Inevitably tonight during the President's speech we are going to hear about the need to invest in America's education system. He's going to seek to "level the playing field" with India and China by upping the investment in our youth's education. He'll promote the need to further enhance our children's math and science skills so they will be competitive in the global market. It's an outstanding goal to provide America's youth with all the tools so they can achieve their maximum potential and compete in the global job market at some point in the future, but throwing money at a problem usually does little to solve it. It's important to understand that fiscal investment in human beings is not on the same return nor is it backed like an investment in physical capital. In this case we have no physical security to back the investment should something go awry. The investment in children's education depends upon the cooperativeness of the individual being educated, or in financial terms, the borrower. We are investing in our children's future, and like any good investment we expect a return. There is no legal recourse if they default, so it's important we research what we are proposing to pour our hard earned money into.
I'm willing to bet that India and China spend far less to educate their youth then we propose to do. In fact, it's highly likely that what differs between the education systems is the culture and the dedication of the instructors and the students, not they money pour into it. The youth of those countries understand the value of an education and the consequences of being illiterate and poor. Their poor actually are poor and don't live at a standard like America's underprivileged. They don't have the government assistance that provides them with an income capable of acquiring big screen TV's, X-box, Playstation 3's, Cable and Internet access, automobiles and the like. Their poor struggle to eat and maintain a roof over their heads. To be uneducated in China and India comes at a heavy price. So those are hungry students who eagerly attend school and would sooner die than miss class. It's their ticket out of being sentenced to a poverty just short of hell. America's youth don't have that same drive.
So with that in mind Mr. President, is money really the issue here?