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181

The longest wave

From generation to generation

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imo the strongest chapter. about intergenerational inequality

Hills, J. (2015). The longest wave. In Hills, J. Good Times, Bad Times: The Welfare Myth of Them and Us. Policy Press, pp. 181-216

183

Nearly all political parties across the spectrum aspire to the idea that there should be 'equality of opportunity'. What people mean by equality of opportunity varies, however, sometimes concentrating on relative chances of ending up at the top or bottom of a social or economic ladder, sometimes on their absolute chances of reaching worse level of attainment or outcome. What is needed to achieve the former is more tougher politically than to achieve the latter--in relative terms, increasing one person's chances of going up also increases another's of going down. [...]

OR YOU COULD EVEN THE PLAYING FIELD AND THEN GRAVITY HAS NO POWER, MAKES U THINK

—p.183 by John Hills 6 years, 11 months ago

Nearly all political parties across the spectrum aspire to the idea that there should be 'equality of opportunity'. What people mean by equality of opportunity varies, however, sometimes concentrating on relative chances of ending up at the top or bottom of a social or economic ladder, sometimes on their absolute chances of reaching worse level of attainment or outcome. What is needed to achieve the former is more tougher politically than to achieve the latter--in relative terms, increasing one person's chances of going up also increases another's of going down. [...]

OR YOU COULD EVEN THE PLAYING FIELD AND THEN GRAVITY HAS NO POWER, MAKES U THINK

—p.183 by John Hills 6 years, 11 months ago
202

[...] there are lots of things that money can buy, such as:

  • high-quality pre-school care
  • houses in the catchment areas of the best-regarded state schools (which then command a significant premium)
  • after-school activities, private tutors, etc
  • private schooling
  • parental support in going on to tertiary education (and reduction in the worries associated with student loans)
  • support in taking a Master's degree (for many better-paid careers this now represents the same basic required qualification that a first degree did a generation ago)

I believe he uses this list to explain why parents need cash benefits in addition to services. but most of these are things THAT SHOULD BE SERVICES. pre-school should be free. 'catchment areas' are dumb. after-school activities should be free. private tutors are probably unnecessary if you just make public education better. private schooling--don't even. tertiary education should be free (that covers the last two points).

actually, i should think more about the catchment area thing. why are these houses more expensive? who does the money actually go to??? to the seller? why should they need more money? surely if they were planning to sell the house anyone they would do it anyway, without a premium? and if they weren't, but just wanted to cash in, then maybe that's not a good reason? just another case of a 'free market" result in an inefficient system

basically the evidence he lists points to a much, much more overwhelming problem (and thus asks for a much more radical solution) than what he is suggesting

—p.202 by John Hills 6 years, 11 months ago

[...] there are lots of things that money can buy, such as:

  • high-quality pre-school care
  • houses in the catchment areas of the best-regarded state schools (which then command a significant premium)
  • after-school activities, private tutors, etc
  • private schooling
  • parental support in going on to tertiary education (and reduction in the worries associated with student loans)
  • support in taking a Master's degree (for many better-paid careers this now represents the same basic required qualification that a first degree did a generation ago)

I believe he uses this list to explain why parents need cash benefits in addition to services. but most of these are things THAT SHOULD BE SERVICES. pre-school should be free. 'catchment areas' are dumb. after-school activities should be free. private tutors are probably unnecessary if you just make public education better. private schooling--don't even. tertiary education should be free (that covers the last two points).

actually, i should think more about the catchment area thing. why are these houses more expensive? who does the money actually go to??? to the seller? why should they need more money? surely if they were planning to sell the house anyone they would do it anyway, without a premium? and if they weren't, but just wanted to cash in, then maybe that's not a good reason? just another case of a 'free market" result in an inefficient system

basically the evidence he lists points to a much, much more overwhelming problem (and thus asks for a much more radical solution) than what he is suggesting

—p.202 by John Hills 6 years, 11 months ago
214

What is often forgotten is that Michael Young's 1958 book, The rise of the meritocracy, which introduced the word, was a satire, not a blue print. Its point was the smugness of those who rose to the top of such a society and believed not only that they deserved whatever rewards flowed from that, but also that their own children would deserve them too reflecting the advantages of their inherited abilities, as well as the way they would be brought up.

—p.214 by John Hills 6 years, 11 months ago

What is often forgotten is that Michael Young's 1958 book, The rise of the meritocracy, which introduced the word, was a satire, not a blue print. Its point was the smugness of those who rose to the top of such a society and believed not only that they deserved whatever rewards flowed from that, but also that their own children would deserve them too reflecting the advantages of their inherited abilities, as well as the way they would be brought up.

—p.214 by John Hills 6 years, 11 months ago
215

It maybe should not be a surprise that there is a symbiotic relationship between high inequality in a society and low social mobility. In a highly unequal society, many advantaged parents will do all they can to ensure that their children do not slip down the economic ladder--they know that it goes a long way down. And if incomes and wealth are unequally distributed, they have the resources to help them. At the same time, they may realise that higher rates of social mobility, in relative terms, cannot be a one-way street. If policy helps increase the chances of someone starting in a less privileged position to go up the social scale, that must mean that someone else's chance of going down has to rise, which may include their own children, and does not then seem so attractive. While many favour increased upward mobility, few want to mention the increased downward mobility that has to go with it (in terms of relative positions, at least).

wonder how such parents would feel about dismantling the ladder entirely

—p.215 by John Hills 6 years, 11 months ago

It maybe should not be a surprise that there is a symbiotic relationship between high inequality in a society and low social mobility. In a highly unequal society, many advantaged parents will do all they can to ensure that their children do not slip down the economic ladder--they know that it goes a long way down. And if incomes and wealth are unequally distributed, they have the resources to help them. At the same time, they may realise that higher rates of social mobility, in relative terms, cannot be a one-way street. If policy helps increase the chances of someone starting in a less privileged position to go up the social scale, that must mean that someone else's chance of going down has to rise, which may include their own children, and does not then seem so attractive. While many favour increased upward mobility, few want to mention the increased downward mobility that has to go with it (in terms of relative positions, at least).

wonder how such parents would feel about dismantling the ladder entirely

—p.215 by John Hills 6 years, 11 months ago