If You Think Education is Expensive – Try Ignorance!

Dear Commons Community,

Nicholas Kristoph has a superb column in the NY Times today warning that the cutting of education funding in K-12 as well as higher education is mortgaging our future.  Revisiting the plain brick high school that was “his rocket ship” to an education, he laments how is it that America understands it needs to build schools in Afghanistan while slashing school budgets at home.  Citing the research of Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz, two Harvard economists, who argued in their book “The Race Between Education and Technology” that a prime factor in America’s rise over the last two centuries was its leadership in educating the masses, why are we now abandoning our schools as other countries have begun to expand investment in educating their masses.   He observes:

“we nation-build in Afghanistan and scrimp at home. How is it that we can afford to double our military budget since 9/11, can afford the carried-interest tax loophole for billionaires, can afford billions of dollars in givebacks to oil and gas companies, yet can’t afford to invest in our kids’ futures?”

He concludes with a  quote from former Harvard president, Derek Bok:

“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”



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