Whether accurate or not, unjust “income inequality” is the image the stormy petrels on the political Left want seared into people’s memories.
That said, there’s a “wealth inequality” that isn’t even on the radar screen of the political Left: Wealth inequality in U.S. higher education.
Examining institutional endowments, a study conducted by two professors of economics, Yan Lau and Harvey Rosen, indicates that the wealthy are getting wealthier, the average remain average, and the poor are getting poorer. With one caveat: The gap hasn’t widened much in recent years, meaning that wealth is generally up for most, as a rising tide raises all boats.
Using endowments alone to measure wealth isn’t an appropriate measure to determine wealth inequality in higher education, according to the study. Income and spending also must be included. When factored into the analysis, increases in institutional wealth inequality in recent years have been “negligible” event though the inequality—more stable than conventional wisdom asserts—is large and for real.
Worse yet: Those institutions are tax-exempt, due to their non-profit status.
That’s how the wealthy are getting wealthier, the poor are getting poor, and wealth inequality in U.S. higher education is real and growing.
If the stormy petrels on the political Left were intellectually honest, they’d be calling the leaders of those institutions (the 1%) to “spread the wealth around a bit.” They’d also be advocating the revocation of the tax exempt status of those institutions and taxing them to provide income relief to poorer institutions. That would narrow and then eliminate “wealth inequality.”
But, no, that’s never going to happen. Why? The stormy petrels are alumni/ae of those wealthy institutions!
Let the discussion begin...
To read the study, click on the following link: