Hmm. Not bad for a state that supposedly ranks so low in education. (See
article from two weeks ago.) With so many of these articles contradicting each
other, I'm starting to think maybe all these studies AREN'T definitive. Weird.
These articles tend to exist for two purposes:1. Let some people pound
their chests about Utah superiority2. Give others a forum in which to make
sniping comments about Mormon culture...they are always so original and
inspired!I think most people understand the reality - there is a lot
more that goes into the well-being of kids than taxes and political leanings.
And when it comes down to it, the overall level of family-focus in Utah leads to
better results despite a population distribution that works against it.
Something is going right here.
RE: lket | 1:15 p.m. Jan. 18, 2012 Throwing money at education
doesn't make it better. We don't provide birth control for 3rd graders here in
Utah but we do teach them how to read and write. New York City can't make the
1ket: money is not the solution to reading better. Turning off video screens
(TV, computer, cell phone, video game, etc.) is much more effective and a lot
cheaper. Tons of studies demonstrate that children who are read to are better
readers themselves. If Utah children are not the best readers, the most likely
cause is too many parents are not reading to their kids and allowing an
electronic screen to entertain them.
you all make good points about why we will never spend more on education and
that our kids dont read as well as most of the country, and most likley never
will because of you way of thinking. al kids are important even ours in utah.
I think that this article unintentionally points out the problem that the US is
facing. It isn't so much about taxes and how much the government does or does
not do to improve the lives of children.The more interesting point
that can be seen is the fact that we have a societal problem where parents are
not united in raising children, and that they don't set bounds to ensure that
their children grow up to be productive members of society.The
bottom line is that if you want to fix what is wrong with the nation, no amount
of spending by the government can fix the ills that families currently face.
First, let me point out that Illinois also spends big bucks -- some of the
highest rates in the nation -- on kids and has high taxes (5% income and 7.25%
sales). Yet, according to the chart doesn't do very well on child
well-being.J-TX: Well said. One thing that is glossed over in the
article and probably by the study is that Utah has the lowest rate of
single-parent families. I'm in agreement with Macmama that two parent families
invariably will have a higher rate of child-wellbeing than single-parent
families. Thus, I'm also in agreement with atl134 (which doesn't happen often)
that states that provide a better safety net for children in the latter
situation will have a higher level of well-being. Since most of these family
subsidies are available only to families with a single parent (or one income),
is the government really helping? Or is it abetting the problem by encouraging
the break up of families?As J-TX points out, the question is much
more complex and has many variables. Therefore, an answer is much more
difficult than this article makes it appear.
There are at least two states that buck the assumption that more spending /
taxation equals better child welfare. Utah in the good way - Lower $$, better
child welfare, and Texas - High taxes, but 39th in child welfare. (Yes, we have
no income tax, but 8.25% sales tax and one of the highest property tax rates in
the country. Plus we spend about $9500 per child in school.)THere
are ancillary reasons for both - In Utah, 2-parent homes and predominant
religion that has a health code and values the family - In Texas, many illegal
immigrant families and wide open spaces where rural children fall through the
cracks.The conclusions drawn by the study seem to state that
throwing money at our children increases their welfare. In a way, of course,
they are right. :-) However, there are so many variables that contribute to
child well being that I do not put much stock in their hypotheses nor their
Another bogus "study" by an advocacy group with an agenda.It is so easy to cherry pick data points and weight them to come up with any
"results" you want. Then shove them in a fax machine and send to the
news media.What is really amazing is that some "news"
outlets are so gullible, or totally failing to do even cursory questioning of
the "information" they are fed, that they actually print this
stuff.Firing all those reporters and editors has not really made the
content of the Deseret News any better.What a waste of ink and
After spending time in NJ, and seeing conditions in many areas, I find it hard
to believe that their children are so well off on average.
" Why is the well-being of our children dependent on how much the
government spends on them?"That is because the well-being of
our children includes the children whose parents are doing an inadequate job so
there's a question of how strong the safety net is for those kids in that case.
With an entitled generation of course the well being of a child depends on the
welfare entitlements from the state.
The article makes passing mention of Utah holding 19th place for teen pregnancy.
What isn't clear to me is whether that figure includes 19-year-old married
MacMama,The data in this case don't lie, government spending on
children does significantly help the well-being of children. But correlation is
not always causation. It could be, for instance that better parents are willing
to pay taxes to help their own children as well as the children of others. So
New Jersey has the highest taxes because it has parents who want to be involved
financially in the community, and not because they are passing the job of
parenting to the government.
This article raised red flags in my mind on several levels, but mostly because
of this: Why is the well-being of our children dependent on how much the
government spends on them? I have always thought- silly me- that the well being
of my children has more to do with how my husband and I- as the parents- care
for and nurture my children regardless of our income and tax rate. Now I find
out that it really doesn't have much to do with parents- my child's well being
is determined by how much tax money the state takes and how much they spend on
children's programs. The trend of this is disturbing.