More gruel
Our College Divide in Data

Our College Divide in Data

George HW Bush won 62% of college graduates in 1988. Trump in 2020 won only 42%, but that’s just part of the story. Decades ago, college graduates were such a niche portion of the electorate that the statistic wasn’t even polled until 1988. Now they are a huge electoral bloc and an even more dominant element of our economy. America’s political divide is increasingly an educational divide.

Only 16% of Americans had a college degree in 1980. By 2020, that figure had more than doubled. White voters with a college degree were almost 30% of the 2020 electorate. 

About 4% of Americans born in 1900 would obtain a college degree. That figure rose to 24% for those born in 1950. This year nearly three quarters of new high school graduates will start college. That’s up from 63% in 2000, well on its way to becoming a ubiquitous experience.

This has happened before. High school was an invention of the Progressive Era. Outside the Northeast, very few Americans completed a secondary education in 1910. An aggressive movement to develop free public high schools was launched between 1910-40, seeing attendance stats, at least for the earlier grades, rise to 70% by 1940. Still, America didn’t see fully half its high school students graduate until the 1970’s. Today, high school graduation rates hover around 90%.

College education is on an arc to follow secondary school toward becoming a fundamental qualification for life. College attendance is almost as common among people under 24 as having a drivers’ license

Whites without a college education have always been the most dominant bloc in US politics. In 2012 they were less than a majority of the electorate for the first time. In 2020, they constituted only 44% of voters. Republican gains among Hispanic voters in 2020 were almost entirely from those without a college education

The US isn’t alone in developing mass tertiary education, but the phenomenon is strongest in the Anglophone countries and the Pacific Rim. Ireland, UK, Australia and Canada see half or more of its young people get either a two or four-year degree. Nearly two thirds receive a degree in Japan and South Korea. Numbers are much lower in Germany, where large numbers of young people are channeled into the country’s well-developed industrial tech career paths.

A century of increasing life expectancy for Americans began to reverse almost a decade ago, but only for non-college educated whites. In 2014, US life expectancy peaked at 78.9 years and has been declining. Almost all increases in life expectancy since 1990 have accrued to the college educated. 

Our decline in life expectancy has been driven almost entirely by what’s been called “deaths of despair,” suicides and substance abuse deaths among less educated whites. As recently as 2017, suicide rates in rural counties were nearly double the level in cities, having risen by 53% since 1999. 

Almost 90% of college graduates live in urban counties, and more than 60% live in cities with a population over a million. 

In 1980, average wealth of households with or without a college degree was roughly equal. In the decades since, average wealth of households with a college education has increased by 300%, compared to about 25% for non-college households. Unemployment rates for those without a college degree run consistently double the rate for college graduates. Average lifetime earnings for college graduates are about 75% higher than their non-college peers and steadily increasing.

Is there a causal link between a college education and a healthier, more prosperous life? This seems likely, but there’s also a strong correlation between college graduation and birth privilege. Teasing these two factors apart is difficult. Those most likely to earn a college degree are those born to a college-educated mother. Regardless of talent, intellect or drive, completing college is difficult for those who lack the wealth or family background to make higher education a presumption. 

For those from less privileged backgrounds who do complete college, the experience does appear to be a strong tailwind toward financial success. A college education does deliver a substantial lift in life outcomes for people coming from poor or modest backgrounds across all races. College is in many ways a proxy for class, but it delivers powerful tools and traits that are rewarded in our economy.

What does all of this mean?

Most of the wealth, and therefore most of the power being generated in our knowledge economy is flowing to those with a college education. Their interests and preferences differ starkly from their less educated peers. Whites without a college degree used to decide our elections. Now they make up less than half the electorate and their numbers are dwindling rapidly.

It’s hard to imagine any solution to our acrimonious and increasingly violent political divisions that doesn’t address the college divide. While this division in our culture festers, it threatens to undermine Democrats’ efforts at building a multi-racial coalition, as less educated Hispanics and other immigrants leak away toward the GOP.  

We need to understand why higher education has come to represent such a deep fault-line in our culture. Differences in income or employment don’t account for this gap. There’s something else, more fundamental to the college experience, that accounts for this profound difference in outlook. That difference will be hard to bridge.


