Student Loans are Worsening Inequality, with Thomas Piketty
Student loans are intended to provide everyone with equal access to education, but the staggering amount of student loan debt that Americans currently hold is retarding economic growth and entrenching wealth inequality.
Student loans are intended to provide everyone with equal access to education, but the staggering amount of student loan debt that Americans currently hold — estimated at over $1 trillion — is retarding economic growth and entrenching wealth inequality.
Or at least according to the exhaustive analysis of French economist Thomas Piketty, whose academic treatise, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, became a popular success and carried with it the cultural weight of a work by Adam Smith or Karl Marx.
The central observation of Piketty's work is that money works differently now than ever before. Invested income has grown at a rate outpacing the rise in wages, meaning the rich get richer and the poor stay about the same (or get poorer relative to inflation). And as college tuition has grown, the loans required to sustain it become more burdensome.
"In other countries in the developed world, you don't have such massive student debt because you have more public support to higher education. And I think the plan that was proposed earlier this year in 2015 by President (Barack) Obama to increase public funding to public universities and community college is exactly justified. This is really the key for higher growth in the future and also for a more equitable growth."
Sharon Salzberg, world-renowned mindfulness leader, teaches meditation at Big Think Edge.
- Try meditation for the first time with this guided lesson or, if you already practice, enjoy being guided by a world-renowned meditation expert.
- Sharon Salzberg teaches mindfulness meditation for Big Think Edge.
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The navigation tool has placed a school in the sea, among other things.
- Google has apologized for the sudden instability of its maps in Japan.
- Errors may stem from Google's long-time map data provider Zenrin – or from the cancellation of its contract.
- Speculation on the latter option caused Zenrin shares to drop 16% last Friday.
Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.
- At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
- See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
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A new computer model solves a pair of Jovian riddles.
- Astronomers have wondered how a gas giant like Jupiter could sit in the middle of our solar system's planets.
- Also unexplained has been the pair of asteroid clusters in front of and behind Jupiter in its orbit.
- Putting the two questions together revealed the answer to both.
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