Very interesting take on the current financial woes in the US. All kinds of studies on the benefits of pre-K learning experiences, mentoring, college readiness, and high school completion show that the long-term cost analysis pans out....Unfortunately, its long-term thinking that is so desperately absent.
Steps That We Can Take to Lower the Deficit
To the Editor:
“What They’re Not Telling You” (NY Times editorial, Aug. 1) implies that there are only two ways to lower the federal deficit — raise taxes and cut government programs. But what about reducing problems that cost so much to fix, like illness, crime, unemployment and even some wars?
To note but one statistic in just one area, cutting the school dropout rate in half would add tens of billions of dollars annually to federal revenues (through increased income taxes and lowered health and welfare costs). Effective and cost-saving programs have been identified in areas like school enrollment maintenance, job training, drug dependency rehabilitation, criminal rehabilitation, diabetes prevention, pollution reduction and “preventive diplomacy/defense.”
And is it not better for individuals and society to prevent rather than treat diseases, to prevent crimes, to prevent wars? Additionally, some government programs can be cut in the future because of reduced needs, not just to save money. Prevention can be a part — maybe a significant one — of a long-term solution to federal deficit concerns.
Waltham, Mass., Aug. 1, 2010
Mr. Wollman is a senior fellow at the Bentley Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility, Bentley University. Ms. Fuller is an associate professor of sociology at Manchester College.