the cost of childhood poverty

This was buried in todays NYT:
Children who grow up poor cost the economy $500 billion a year because they are less productive, earn less money, commit more crimes and have more health-related expenses, according to a study released on Wednesday.

“The high cost of childhood poverty to the U.S. suggests that investing significant resources in poverty reduction might be more cost effective than we thought,” said Harry J. Holzer, an economist at Georgetown University and the Urban Institute and one of the four authors of the report.

You think? Of course it's more effective to invest in healthy kids and healthy communities than to deal with after effects of unhealthy communities. But it's also harder to build the political will for early headstart and earned income tax credits than it is for new prisons and wars in far off countries. If only we could find a systemic way to bring the heart to the forefront in our social and economic policies instead of our own self interest.

Read the whole article here.

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