If the recession ended up boosting educational attainment at all levels, that would be the shiniest of silver linings. Deteriorating attainment in recent decades has played a role in growing inequality and poor performance of key parts of the real economy. This is absolutely a trend the government ought to be doing its best to facilitate, rather than looking to temporarily boost car or home sales. Increased school enrollment now would not only provide a lift to long-term economic performance; it would also reduce competition for jobs among low-skilled workers, generating a labour market turnaround sooner than would otherwise be the case.
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