  1. Statistics are really difficult to interpret correctly. I think you’d need to look at the following before drawing your conclusions:

    1) You state that Biden is more popular with younger voters (esp. millenials and gen z). And younger voters are also much more likely to be college grads. Given these are not independent variables, isn’t it entirely possible that the decline in Trump’s college-educated voting base is largely explained by his decline in young voters? In order to know for real, you would need to look at college education independent of age i.e. what percentage of Americans in each decade of age voted for Trump v Biden vs have a college degree or not.

    I say this because I see a lot of self-congratulatory handshaking in the comments by people who think that college education makes people smarter, and since college educated people are more likely to be democrats, ergo democrats are smarter than republicans. Each one of these assumptions / conclusions is not proven, and likely false.

    For everyone who thinks college makes you more comfortable with higher order thinking, yadda yadda yadda, need I remind you that, before Covid, the primary anti-vaxxer group was rich, liberal, college educated parents in firmly Democratic strongholds like coastal California? Their arguments were remarkably similar to current covid anti-vaxxers: the medical-industrial complex is corrupt and trying to kill you; the vaccine is worse than the disease; I’m smarter than all these so-called experts because I read facebook; my child’s body, my choice. Tell me again how college makes you impervious to stupidity…

    IMHO, college education, regardless of whatever effects it has on your thinking (both good and bad), is now (and has always been) another tribal marker. In a country that lacks formal titles for aristocracy, where you went to college has become that marker, and is passed down by hereditary rights about as frequently as feudal titles of yore. And when a tribe changes opinions, most tribal members meekly change with it, or else risk being cast out of the tribe. Very few people, even ones with college degrees, have the time nor interest in making individual decisions about policy themselves. At best, they might have a fervent belief about 1 or 2 issues, affiliate with the group that shares those 1 or 2 beliefs, and then adopts wholesale the rest of the beliefs that come along with that tribe.

    For example, if you believe abortion is murder, you’ll find yourself at home with Republicans, and then, unsurprisingly, your views on taxation and regulation start to resemble Republicans as well. This was not always the case. In the 70s/80s, Democrats were anti-abortion (catholic and blue collar), and Republicans were pro-choice (WASP, not very religious). In those days, anti-abortion people were also pro-union and anti-rich people, just like other Democrats. How did the switch happen? It’s not that the morality around abortion changed, or whatever. It’s that, once anti-abortion beliefs became a part of the Republican party, anti-abortion folks moved and then adopted the rest of the platform.

    College-educated people are no less susceptible to tribal thinking. Very few people who are anti-GMO know anything about farming, pesticides, or genetics. But if the rest of your kids’ parents in your rich private school look at you with horror if you have gluten-filled (i.e. normal) cake at your kid’s birthday party, you will quietly start eating gluten-free or risk being ostracized by your tribe. Facebook posts about the horrors of gluten usually follow 6 months later.

    So in the end, I’m not sure college is anything more than a tribal marker in politics (to be sure, it has value in other fields, namely whatever your career or job expertise might be). Very few people major in anything remotely helpful for understanding public policy when they’re in college, so I don’t think the “experience” really gives them any tools to be a better political citizen than not going to college does. Heck, even within your area of expertise, knowing what’s good public policy is very different than knowing how to do your narrow job. Plenty of economics majors can successfully work in finance and have no clue how Congressional oversight of Federal Reserve policies affect global currency flows.

    That college graduates right now tend to skew Democratic is, I believe a quirk of the current coalition, and not due to any higher thinking or whatever other self-congratulatory BS we tell each other.

  2. Having talked and argued with many people who are high school educated only and who now have become Trump republicans, I can sum it up in two thoughts: Common Sense and Abstraction.

    What I find, is that if you are discussing cause and effect for anything, unintuitive ideas are rejected out of hand because it violates their sense of “common sense”.

    As we are building a more and more complex world, and as science comes to more intricate explanations for how the world works, it is increasingly seen as malarkey. Cause and effect need to have a direct connection to be accepted. Second order effects are seen with suspicion, and third or fourth order effects are treated as just so much bullshit. I’m not sure what beyond education can be done to bridge this gap, because it takes education to get people to see that cause and effect don’t have to be direct.

