Monday, 9 January 2012

Hugs Versus Inequality: Investments in Social Programs Are Essential to Equality of Opportunity

More about the increasingly unequal society that is the US: Today Paul Krugman rails against those who are bent on making the playing field even more bumpy. After pointing out how Mitt Romney disparages President Obama by lies and inuendo he adds: "someone who really wanted equal opportunity would be very concerned about the inequality of our current system.

"He would support more nutritional aid for low-income mothers-to-be and young children. He would try to improve the quality of public schools. He would support aid to low-income college students. And he would support what every other advanced country has, a universal health care system, so that nobody need worry about untreated illness or crushing medical bills. If Mr. Romney has come out for any of these things, I’ve missed it. And the Congressional wing of his party seems determined to make upward mobility even harder. "

On Sunday Nicolas Kristoff in the same illustrious newspaper, pointed to research which shows that protecting children from stress from the beginning of their lives is an effective way to "chip away at poverty and crime." The roots of impairment and underachievement are biologically embedded, but preventable. he says quoting Jack P. Shonkoff, a Harvard pediatriciam" “This is the biology of social class disparities,...Early experiences are literally built into our bodies.”

Kristoff continues: "The implication is that the most cost-effective window to bring about change isn’t high school or even kindergarten — although much greater efforts are needed in schools as well — but in the early years of life, or even before birth.

“Protecting young children from adversity is a promising, science-based strategy to address many of the most persistent and costly problems facing contemporary society, including limited educational achievement, diminished economic productivity, criminality, and disparities in health."

Quote that to anyone who wants to chip away at Canada's social safety net.

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