The kinds of changes favored by the public in an age of inequality, as reflected from time to time in some electoral platforms, are usually unacceptable to elites. Simple rejection of those types of changes can only invite greater hostility toward the elites. It is more useful for the elites to be seen as favoring change—their kind of change, of course. Take, for example, the question of educating poor children in a time of declining social mobility. A true critic might call for an end to funding schools by local property taxes and the creation, as in many advanced countries, of a common national pool that funds schools more or less equally. What a thought leader might offer MarketWorld and its winners is a kind of intellectual counteroffer—the idea, say, of using Big Data to better compensate star teachers and weed out bad ones.
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