    This then brings in abstraction. I remember so many kids asking in high school when they would ever need to use algebra or trig in real life, but the biggest impact isn’t just the directly applicable skill, it’s also the ability to abstract. As people become more comfortable with abstraction, it naturally gives them some of the tools to envision other people’s lives, to see things from other perspectives. What I have experienced so regularly in arguments and conversations, is a refusal to see things from anything other than a concrete perspective. You can’t construct examples for things unless you have actual specific people’s experience, and then, all conversation about the subject tend to squirrel about the specific details of that person’s experience, which can easily become an excuse to miss or ignore the point.

    Education changes how people think, and the older people get without becoming comfortable with abstraction and second or higher order effects, the harder it can be to ever adopt those modes of thinking.

    1. What I find, is that if you are discussing cause and effect for anything, unintuitive ideas are rejected out of hand because it violates their sense of “common sense”.

      As we are building a more and more complex world, and as science comes to more intricate explanations for how the world works, it is increasingly seen as malarkey. Cause and effect need to have a direct connection to be accepted. Second order effects are seen with suspicion, and third or fourth order effects are treated as just so much bullshit. I’m not sure what beyond education can be done to bridge this gap, because it takes education to get people to see that cause and effect don’t have to be direct.

      To play Devil’s Advocate, so-called “common sense” is built on the foundation of the narratives that define our lives; and the reason why so many, particularly Trump supporters, balk at science as malarkey is that it has no unifying narrative for them to coalesce around. It’d be one thing if we seemed to be getting closer to understanding the fundamental basis of our reality or what we humans really are, but frankly the more we learn the more it seems like we scarcely know anything at all.

      Small wonder you get the reactions that you do.

      1. I think this is compounded by the fact that a lot of science is now done leveraging machine learning which draws out correlations (and depending on the structure of the data/study, causations) that are deeply unintuitive. The deeper we look into biology/physics/globally systems/etc, the more we are stepping out of the information environment that we evolved in, and the harder it is for people to grasp what’s taking place.

        Everyone has a pretty reasonable ability to intuitively understand Newtonian physics. No one has intuition for quantum mechanics. That’s probably the oldest intuition gap in science, but now with the tools we have, almost every area of science is starting to explore outside our evolved intuitions.

        There can’t really be a unifying narrative to science, because there isn’t a unifying narrative to reality. The more we understand, the less coherent the narrative will be as each area of study gets to a level of understanding that the narrative falls apart. I totally get that this is socially suboptimal, but mother nature always bats last – we can’t force nature to conform to comforting intuitive narratives, it just is what it is.

      2. Combine most people’s inability to comprehend complex information derived from analytics and technology with selectively orchestrated distrust for political purposes, and the problem gets worse.

        Trusting science has been pilloried as a stigma and a pejorative partisan label assigned for purely political purposes. Even our scientists are being subjected to ridicule and disbelief. Juxtaposed within this selective information process is the acceptance of outlandish predictions while denying rigorous scientific proof. We might be able to ignore this except that these people are increasingly active and- they vote. They are also easily manipulated.

        Incredible advances have been made in many areas of science through technological advancement and its application to solve the challenges of our time, instead of celebrating these amazing achievements, we are witnessing selectively rejection by people who lack the education to understand them and refuse to trust those who do. Even to their own detriment.

        This is bad enough without the purposeful and much more dangerous disintegration of our Democratic institutions.

      3. >] “There can’t really be a unifying narrative to science, because there isn’t a unifying narrative to reality. The more we understand, the less coherent the narrative will be as each area of study gets to a level of understanding that the narrative falls apart. I totally get that this is socially suboptimal, but mother nature always bats last – we can’t force nature to conform to comforting intuitive narratives, it just is what it is.

        Respectfully, that couldn’t be further from the truth. That we don’t yet understand the narrative is an indictment on humans, not on reality. It’s clear that there must be some fundamental basis behind our reality’s existence, and why the so-called “laws of nature” are the way that they are. We just have no idea what the answers are, and so we can’t even begin piecing together the narrative.

        Being in this position has us in a simultaneously terrifying and exciting place where the possibilities, IMO, are nigh infinite. Can anyone definitively disprove Elon Musk’s theory that we’re living in something analogous to a simulation? No.

        On that point, and as a quick aside – when trying to uncover our reality’s fundamental underpinnings, theoretical physicist Professor James Gates claims to have found computer code in the equations (related to string theory, to be clear) used to describe the cosmos. Specifically, the code itself is precisely like the ones used for search engines in browsers.

