I was psyched to see President Obama endorse the idea of universal pre-K last night, since that seems to be something the education profession believes could make a huge difference in student achievement all through life. That’s especially the case when it comes to learning self-command skills.
Naturally this will be a contentious because one of our two major political parties is controlled by anti-tax radicals, but like health care and old age pensions, it is a fight progressives can win eventually, and the real significance was mainly that Obama put it on the agenda for the future.
It’s a reminder too that reducing health care costs will free up more money for Big Government. If we could stop spending 18% of our GDP on health care, by bringing US health care providers’ prices into line with what they are in other developed countries, then we’d have a lot of extra money around to pay for universal pre-K, or more generous Social Security benefits, or more generous family leave policies, and all the rest. The liberal project of cradle-to-grave public services is kind of stalled until we do something about health care prices.