We should maintain that if an interpretation of any word in any religion leads to disharmony and does not positively further the welfare of the many, then such an interpretation is to be regarded as wrong; that is, against the will of God, or as the working of Satan or Mara.

Buddhadasa Bikkhu, a Thai Buddhist Monk

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Another "What Good is Government?" Story

Some time ago, I posted an article entitled, "What Good is Government?," which described the role of the federal government in restoring the Great Lakes. A Huffington Post news article entitled, "Preschool Leads To Better Jobs And Fewer Arrests, New Study Says," offers another example of a good accomplished by government spending.

This is a major study that draws on the findings of other, less ambitious studies.  The study found that, in terms of cold hard cash and in terms of warm lives-better-lived, American society benefits from government's investment in pre-school education.  Still, preschool education is now one of the things on the chopping block in Washington.  We have become so fixated with lowering taxes and "reigning-in" government that we are literally throwing the baby out with the bath water.  It is ironic that these cuts, if made, will cost our economy more money than the programs themselves spend.  Preschool education salvages the lives of many poor kids who otherwise would end up on drugs, in jail, and otherwise a detriment to society and the economy.  Big government or small is not the issue.  The issue, rather, is government that works for all the people—not just those who can buy influence in Washington.