America's Class Segregation Problem In 4 Charts

One surreal night of mass chaos, indiscriminate pillaging, violent street clashes, and widespread arson notwithstanding, race relations in America have generally improved over the last five or so decades. Even as the nation's focus has shifted back to the issue of racial discrimination on the heels of several high profile incidents of apparent police misconduct, America has at least managed to overcome overt racial segregation and steer generally (but not always) clear of the types of egregious civil rights violations that still existed a century after the Emancipation Proclamation.

However, one type of segregation that has certainly not disappeared but has instead only grown is class-based segregation. The following four charts demonstrate how the interplay between income and education has served to exacerbate the class divide among America's youth, curtailing opportunities for the poor in the process.


Here's more, from WSJ:

Even as Americans have become less segregated across racial and religious lines than they were a generation ago, they have grown more segregated along class lines. Americans are much less likely to go to school, live with, or marry people from different socioeconomic backgrounds, Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam says.

 

“More and more young people aren’t meeting across class lines,” said Mr. Putnam, raising troubling questions about the implications for the next generation of Americans.

 

The wealthiest parents have spent more than double on their kids what they did a generation ago, even as spending by poorer parents has edged up only slightly..

 

Mr. Putnam also shows a clear increase in single-parent households for parents who haven’t gone to college. For college-educated parents, the rate of single-parenthood rose until the early 1990s, when it crested and then declined slightly. For those with a high school diploma or less, rates of single-parenthood have climbed without slowing..

 

Participation in high school sports and other extracurricular activities also signals fraying social bonds. Those activities, Mr. Putnam said, provide important soft skills, such as teamwork, or “what my mother would have called ‘gumption.’”

 

Most sobering, Mr. Putnam said, are data from a 2000 analysis showing that that a family’s socioeconomic status has become more important than their educational aptitude in predicting whether an eighth-grader would graduate from college.

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Don't worry America, we're sure the "wealth effect" from QE will start to trickle down to the lower tax brackets any day now and when that day comes all your problems will be solved at which point you can write to PIMCO and explain how great of a man their newest adviser is.