Back in 2008, when I was fulminating against multiculturalism on a more or less weekly basis, a reader wrote to advise me to lighten up, on the grounds that “we’re rich enough to afford to be stupid.”San Francisco isn't so rich anymore--what city in California is?--but look how stupid they still are there:
Two years later, we’re a lot less rich. In fact, many Western nations are, in any objective sense, insolvent. Hence last week’s column, on the EU’s decision to toss a trillion dollars into the great sucking maw of Greece’s public-sector kleptocracy. It no longer matters whether you’re intellectually in favour of European-style social democracy: simply as a practical matter, it’s unaffordable.
How did the Western world reach this point? Well, as my correspondent put it, we assumed that we were rich enough that we could afford to be stupid.
Every child who enters kindergarten at one of San Francisco's public schools will get his or her own city-funded college savings account under a groundbreaking program officials plan to begin rolling out this fall, despite the current budget woes that will force layoffs and service cuts in other areas.
The deposits would be small - $50 to start, $100 for lower-income children - but the hope is that they will pay huge dividends, teaching students about saving and budgeting while forging the conviction that a college education is within reach.
Any commentary from me would be superfluous.
Update: Ties in nicely with this post.