Best selling author and Harvard professor Niall Ferguson recently had at it on CNN with Columbia professor and director of the Earth Institute Dr. Jeffrey Sachs over the Occupy Wall Street movemen Sachs – as he recently told the Daily Ticker – thinks Wall Street has acted like robber barons and deserves harsher regulations and increased taxes.
Ferguson sees it differently.
“Many things about Wall street were wrong,” he tells Henry Blodget. “But, you can’t say all of our problems are because of the criminality of one per cent of the population.”
What IS to blame for America’s growing wealth gap?
In a word: globalization.
“It’s globalization that mainly causes inequality by exposing the unskilled in the United States to competition from much cheaper labour in Asia,” he says. “That’s a much bigger cause of inequality than malpractice on Wall Street.”
Ferguson blames the lack of skilled workers in this country on a “very poor public education at the high school level. We are failing kids in the poorer parts of this country.”
The remedy, Ferguson contends, is not to tax the rich and expand federal programs as Sachs recommends. Instead, Ferguson says public high schools need more competition to raise the bar. The best way to do that, in his opinion, is to create more charter schools. “The charter school movement is one very straightforward way in which the ordinary citizen can actually help improve the quality of high school education.”
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