        Here’s the man himself. Also, watching Neil deGrasse Tyson having his mind blown never gets old. 🙂

        That we’re living in something like a video game would be crazy enough, but that barely scratches the surface of the possibilities, IMHO. Can anyone say that we’re not just a bunch of brains living in a vat somewhere that are being fed illusions, and this ‘world’ we think we know so well isn’t going to just up and vanish at any given moment? It sounds insanely counterintuitive, but we are only perceiving this reality through our minds. What guarantee do we have that we’re not being deceived?

        That we can’t readily trust our biological brains and bodies is one imperative for humanity to hurry along in creating hyper-intelligent machines that, hopefully, can shed some light on all this.

      4. @Ryan For some reason it won’t let me reply directly to your comment below starting with “Respectfully”

        This could just be a language thing. Narrative to me is the story people tell about something. Science is trying to describe the actual state and processes of the universe, but at least to me, narrative is imposed by the observer. I’m personally an atheist, and as such I don’t see a reason that reality requires an external observer, and thus doesn’t have to have a story. The underlying rules are mechanics, not narrative in my view.

      5. @Devon Jones: I wouldn’t describe myself as conventionally religious. I actually did flirt with atheism for a while, but after dwelling on it the idea of just flatly rejecting the idea of a Creator without really explaining why and offering no competing vision for our existence didn’t sit well with me. As a strong believer in rationale and logic, for me it makes even less sense than belief systems like Christianity and Buddhism; both of which I don’t subscribe to, tbc.

        That said, on the topic of an Observer – even within quantum mechanics, you have the relational interpretation; which, for people who aren’t familiar with it, says that it’s pointless to think about things from the perspective of an observed entity. You should only think about things in terms of the Observed and the Observer, Even within our best theory of physics today, this seems to hold true.

        As for what that says about the world, this doesn’t necessarily lead to a Creator God. As I said before, we humans are only perceiving this world through our minds, and there’s no guarantee that what we see as a ‘physical’ (however you choose to define that word) reality is how things truly are. Seeing things from a phenomenological view – if you grant that our minds have some kind of fundamental basis, we could all be working together in some way to create this world. You never know.

        Whatever the truth is, there is a ‘story’ there to be found, and I define that word simply in terms of the unvarnished truth behind existence itself and all the history that accompanies it.

      6. @ryan for what it’s worth, there are two kinds of atheism:

        Strong atheism: The assertion that there is no god – which I agree, as a strong statement requires effectively a leap of faith.
        Weak atheism: The assertion that one sees no reason to believe in god. I would assert that this does not require a leap of faith.

        I’m personally a weak atheist. If there’s actual evidence, I’ll entertain it, but thus far no one has produced anything that amounts to reasonable evidence of a god without some kind of appeal to authority. Ultimately, a deity makes every explanation (so far) more complex, not simpler, so there’s no reason to include a deity in my model of reality.

        Re: quantum mechanics, my best understanding of QM (which is as noted way upthread, not actually intuitive for anyone), observer really means interaction. My best understanding is that a particle is “observed” via an interaction with another particle or a field, and doesn’t require a sentient being – that observer is just shorthand.

    2. @ Ryan.

      It has long been postulated (I believe even Chris has stated this) that society today, which includes the science we discover and apply, is simply too complicated for the average human to process. The average human, especially the ones you describe with very little practice in abstract thinking, will be left further and further behind. In fact, it is not just the “average” person. It is more like 90, or 95%, maybe.

      And when I say “left behind”, we see that manifested economically, intellectually, or any number of ways, including a huge bitterness towards the more enlightened.

      In the past, eventually, strides forward in sciences would float all boats. (Think harnessing electricity, biology, etc).

      But what happens when some sciences DON’T benefit all. Artificial Intelligence’s applications, so far, do NOT appear to be benefiting all. I am thinking about job losses to robots, giving more and more of the financial markets over to algorithms, and of course, the algorithms driving the monetization of social media.

      Eventually, the have-nots push back. How many people working three jobs to simply pay their groceries and rent care about anything the Hubble and James Webb telescopes can and have done to increase our understanding of the universe?

      The rise of populism, all over the world, is really not that hard to figure out.

      1. When the average person thinks of AI, they tend to lean towards the more fantastic versions shown in movies, games, books, etc. For that very same person however, from suburban Georgia to rural Africa, they really have benefited from AI in a number of ways that, frankly, they just may not attribute to it.

