One argument against state investment in families is that families understand their needs and can invest the money more effectively than government. But not all families have the same priorities or capacity to invest in their children.
Government employs three common approaches to investment: Universal free access (like K-12 education); highly targeted support to those in need (like food stamps); or a hybrid model (like higher ed) that seeks universal access by combining spending on institutions with some financial support for families — all the way up into the middle class. Further reading:
Why has Minnesota stopped investing in education?
State doesn’t ‘invest’; it spends What do you think? 1. Although investment may be directed to one need, positive outcomes can overlap. Investment in education correlates with higher income and reduced incarceration. Investment in smart growth transportation can lead to reduced commute times and fewer fatalities. Given a limited amount to invest, where would you direct Minnesota’s investment over the next 10 years? 2. Which of the three investment models described above would you favor, and why? 3. It’s comparatively easy to see when the budget balances. How can we best determine if our investments are paying off?