What benefits do you get from the tax dollars you pay into the effort to educate our children?
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The answer to this will vary depending on the circumstances of the person who answers it. For example, since I am a parent with children in public schools, I get a great deal of benefit from the money that I pay into the effort to educate children. I get an education for my kids that is surely cheaper to me than it would be if I had to pay the full costs.
However, there are benefits that accrue to everyone in society, even to those who do not have any children in the system. This is why education is seen, in terms used in economics, as something that has positive externalities. When students are educated, they become more productive members of society. They are less likely to cost the government money for things like arresting, prosecuting, and imprisoning them. They are less likely to need governmental support such as welfare payments. In addition, they are much more likely to be a benefit to the economy. Their education will help them to get good jobs in our economy. When they do this, they help all of us.
Thus, even people who do not have children in public schools benefit from the money that they pay towards educating our children.
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