From the Economist: What budget cuts during the Great Recession did to pupils’ test scores (2007/2009) - excerpt: Excuse me for saying it, but state-management has to be dumb, dumb, dumb to reduce what is formally an "investment in human capacity and character". There are two public services that need governmental supervision for them to be aptly functional - Education and Healthcare. As regards the former, the fact that the world is evolving from the Industrial Age into the Information Age, no time in history has been as important as today's. And, when one looks at the lonnnngggg history of secondary-schooling in America, one is forced to wonder why we, as a people, have not understood the Intrinsic Importance of schooling. - from Kindergarten straight through to Tertiary Education! Nothing more impacts our standard of living than education - which was proven by the historical fact that the Industrial Age pulled people off the land and into city industries. Thereby enhancing their income and thus standard-of-living. But, that evolution took a good long time to be effected across the nation - from the mid-19th century for another 80/90 years! That very same waste-of-time could happen once again, if we do not make the necessary investments nationally*! And, given the manner in which the world is getting generally smarter, the sooner we do so the better off as a nation we will be ... ! *For instance, we take that humongous amount of the Discretionary Budget (almost half the total!) spent on the DoD (see here), and put at least half of it into (1) improving secondary-schooling and (2) making Tertiary-level Education the same as Secondary Schooling. That is, nearly free, gratis or for nothing depending upon financial circumstance!