This piece by Nobel economic laureate Joseph Stiglitz is a must read. The solutions to this are not simply economic, but also political. Here's where schools, curriculum, tracking, underfunding, etc. come in, too, though not spelled out herein.
Thanks to Kenneth Bernstein for sharing. Here are Kenneth's views on the matter, too: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/13/1247025/-Stiglitz-argues-that-Inequality-is-a-Choice
These are complex questions, and new research by a World Bank
economist named Branko Milanovic, along with other scholars, points the
way to some answers.
Starting in the 18th century, the industrial revolution produced
giant wealth for Europe and North America. Of course, inequality within
these countries was appalling — think of the textile mills of Liverpool
and Manchester, England, in the 1820s, and the tenements of the Lower
East Side of Manhattan and the South Side of Chicago in the 1890s — but
the gap between the rich and the rest, as a global phenomenon, widened
even more, right up through about World War II. To this day, inequality
between countries is far greater than inequality within countries.
Continue reading here.