miércoles, 24 de marzo de 2010


By: Felipe Argote

The universal grant, which incidentally is not universal because it doesn’t includes the last three years of high school, I believe will bring more to stop juvenile crime curfews, than the so called the heavy hand or hand very hard. The voices now demand not to be universal and should be given only to those who do not fail to be a real incentive, do out of ignorance or naiveté, to assign them the benefit of the doubt.

Fifty-eight percent of young people drop out of the classroom and those who cannot snag as apprentice construction workers, stevedores, hornbills, packers not been paid of the super 99 or hawkers become easy prey to gangs.

The incentive cannot therefore be given only to those who have good grades or acceptable grades, the crisis is so deep that it must be delivered only to remain in the educational system, to divert youth from the streets and give them the opportunity to become workers with a level of self-esteem that they avoid the temptation of drugs and crime.

I go further; I think it should climb to $ 50 for second cycle or ten to twelve levels. This is the sector most likely and that more are leaving school and entering an age when their needs require a higher income. We know some will say that there should be greater controls to prevent parents seized the $20 and instead of applying them to pay school fees or food they will spend it in drink and play in the thousands of bars and casinos that abound in the popular neighborhoods. Well, there must be controls. But in the worst case, the father who selfishly require their child to study and stay in the educational system to take advantage of this incentive at least unwittingly, is helping his son. As Adam Smith would say: their selfish desire to benefit society.

But of course there must be some minimal checks. For example, the grant should be given to the mother and not to the father. In our society, it hurts to say, fathers are mostly a party of irresponsible. But rather than taking from those who do not score well you must rise to the good ones. That no doubt will have tangible benefits for society as a whole. In the developed capitalist countries basic education is really free. Without having the need, because in these countries most families have enough money to pay for the education of children, the state not only gives a quality education with well paid teachers, not like in our country where teaching sometimes is a refuge for those who do not have the capacity to fit into the labor market. They offers good schools, green areas, computers and sporting equipment, all books and notebooks, food and even free transport from home to school and from school to home. That's because they know they need to educate the new generations. They invest in the future and thereby save enforcement costs later in the crime. Because of that, among other things, they are developed country.

Those are some reasons why I believe that those who speak of paternalism are ignorant or deluded. Both the universal fellowship and the networking opportunities are measures that were not invented in Panama, It have already been used and proven effective in other countries. Such is the case in Brazil where it has been effective in many cases to break the cycle of poverty. I hope this measure, which is clearly too little, also has not come too late.

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