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How We Are Ruining America

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David Brooks JULY 11, 2017

Over the past generation, members of the college-educated class have become amazingly good at making sure their children retain their privileged status. They have also become devastatingly good at making sure the children of other classes have limited chances to join their ranks.

How they’ve managed to do the first task — giving their own children a leg up — is pretty obvious. It’s the pediacracy, stupid. Over the past few decades, upper-middle-class Americans have embraced behavior codes that put cultivating successful children at the center of life. As soon as they get money, they turn it into investments in their kids.

Upper-middle-class moms have the means and the maternity leaves to breast-feed their babies at much higher rates than high school-educated moms, and for much longer periods.

Upper-middle-class parents have the means to spend two to three times more time with their preschool children than less affluent parents. Since 1996, education expenditures among the affluent have increased by almost 300 percent, while education spending among every other group is basically flat.

8 thoughts on “How We Are Ruining America

  1. David Brooks graduated from University of Chicago. is father taught English literature at New York University, while his mother studied nineteenth-century British history at Columbia University. His mother beast fed him until he was 18.

  2. 9:44. You must have peaked in 5th grade

  3. and no one is working on learning a trade. do u all know how much a plumber makes. yeah that much.

  4. @11:39am: As much as I agree with you, but unless I start seeing “My son’s a plumber” stickers on cars, Ridgewood parents will always steer their kids towards careers in law, Wall St, medicine, etc.

  5. and whats the point of this article?
    to prove that embracing “certain behavior codes” are positive for children while embracing other behavior codes are detrimental?
    or is it liberal angst that the “all cultures are equal”; “all lifestyles are equal” is just not true and a “villain” needs to be found?
    Got it.

  6. The schools need to go back to start training our kids to learn a trade everyone cannot go to college I can afford it unless the government pays for the ones that are going to college 85% of them cannot pay the bill now what. And the schools need to have a mandatory class on common sense because in the past 10 years these kids don’t have common sense it’s getting real bad and it’s very sad

  7. The article did not advocate for middle and upper class families to send their children to trade schools.

    College is not for everyone and for those who do not do well in elementary and high school paying college tuition is a losing proposition. It is a tough choice but college with loans will sink that child’s future.

    Children of middle and upper class families can afford to go to college even if they are not great students.

  8. Trade schools aint cheap. And the Union apprentice programs are even more expensive in terms of time and fees. The biggest issue is that there are no jobs in our current economy that provide stable pay and require no major investment for training. We have allowed every industry to create boundaries. Heck you need to spend several thousand dollars just to become a barber and each time you move to a new state you have to spend that again. It is a nightmare.

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