The school vs. prison budget argument:

One of the more inane arguments often made in public discourse is the argument that our social problems are related to a school v. prison budget problem.

If we want to reduce prison population and keep people safe we must have educational systems that holds, from a strong desire to be there, young men and women in school and an educational system that provides men and women that the private and public sectors will be eager to hire.

Why schools v. prisons? Why not schools v. law enforcement, investigation, arrest, and trial? Let society do all that work and then turn the perpetuator of the crime free, regardless of the pain and suffering he or she may have caused. If we have no place to put the dangerous and the law breakers we do not need the police, the investigators, the judges. Why not call it schools v. keeping the public safe? In case someone has not noticed, people behind bars cannot directly commit a crime. What laws do the critics of prisons want repealed?

So where the does the money come from to do both, keep us safe and educated?

Ultimately, taxes, and how we scream about taxes. Yet the residents of the United States of America spend:

Over 160 billion dollars a year on booze,

Over 1 billion dollars a year on measured advertising for booze,

Over  26 billion dollars a year on medical treatment of alcoholics,

Over  88 billion dollars a year in lost productivity because of alcohol related difficulties,

Over 6 billion dollars a year worth of motor vehicle accidents caused by alcohol,

Over 60 billion dollars on illegal drugs,

Over 12 billion dollars on bottled water when we have the safest tap water in the world,

Over 70 billion dollars on soft drinks in spite of knowing that soft drink consumption is the leading cause of childhood and adult obesity and related cardio-vascular diseases and leads to diabetes, dental decay, bone density problems,

Over 40 billion dollars taking cruises,

Over 13 billion on cosmetic surgery and non-surgical cosmetic procedures, including  $2.1 billion on breast augmentation and lift, $1.3 billion on lipoplasty, and $1 billion on Botox injections,

Over 50 billion dollars on High Density Televisions

Over 21 billion dollars spent on purchase and care of cats.  Cats for Gawd sakes! 🙂

Americans can have both educated and safe men, women, and children, we just don’t want to.