        At the most basic level, an AI is *any* program that’s designed to do something and do it really, really well. Calculators fall under this category. So do weather, driving, and movie apps. Facial recognition programs that police use to track down criminals are AI too.

        In any given day, unless you’re a Quaker and living like it’s the 1800s again, you’re absolutely ensconced in the benefits of AI. You may just not stop think about it too much.

        That aside, it’s absolutely true that scientific advancements (comparatively miniscule as they are in the grand scheme of things, IMHO) are outstripping our biology’s ability to keep up. It’s why people like Elon Musk are working on things like neural links so we can directly connect ourselves to these advancing intelligences and keep up. Eventually, I think it’s inevitable that we’ll have to upgrade our bodies entirely and become some fusion of man and machine. Perhaps we’ll become digital entities entirely.

  3. Wanted to chime in as a faculty member in a state college in northern Florida which is pretty rural, so we see this class divide up close with an added Southern coating.

    FIrst, state colleges are much more diverse ethnically which means rural kids get exposed to a much greater range of opinions. This opens their eyes to a larger world. Second, state colleges now have international undergraduate students who pay full tuition (since this is way cheaper than full tuition at a private US college). Rural FL kids get exposed to these kids as well. Third, many teaching assistants and faculty (like myself) have foreign backgrounds which further pushes them to a worldcentric orientation. And finally, rural kids suddenly get immersed in a worldview which treats climate change as a given. There’s no going back from all this and Middletown gets left behind for good.

  4. Every study that’s ever been done on it shows that college makes someone more liberal. This is true for even the most conservative of conservatives– college nudges them to the left of where they would otherwise be had they not attended. It is often noted that in 1988, GHWB won 60%+ of college grads. However, when this is coupled with college matriculation being tethered to whether either parent, but particularly a person’s mother, completed college, what that stat really tells us is that in 1988, hardly anyone went to college. In other words, the people who went were likely Republicans, anyway. But again, college pushed those people to the left of what their non-college educated comparators would’ve been.

    The key here is that college is a class proxy. In an economy dominated by commodities (oil, coal) owned by landed gentry, college education has little correlation to political preference other than to reflect that landed gentry and extraction resource barons are mostly Republicans, and those same classes sent their children to college to meet other gentry.

    The Information Age flipped this completely on its head. There are two aspects of the college experience in the new era that are pushing the working class away from progressives, and vice versa. First, the New Economy is skill-based, not resource based. It does not rely on the social order of white privilege. Thus, college grads are increasingly disinterested in and even hostile to white privilege. They have no need for it. Likewise, workers in “old economy” jobs in which the white privilege social order is still the coin of the realm are increasingly frustrated that they cannot bind the new economy’s winners. In the old economy, extracting or producing widgets as cheaply as possible and then selling as many as possible for as much as you could was the way money was made. And at every turn– from the factory line, to the mine, to the refinery, to selling the insurance, to the home you lived it– it was better to be white than any other color. The new economy isn’t based on widgets. Mark Zuckerberg isn’t trying to out-produce his competitors. He’s not in the widget business. It’s a social order that isn’t based on labor, so there’s no benefit to be gained by cutting labor costs. It’s a game where the person with the best idea wins, and in that game, you’re buying an idea, not labor. So, you’ll overpay for a good idea just like you’ll overpay for a good investment. If a black dude came up with the next Facebook tomorrow, Peter Thiel would give him a billion dollars without batting an eyelash. It doesn’t matter whether the person with the idea is red or yellow, black or white, in such an economy. What matters is access to information and what you do with it. Going to college gives people a place in this new economy– one where the white privilege social order is worthless.

    Secondly, college offers its attendees the opportunity to live in, or at least be exposed to, a meta-culture. Conservatives increasingly inhabit a monoculture where they just talk to each other. It’s why batshit ideas thrive in conservative circles while dying out in liberal ones. College exposes people to a “culture of cultures” where answers to problems can come for anyone and anywhere. When a gay or a Muslim or a foreigner or a minority might have the solution to your next problem, you’re less likely to shun them; when they might be the source of your next million dollar idea, bigotry becomes cost-prohibitive.

    Want to know whether to take a vaccine in a global pandemic? In a meta culture, you’ll likely reach out to the two or three doctors you went to college with, in addition to your own physician. They’ll get you several opinions, and you’ll likely take advice based on the consensus. A similar person, in a monoculture, might rely solely on their own physician– if they take a doctor’s advice at all. They’ll likely be just as deferential to their preacher, their realtor whose wife had Covid, and the local bake-sale lady. The “red-blue” vaccine divide may just as well be a “Do you have a college degree?” divide.

