Parents are advance secret agents for the class society

Dutch economist Jan Pen wrote in his 1971 book – Income Distribution – that “Parents are advanced secret agents of the class society”, which told us emphatically that it was crucial that public policy target disadvantaged children in low-income neighbourhoods at an early age if we were going to change the patterns of social and income mobility. The message from Pen was that the damage was done by the time the child reached their teenage years. While the later stages of Capitalism has found new ways to reinforce the elites which support the continuation of its exploitation and surplus labour appropriation (for example, deregulation, suppression of trade unions, real wage suppression, fiscal austerity), it remains that class differentials, which have always restricted upward mobility and ensured income inequality and access to political influence persist, are still well defined and functional. This was highlighted in a new report published by the the American Economic Policy Institute (EPI) – Early Education Gaps by Social Class and Race Start U.S. Children Out on Unequal Footing (June 17, 2015). Not much has changed it seems for decades.

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