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Globalization, education and the earnings gap

5 February 2017

Just a quick post to link a very interesting article by Alana Semuels in The Atlantic about the widening gap in earnings between those in the United States with college degrees and those without. Among the causes: technology and globalization has shifted economic emphasis from manufacturing to information. Among the effects: College graduates moving into cities, helping those cities thrive socially and economically, and away from rural areas, depressing those areas socially and economically.

I wrote about the effects of this education gap in my post-Trump-victory post. Trump’s populist victory is certainly another effect of what Semuels describes. The question remains: How can we narrow these gaps? Education and training seem like obvious answers, but those cost government money, and–in a sort of Matthew effect–the least educated areas seem to be ruled by those whose education policy focuses on cutting “waste.” What about an infrastructure investment giving poor, rural areas like those described in the article free public Wi-Fi to attract college graduates and information entrepreneurs?

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