Making the Case for Investment

Looking for some good reading? In the past few weeks, a number of op-eds in the state and national media have made a powerful case for investing in schools, universities, and public programs – and the devastation that occurs when you don’t.

In The Washington Post this week, columnist E.J. Dionne writes about the tax-limitation measures that were rejected by voters last week in Maine and Washington. These measures lost, Dionne writes, because opponents made a strong and effective case for the good that government does — like funding schools and providing home care for seniors.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco writer Jeff Gillenkirk takes on cliché understandings of government, challenging those who think they can live without the public institution to instead “try living one day without it.”

And in the Los Angeles Times, Jeff Bleich, the chair of the California State University Board of Trustees, writes of a CSU system devastated by budget cuts and a declining California dream because “Californians have lost the commitment to investing in one another.”

He writes, “We’ve gone from investing in the future to borrowing from it. Every time programs and services are cut for short-term gain, it is a long-term loss…We have to wake up this state and get it to rediscover its greatness. Because if we don’t, we will be the generation that let the promise for a great California die.”

Drown government in a bathtub, these writers suggest, and it will leave us all gasping for air.

— Lisa Gardiner

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