Progress without Poverty: Socially Responsible Economic Growth

By Peter S. Albin | Go to book overview

6
Freezing the Income
Distribution

ACCORDING to the view of education, technical advance, and distribution presented here, "economic growth" is entirely consistent with social stagnation. In fact, to many observers tendencies toward social divisions seem to be most intense at the moment of strongest growth as during the Sixties. True, we know from recent experience that economic stagnation can only worsen the immediate fiscal problems of educational institutions, diminish personal anticipations, and make assimilation through education an uneconomic proposition for marginal groups; but what we do not know is whether or how tendencies toward social stagnation can be reversed within a growth economy. The process of assimilation through education is complex, as is the general growth-productivity mechanism. Thus we will have to examine the terms of the educational decision more closely and in a way that projects the positions of later generations to determine if time and growth can alter the relative position of the hard-core poor and the structure of incentives they face.


THE OUTLOOK FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS

The financial barrier facing the calculating individual is the metaphorical equivalent of the social and institutional barriers of the real world. For the present generation of hard-core poor these barriers are solid. But can the

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