VIA Middle Class Political Economist: America Shows No Increase in College Graduation Rates Over the Last 30 Years

Via Brad DeLong’s Grasping Reality blog, an interesting graph from Prof. Kenneth Thomas, the Middle Class Political Economist:

Middle Class Political Economist Percentage

Here is what he says:

Jared Bernstein (via Paul Krugman) highlights an amazing breakdown in the prospects for reducing economic inequality any time soon. Over the last 30 years, the U.S. has made no progress whatsoever in increasing college graduation rates. To be specific, 25-34 year olds in 2009 had a college degree rate of about 40%, almost exactly the same as for 55-64 year old baby boomers. In the meantime, other industrialized countries were racking up substantial gains, most spectacularly in the case of South Korea where a little over 10% of 55-64 year olds have college degrees, but more than 60% in the 25-34 age group do. If you want to understand how South Korea has gone from a poor developing country to an industrial powerhouse within our lifetimes, this is one big reason.

So here’s a real conversation starter: what might be the response of the public universities of this country to a graph like this?

DM

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