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Morally Irresponsible, Economically Insane

We’ve spent the last few years worrying about Too Big to Fail institutions, from banks to automakers – it’s now time for us to focus on those Too Small to Fail – America’s kids.

Let me explain.

One of the reasons America has prospered like no other country is that we have systematically invested in our future generations.  This has meant that succeeding generations are healthier, better educated and better equipped to enter the workforce.

That was then – this is now.

Today’s kids are sicker (kids’ chronic disease has doubled in the past twenty years), falling behind on standardized international tests, and increasingly likely to live in poverty.  All this is happening at a time when governments at all levels are cutting back on programs that affect kids, and families are struggling to make ends meet and have enough family time to raise a successful child.  As a result, we are stagnating in our investments in children at a time when many of our competitors are investing in their next generation.  

This is morally irresponsible and economically insane.

That is why Next Generation started its multi-year campaign, Too Small to Fail.  The purpose is simple – over the course of several years, Next Generation and its partners in Too Small will make the case for why it is important for America to invest in its kids, because the problems are complex but the answer is simple – kids are a good investment and pay great dividends for the country as a whole.

In fact, investing in kids saves us money.  Take early childhood education.  For every dollar spent on early childhood education, taxpayers save up to $13 due to less remedial education, lower grade repetition, and higher productivity later in life. 

But it is not just taxpayers that need to make greater investments – it is all of us.  That is why Too Small to Fail stresses Personal, Private and Public investment. Through personal investments (like increased reading with children, better diet, having a healthy media diet) families can help their kids be ready to learn and be productive;  through private investments by nonprofits and businesses (like improved workplace flexibility, philanthropic support for kids and families groups, business support for local schools) organizations can help invest in the workforce of the future;  and through public investment (like support for schools, early childhood education, childhood nutrition programs) we can support the base of programs that have proven effective in helping young kids grow into successful adults.

Too Small to Fail plans to be highly visible, occasionally controversial, and inclusive.  We want to ensure that the dialogue we have over investments in kids is open, honest, and transparent.

And we welcome (and want) your input.  Visit our Too Small to Fail Facebook page to join the discussion.

America’s kids are counting on you.    

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