This morning I watched a video by the Young Turks–I was expecting the same ol’ same ol’ talk about how Republicans have it wrong and what not, which believe me, I totally agree with. But this morning especially caught my attention, and I want to share this video with the rest of the world, on the new study done by MIT comparing which sector of the economy really creates the most jobs per million in funding from the US government.
For many of us liberal thinkers, it came to no surprise that education was of course the forefront job creator in this economy. What really struck me is the fact that military spending created the least amount of jobs. 15,500 jobs less per million dollar spending in comparison to education, in fact. Next time you hear Republicans talking about how the government needs to stop spending money because that will create no jobs, but hypocritically argue against cutting military spending, pull out this chart (seen above in the video).
The sad reality is that despite blatant truths such as this MIT study, the government continues to fund military more than any other sector in our economy. While military spending is around 41% of the US budget, education makes up only 2.2%. During a time of an economic downturn and astronomical unemployment rates, we’re still investing in military at full rate even though investments in education creates 15,500 more jobs than investing in the military per million. Nothing in politics seems to make sense anymore. At least not to me.
Let’s move beyond the conversation about job creation and instead toward what investing in education will mean in the long-term. We have programs like Harlem’s Children Zone which needs to use a lottery system because it cannot afford to educate every student in Harlem. The students in Geoffrey Canada’s program will almost all go on to attend a four college, and be prepared for it too–While the children in the school across the street, if they manage to be the minority that graduate from high school will attend college most likely un-prepared, and most likely, drop out. These inequities in education need to be addressed. Harlem is just an example–There are charters and programs around the country that are privately funded in order to provide the best education for these children. These should be programs every student has access too, not just the ones who have the money, or luck. Why is dual language immersion only provided in some schools, even though it has been proven to be the most effective English language instruction for immigrant students? Why doesn’t every school have IB or AP courses which better prepare students for college? Why doesn’t every school have arts programs? While education is consistently being cut by the government, and God knows how much more if a Republican is elected President, the military is receiving new state-of-the-art warfare.
Maybe it’s because if schools were state-of-the-art, equitable, and provided all the necessary programs and wrap-around-services to address the needs of all students and prepare them for a career or college after high school, then not so many young, women and men, mostly low-income Hispanic and Black will have to result to joining the army. Then what will the US do then?
Investing in education will not only create job growth, but prosperity for many young Americans, and America itself. We cannot begin to transform our economy until we produce more entrepreneurs, professionals and intellectuals. No amount of taxes or spending cuts will create long-lasting improvement to our economy than education will. Obviously a majority of the world has come to terms with this. It’s time the US did.