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Sure Fire Investments-Louis Katz- November 5769 JE, 2551 BE

There are few places we can make investments that will pay big long term dividends. They are green investments essentially carbon neutral requiring few resources other than human labor. These investments carry with them positive moral associations in most cultures if not all.

  • Educate Children as an Investment
  • Promotion of Quality Education as an Investment
  • Rhetorically and Financially Valuing Education

Like most investments it is best to get in at the ground floor. We all wish we owned original shares of GE, Apple, or Microsoft. We all wish this at least monetarily.

To get in at the ground floor of my investment strategy, we as a nation have to invest in Head Start, and early elementary education. These are investments that payoff in dividends in many sectors. As our youth move into adulthood and their productivity increases they will pay more Social Security taxes ensuring our retirement incomes. They will use fewer law enforcement resources lowering our tax burdens. The well educated have fewer preventable health problems, and earn enough to support their own health care, lowering medical costs for the rest of us. They have longer more productive lives returning more per dollar of education than those whose educational level falls short.

Further, there is a simple investment strategy that provides for my own personal future. This strategy requires only time. This is the education of my children. So long as they are well educated and productive I need not fear for basic living expenses, although my plan is to not burden them with my care.

The proven strategy for education of your own children starts young. Read to your children every day. Read to them what they are interested in. Promote their interests. Excite their natural inquisitiveness. Also read to them material that interests you. Better still read to them about things that interests you both. Start young. As odd as it seems I suggest reading aloud to young infants as a way to calm them and get them sleepy. Read to them books you enjoy reading. This teaches them that the people they look up to like to read. They will associate reading with comfort and calm. When they get older and able to understand vocabulary read to them from picture books. If putting them to sleep, read from picture books first and then read a little above their level of understanding. You and your children will enjoy this time. The initial investment pays itself back immediately. You receive benefits throughout your life and and they will receive benefit after you are gone.

There is much said about how Jews are smart and survivors. Both of these things come down to education and the valuing of it. A good Jew studies. This has been true for ages. If we are smarter, this opportunity is open to all. Read to your children, value learning.

Capital is fleeting. Banks go bust, businesses burn. Even gold stored in a mattress can be stolen, or access to it can be limited. But education is hard to remove from a person without removing life itself. It is truly enduring portable wealth. It can be converted into new wealth, but this conversion does not deplete its value, you retain educational capital.

If man has progressed, and I do see this as a good question, then part or maybe all of this progression is the carrying of knowledge from generation to generation. Some of the progress at least appears to be infrastructural investment, but the real investments are the things needed to bring about infrastructure. Stable government, peaceful coexistance, and education seem to top the list of these real investments. The fleeting investments of roads, powerlines, canals and houses and even 40 inch televisions are all products of these real investments.

I am continually brought back to the book Small Is Beautiful; Economics as if People Mattered, by E.F Schumaker. Money itself is valueless other than the resources it is printed on. The value is elsewhere.


PS I have a beef with EF Schumaker. Another of his books is "A Guide to the Perplexed" . It has a title lifted from a book by Moses Maimonides. If there is credit given in the book to, "The other Moses", then it is not prominent enough. Moses Maimonides (March 30, 1135 – December 13, 1204)[6] also known as Moshe ben Maimon (Hebrew: משה בן מימון‎), the Rambam and Musa ibn Maymun (Arabic: موسي ابن ميمون‎), (wikipedia)

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