For a Minute There, It Really Was No Child Left Behind - The New York Times:
Here’s the takeaway: A $3,000-a-year child benefit would pay for itself 10 times over. These payments come back in higher long-term earnings, higher educational attainment, higher birth weights, lower neonatal mortality, better adult physical health and better adult mental health. They lead to less crime and higher tax revenues and longer life expectancy. Of course they do. Sometimes economists come up with unexpected, counterintuitive findings. But there’s nothing surprising about the finding that it’s good for children to grow up with more money, that it’s good for parents to know they can get their car fixed or buy back-to-school clothes. That’s why parents work so hard, at jobs they often hate, year after year. And that’s why it’s such a moral horror that a country as wealthy as ours leaves so many children in poverty.
But of course the policy couldn’t last, because rich people assume only they can be trusted to spend money wisely.