Dean Baker and I both focused on the same deceit in George Will's slick column, "Not even universal free public education, even were it well done, could equalize the ability of individuals to add value to the economy."
If by 'add value' to the economy, Will is referring to adding value to the GDP of the Empire only 'posing' as (and HQed in) our former country, then Dean should reconsider the suggestion I made to him at CEPR many years ago that we needed a new measure of economic negative value, or a GDNEC (Gross Domestic Negative Externality Cost) index.
What George Will ignores is that as large as the supposedly 'growing' GDP of the U.S. is, today's most profitable corporations, financial entities of HFWs (Hedge Fund Whores), PEPs (Private Equity Pirates), and AICs (Activist Investor Crooks) predominantly make their out-sized profits for themselves and for the TCCs (Transnational Capitalist Classes) and UHNWIs (Ultra High Net Worth Individuals) by gaming the markets biggest flaw and making faux-profits by stealthily hiding far larger negative externality costs --- and dumping these fully unburdened costs off their own P&L statements and onto the backs of "others", including the 99% of average 'subjects' in this Empire, and onto the corpse of our former country.
Fortunately, even without a proper GDNEC Index of hidden negative externality costs, the insurance (and particularly the global Re-insurance industry) is starting to squeal like a stuck pig with the massive negative externality costs of nasty byproducts our genius scam artist 'value creators' and "job creators" (as Frank Luntz named them), which include; tobacco smoking deaths health care and liabilities, nuclear plant decommisionings and clean-ups, super-storm damages to super-pricey real estate, and the latest 2007-09 $17T debt bombs of CDSs, CDOs, and other derivative crap when the genius 'financial engineering" crooks and looters on Wall Street turned not lead, but paper into gold (for themselves) --- all of which were demonstrations of how those 'unequally' bright and aggressive few among us "added value to the economy" by temporarily hiding their shit.
Of course it might be nice for all of us if we had a GDNEC to see how much negative externality cost should have been deducted from the inflated GDP measure of how well 'we' the people are really doing in this stacked economy run by the Disguised Global Crony-Capitalist EMPIRE that now IS our former democratic Republic of a country, eh??