With all the economic problems of the USA and the world, there obviously is a need to budget limited resources. It is easy to attack expenditures that do not have quick obvious benefits. This blogger notices public schools and libraries cutting personnel and programs, or even closing. Another area being looked at are preschool programs, especially for the poor.
These two recent studies conducted in the Chicago area (here and here) show the long term value of good pre-school and early elementary school programs. Will society take studies like this into account when making the hard financial decisions? If there ever was a more important time to take into account reason and science in solving problems, this blogger is not aware of it.