As Toqueville puts it, such a system "gladly works for (its citizens') happiness but wants to be the sole agent and judge of it. It provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessitates, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principle concerns, (and) directs their industry. . . . Why should it not entirely relieve them from the trouble of thinking and all the cares of living."
We are shrinking investments in education — the single best public program we have for raising generations who can think and act for themselves. At the same time we are exploding investments in Medicaid — an increasingly byzantine web of bureaucratic controls to care for every aspect of our physical heath.
It all sounds, alarming, like Tocqueville's nightmare coming true. Yes, I hope that that in the coming weeks the legislature will consider spending every available dollar it has to avoid any further cuts to education. Perhaps more importantly, though, I hope they will prepare themselves for future investments in education. An excellent place to begin will be to do whatever can be done on the state level to reform Medicaid.
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