. Most today would say it is the government’s responsibility but 80 years ago people wanted to be successful, wanted their children to be successful. I don’t think today people are willing to do all that is needed to be successful or to set appropriate expectations of their children.
I will use an example from my son’s school. He has a teacher that is teaching an honors history class and has very high expectations of the students. In most cases the students are very smart and have not had to work hard to get good grades. However, they are now getting C’s instead of A’s. I suspect that 80 years ago if this were happening most parents would have asked the child what the problem is and made sure they did what was necessary to improve their grades. However, during a recent parent teacher night, this teacher had a line of parents to talk to him that was at least 5 times as long as any other teacher. The parents biggest complaint was that the teacher was being too hard on the kids and expecting too much. It was his teaching methods that were the problem. The parents are already making excuses for the kids. Imagine going into a work environment where expectations are high. How do parents expect their children to be successful in life if they can’t meet the expectations of a high school teacher?
Whenever I have a question about how I should act or decisions I should make about my kids I try to imagine my grandparents to think about how they would handle a situation or the expectations they would have had of their children. In many of the cases where I try to make these comparisons I find that parents in similar situations today are less likely to act like the parents of 80 years ago. In my opinion that is the problem.