Friday, May 20, 2005

the cost of not educating

The slow abandonment of the underpriveleged does not reduce their numbers or keep the tide of woes in which they drown from splashing over onto our suburban lawns...quite the opposite. I don't write well enough to better condemn the screwed up priorities of our nation than Martin Luther King did 38 years ago:
A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military
defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
Martin Luther King, Jr., “Beyond Vietnam:
A Time to Break Silence” April 4, 1967"

I just wanted to mention this because the distractions of all the bush league's engineered crises-on-demand have shoved this ongoing need to re-examine our country's real values and priorities clear off the front page. After all, the money that should be spent on education and early intervention programs for at-risk children would pencil out to a bottom line that should please the greediest sort of investor. This was the "yield" for one such program run in Chicago:
  • "The preschool program provided a return to society of $7.14 per dollar invested by increasing economic well-being and tax revenues, and by reducing public expenditures for remedial education, criminal justice treatment, and crime victims. The extended intervention program (4 to 6 years of participation) provided a return to society of $6.11 per dollar invested while the school-age program yielded a return of $1.66 per dollar invested."
This post was going to be about the cost of the 2 million plus people we have to keep in prisons in the US...more per capita than Russia. But when you start digging into who these prisoners are and how they got there and all the other numbers, you are brought back to the short sighted selfishness of present policies. This could be a much longer post but the data is all out there.

1 comment:

GreenSmile said...

Like I was saying: Rand Corporation agrees except for the exact monetary equivalent of the benefits of a head start program: Bush league should NOT cut this program!