    The old economy, for all of its faults, never allowed the type of inequality that the new one produces, despite the latter’s (at least nominal) equality of opportunity. Those at the top needed the labor of everyone on the ladder. So, they couldn’t be too rich, or too distant– they often lived in the same neighborhoods, and in modest houses. The Information Economy is different. Tech Barons owe no loyalty to their home towns; they don’t even owe loyalty to the places where they make their fortunes. And there is simply no way that laborers on the old economy ladder can keep up with this.

    1. “Mark Zuckerberg isn’t trying to out-produce his competitors. He’s not in the widget business. It’s a social order that isn’t based on labor, so there’s no benefit to be gained by cutting labor costs. It’s a game where the person with the best idea wins, and in that game, you’re buying an idea, not labor. So, you’ll overpay for a good idea just like you’ll overpay for a good investment. If a black dude came up with the next Facebook tomorrow, Peter Thiel would give him a billion dollars without batting an eyelash. It doesn’t matter whether the person with the idea is red or yellow, black or white, in such an economy. What matters is access to information and what you do with it.”

      And yet Silicon Valley’s venture capitalists, who are disproportionately male and white, keep giving to startup founders who are disproportionately male and white, who employ engineers who are disproportionately male and white. And the greatest bulk of these ‘college educated’ people aren’t coming from, you know, accessible local and state colleges. They’re coming from rich white people’s colleges.

      1. Hence my point about equality of opportunity being nominal. Chris Hayes refers to this in Twilight of Elites– it’s a meritocracy where the winners end up gaming the system in favor of themselves. Privilege begets privilege.

        Under the old system, the barons needed white privilege to bind laborers under their lash– without it, nothing prevented a revolt. The new system is independent of both labor and race. That the arrangement currently favors whites is incidental to the fact that whites enjoy disproportionate power from the old system. Some will be able to continue gaming the new system in perpetuity, but the race loyalty that they had to pay under the old rules, to their gentry class brethren, is no longer required. IOW, it’s true that privilege will continue to beget privilege, but just as the Boomers were the last Jim Crow Generation, so are the Millennials the last generation to enjoy disproportionate privilege on whiteness alone. This doesn’t mean that privilege won’t continue– it will. And it doesn’t mean that certain whites won’t be the primary beneficiaries– they will.

        But the days of paying tribute and gleaning benefits based on race alone are done.

        Also, just b/c these VCs are disproportionately white, today, does not mean that they will be as such, in a generation or two. 40 years ago doctors in the US were primarily white males. Now, they’re just as likely to be female and Indian. Same with engineers and lawyers. When the Millennials and zoomers start filling up the Fortune 500’s C-suites, take a look at how much more diverse they’ll be than they are today, than they were 50 years ago. You’ll see that revolution come to venture capital, too– not only on the American end, from diversity, here, but also from the fact that American VCs will team up with others in places like Asia, South America, and Africa, as part of a global network.

        Privilege will beget privilege. However, the days of privilege being an exclusively white province are done. That said, what you’ve observed about privilege begetting privilege is one reason why multi-cultural Dems and progressives have still failed to win large majorities in the US. Part of it is the race envy from the old Jim Crow generations. The other part– the part that explains the black and Hispanic Trumpers and the Trumpers among the under age 45 working class– is class envy. Right now, there’s nothing binding the new economy’s winners to the rest of the workers on the ladder. This includes not only the working class, but people with BAs from small and local state schools as opposed to their more successful cousins who went to the larger state schools and private colleges.

        Thus, at the end of the day, progressive Dems have replaced a race-based oligarchy with a nominal, color-blind meritocracy that favors those whose parents were “high achievers”. To boot, this new “meritocracy” requires none of the solidarity that obligated the gentry of yore, despite preserving all of the prior privileges.

      2. @ Phillip Murphy:

        Maybe someday, if a democratic society, your concept of a revolution in the C-Suite happening might indeed occur. But the u.s. is not going to be a democracy any time soon. In Iraq, under Hussein, the Shiites, though the majority of the population, were shut out as the Sunni’s ran the show.

