Investing in Our Children: A Not So Radical Proposal
Donald B. Tobin
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 7
The United States is currently under-investing in the human capital of its children. This significant investment deficit threatens both our children's vitality and the nation's ability to compete in a knowledge-based economy. At all income levels, investment in children - in education, housing, training, and nutrition - has significant long-term beneficial returns for both the recipients of the investment and for society as a whole. This article proposes to shift the focus of our current fiscal policies towards human capital investment in children. It advocates a self-sustaining investment program that delivers resources directly to children and that children are required to repay when they start working. The article relies on the economic literature on human capital, the educational literature on the impact of money on childhood attainments, and the political theory literature on civic responsibility to help justify a self-sustaining investment program implementing through the tax code. This article seeks to promote new ways of evaluating our current programs and policies and to facilitate further discussion about a child-centered investment strategy.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 74
Keywords: children, tax, human capital, investment
JEL Classification: E62, H24, J13, K34
Date posted: April 26, 2004
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