How Do We Rebuild the Middle Class?


Editor’s Note: Paul recently answered “Five Good Questions” on the economy for the PBS Engage blog. You will also be able to find those answers here on the Business Desk all week.

Question/Comment: How do we rebuild the middle class? – Tony

Paul Solman: Oh, nice. A 9-syllable question that could legitimately take nine hours to answer. Actually, you could have made it a line of iambic pentameter if you’d added a “so” at the head, as in “So HOW do WE rebuild the MIDdle CLASS?” In that spirit:

I do not have a short A to your Q.
We must invest but no one knows for sure
How much to pay for what or where or when.
The only certain bet seems on our schools.
What shall we have to sell if not our skills,
Our knowledge, know-how, pluck, smarts, savvy, guile?
Where will we hone them if not in a class?
A class uncrowded, focused, well-equipped?

A class whose teachers are the brightest, best?
In education, then, we must invest.