Saturday, September 29, 2007

Intangible Wealth

"If all conditions for development other than capital are present, capital will soon be generated locally or will be available... from abroad... If, however, the conditions for development are not present, then aid... will be necessarily unproductive and therefor ineffective."

That quote comes from development economist Peter Bauer in a Wall Street Journal commentary about intangible wealth. The quote pertained to the macro development of nations, but it caught my attention and I think it can also apply to the micro development of children, particularly with regards to their education.

Of course here in Racine we all see the education problems faced by RUSD and other schools. Throwing more aid at the schools won't be helpful because too many children lack those intangible "conditions for development other than capital."

What are some of those conditions for development? In my opinion, the optimal non capital conditions for children are to live in a loving home comprised of a stable husband and wife who are able to take care of themselves and impart to their children the importance of respectful behavior and an understanding of the importance of education, among other things.

The bad news is that the government can't give our children the intangible wealth that they need to thrive. The good news is that there is no shortage of intangible wealth. It is available to anyone willing to take it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have said spoken the problem in the intro: many segments of our population have been given deficits that can almost never be gotten out of alone; and structural discriminations set a large portion of the US at a negative starting point, almost never to be gotten out of alone.

Why is that hard to see? Silver Spoon folks know how THEY got ahead of us poor schmucks...