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"Educated Fools - Why Democratic Leaders Still Misunderstand the Politics of Social Class" (The New Republic) and "The Great Affordability Crisis Breaking America" (The Atlantic) - a pair of articles you should read

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Educated Fools - Why Democratic Leaders Still Misunderstand the Politics of Social Class


All of this cries out for a new form of democratic education—not college for all, but heavy state investment in lifetime learning, as in Denmark. But any such endeavor also requires heavy investments of private capital, which again becomes a far more plausible prospect if there is a new, more democratic workplace, or one that is guided by real worker voices and real worker participation. Indeed, in the case of Germany, this is part of the reason why there is still such a commitment to manufacturing: If private capital has to invest in all that human capital, not once but through the working lives of all these high-skilled workers, that creates a strong incentive to keep a manufacturing sector going, to get a return on that human capital. When John Maynard Keynes wrote The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936), he famously argued that the central economic problem was to get the wealthy to part with their money and to invest in the construction of durable goods. Were he living today, he might insist that the central economic problem is to get the wealthy to invest in the creation of human capital—and in a bigger knowledge-based economy, to maximize the return on that investment.


The Great Affordability Crisis Breaking America


What is perhaps most frustrating is that the Great Affordability Crisis is amenable to policy solutions—ones most other rich countries adopted decades ago. In other developed economies, child care, early education, and higher education are public goods, and do not require high-interest-rate debts or endless scrambling by exhausted young parents to procure. Other wealthy countries have public-health systems that cover everybody at far lower cost, whether through socialized or private models. And numerous proposals would transform residential construction in this country, including one that just failed in California’s legislature.


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