Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Bush effect

Last Thursday in Brussels, in the Forum on Inequality organized by the socialist group in the European Parliament, Professor Gosta Esping-Andersen from Universitat Pompeu Fabra referred to the "Bush effect" as the phenomenon of rich parents over-investing in their over-stupid children. This is only one aspect of the increasing educational segregation that we are observing in many societies. Social mobility is lower than once imagined because the children of poorer parents find it harder and harder to have access to a good education. That is more so in societies that are suffering budget cuts as a result of the economic crisis. More unequal societies are also those that have less social mobility. In Spain, the children of the upper middle class and the rich tend to go to better funded schools, to learn English better and to have more time and money to access an increasingly expensive higher education. In many societies, the children of the upper middle class and the rich have more conversations with their parents, learn many more words and have higher self-esteem than other children. And nevertheless, some of them, as the Bush children, are so stupid.

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