While I don’t agree with all the assumptions made by Penn State professor John Marsh, or all those made by his reviewer in The New Inquiry, I think this excerpt of the review offers a valid critique of American attitudes toward education and our economy:
But if education really were the silver bullet, we would have hit something by now. Instead, as Penn State professor John Marsh argues in his forthcoming book Class Dismissed, we have an increasingly unequal country hiding behind the flimsy twin excuses of equal opportunity and personal responsibility. Marsh makes a convincing case that no amount of reformist tinkering can make higher education an engine of egalitarianism, because schools were never meant to reduce inequality in the first place. As long as we credit the education system with the ability to fix labor problems, Marsh argues, it is doomed to failure.
Marsh, who comes from a union household, sees the decline of labor organizing as the central source of high and rising inequality. As workers have lost bargaining power, he insists, the gap between classes has increased.
Read the entire review here.