Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Can we retirees discover our own stake in the next generation?

Maybe ... but it would be in our own best interests to invest in young people. Catherine Rampell, columnist for the Washington Post, lays out the rationale. Here are snippets.

Many older Americans may not like — or at least empathize with — Kids These Days. But there are selfish reasons to spend more taxpayer money on the young all the same.

What do you do about this, if you want to generate more support for social programs that help improve opportunities for younger Americans?

One option is to encourage more young people to vote. Part of the reason the so-called gray peril is so perilous to social spending on the young is not only that older people are becoming more numerous but also they’re more politically engaged than their younger counterparts.

The other option is to remind older Americans that when it comes to investing in youth, they have skin in the game, too. Older people need a thriving, full-potential-achieving next generation to pay for their Medicare and Social Security; to care for them in their dotage; to grow the economy and thereby improve their living standards; and, as demographer Dowell Myers has argued, even eventually to buy their homes.

I suspect that this appeal to self-interest, rather than the moral arguments for nurturing the next generation ... will be the key to converting more people to the equity-of-opportunity cause. But compassion is always welcome, too.

So, over cocktails tonight, make the case to your neighbors and friends why they should support education funding for K-12 - and beyond.

h/t Charlie Ashton

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