        You seriously think that under a death cult regime that equity on any level will exist? Changes driven by demographics can be stymied by authoritarian rule. That has been proven throughout history.

        And that authoritarian rule is just around the corner, with a far larger percentage of the population backing said rule, than under the Hussein Iraq, or apartheid South Africa.

      3. You’re not wrong, but be careful not to confuse authoritarianism with racial privilege. The latter is one kind of the former, but there are others– and the two items are not the same thing. Peter Thiel is an authoritarian who is perfectly fine hiring gays and blacks and Muslims and women to help him be king of the world. And he’s perfectly fine employing white privilege to be king of the world. Thiel supported Trump b/c Trump allowed him to play both hands at the same time!

        Business will do what is profitable. In an information economy, good ideas are profit. But this is the danger of the Dems’ multi-cultural coalition: unless they are very careful, they’ll end up replacing one form of authoritarian oligarchy with another. In other words, white privilege is failing. Peter Thiel won’t be hiring Madison Cawthorn to run PayPal any time soon. But we need to take care not to replace white privilege with a multi-cultural paradigm in which information and ideas are controlled by a “meritocratic” few. It’s just as authoritarian and just as bad, in the long run. In fact, it has the potential to end up being worse b/c there’s a danger that you replace loyalty to white people with loyalty to no one! That’s the world Thiel wants. He doesn’t want to owe anything to anyone.

        Tyranny for the few and anarchy for the masses isn’t equality, nor is it liberty. It’s the United States of Mississippi.

        A true democracy is one in which we each have equal access to information and an equal means of leveraging it.

      4. @Crowley…you really can’t see that train bearing down on you? You keep waving tweets and platitudes about getting out the vote, and the train does not care.

        The death cult came within inches of starting a civil war Jan 6th, and they have learned where they made “mistakes”. They won’t make the same in 2022 and 2024/2025.

      5. Your constant rambling about how we’re all doomed unless we carry out extrajudicial violence and what sounds like genocidal culling whilst you call yourself a “radical centrist” is something that contributes nothing to the discussions at hand.

  5. Here’s my take on the education gap:

    I have been through some form of college courses from time to time while trying to better myself. The thing that really stuck with me was what my public policy professor said, “Whatever you have been taught in high school, forget it. Everything they taught you in your high school civics class was wrong.” And for the most part, she was right. The college course on public policy completely dispatched with the flag waving patriotism and the School House Rock level understanding of how policy was made and bills were passed. The college level course was thus more cynical, but it was honest about the bartering of favors, behind the scenes pressure tactics, and how there is no infinite money machine thus leading to policy priorities having to be set with a finite amount of tax money, finite amount of resources, and finite amount of citizens to work in various career fields to make that policy a reality.

    The same thing happened to me with college level math. I got bumped from college freshman math level 100 down to remedial math level 090 because I just couldn’t keep up with what the course was demanding of me. I would have felt worse, but remedial math level 090 had roughly twenty other college freshman just like me who had just ‘escaped’ high school with barely enough math to function. I honestly wished I had access to that remedial math level 090 class and professor as a regular junior in high school rather than the high school teacher and high school math textbook that I was handed.

    That’s what I see is the difference between people who quit the education system after high school and those who go onto college. America really has a two tier education system. The first system is a high school system that is still trying to turn out mindless, patriotic cogs for a late 19th century industrial age private industry or an early 20th century war machine (prepping more 18 year olds to be troops for WWII has never really ended). The second system is an upper education system made up of colleges, tech schools, and trade schools trying to take those last century cogs and upgrade them to serve in the 21st century global knowledge economy. These are two different systems with two different goals that produce two different types of citizen. The upper education system clearly has flaws with funding, expenses, and balance. The high school system is worse because it just doesn’t prepare those who go through it to compete in the America that exists now let alone the world economy as it exists now.

    Then again as has been noted time and time again on this site that is a common feature and bug of America at this precise moment in history. Through lack of training, funding, and making hard decisions; we have a police force that doesn’t have the capability or rules of engagement background to deal with urban settings domestically that our military can handle in foreign countries. We have a screwy system of privilege that gives white people an invisible form of “socialism” while leaving minorities to fend for themselves. The high school system vs upper education system is the same two track problem with one track being old, outmoded, and in disrepair and the other track, while better maintained, isn’t robust enough to replace the other track and has issues of its own that need balancing and correction.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.