‘America’s Best Investment Ever,’ According to ‘Bowling Alone’ Author Robert Putnam

Robert Putnam, the creator of the field of research known as “Social Capital” clearly comments on the connection between a person’s background and their ability to undertake education based on whether they socially engaged or socially isolated as a child

Longreads

 America’s best investment ever, in the whole history of our country, was to invest in the public high school and secondary school at the beginning of the 20th century. It dramatically raised the growth rate of America because it was a huge investment in human capital. The best economic analyses now say that investment in the public high schools in 1910 accounted for all of the growth of the American economy between then and about 1970. That huge investment paid off for everybody. Everybody in America had a higher income.

Now, some rich farmer could have said, “Well, why should I be paying for those other kids to go to high school? My kids are already off in Chicago and I don’t care about [other kids].” But most people in America didn’t. This was not something hatched in Washington – small town people got together and said, “Look, we…

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