In a recent issue of Time magazine, Fareed Zakaria writes a phenomenal article called, "Incarceration Nation."
Zakaria mentioned the disparity between education funding and prison funding in California. I find the two numbers very closely related.
Because of the draconian cuts in education, even if a lower-class child can succeed in the elementary, middle and high school classrooms that the government underfunds, they still have almost no shot at going to college.
Why? Because the government is sucking more and more money out of the college system.
That drives up tuition and dries up grant money so that no lower-class child, no matter the level of talent, can ever afford to go to a state college.
With fewer opportunities, the lower classes are forced to live in cheaper areas, which tend to be where drugs are more prevalent.
Therefore they are more likely to be wrapped up in drugs. Smart and determined teenagers are arrested everyday on non-violent drug charges and are sent to jail.
As a result, they will never be able to work themselves out of lower class status because of the stigma society has placed on drugs. I believe that the two numbers of education and prison funding are inversely proportional.
Because of the scenario I outlined above, when we decrease education funding, we tend to have to raise prison funding. I'm not a gambling man, but I'm willing to bet that if California were to increase its education funding, the rest of America would observe an overall decline in crime.
After all, Socrates wrote that people do not want to do bad things. They do bad things because they are ignorant of the right thing to do. Education could be the start of a huge turnaround for this country.
Samuel Berger, Altoona