Save It For A Rainy Day

Originally I was going to post about abortion and the public option, but I realized I ranted about that a couple posts ago. Instead I want to talk about a conversation I had with a manfriend of mine.

He goes to West Point and studies economics, so already this is a difficult argument for me to have. (Really smart people get me every time.) We were talking about public school funding, and I asked why doesn’t the government put money into schools in middle- and low-income areas, instead of prisons. His response, while he says he doesn’t necessarily agree with it, was that there is a greater return on schools in high-income areas and building the prisons.

That makes me physically ill. That can’t possibly be true. Is it really more sustainable to put people in prison rather than educate them? I’ve heard the arguments about education being a “white” thing; people in middle- and low-income areas don’t value education as much; and money that has been invested in middle- and low-income schools has not had a great return.

I say it’s a load of crap. It’s like people who argue that human rights are a “Western” idea. You don’t think non-Western people have a concept of what is right and what is wrong? Saying that not investing in some people is economical is wrong. It just can’t be true. I can’t believe that putting money into prisons is better in the long run than investing in schools.

And to be completely honest, can someone please show me studies on this? I want to know how people justify this.

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