Lost Einsteins

A concept that describes the impact to the world of children in poverty, under excessive inequality, and in other circumstances that contribute to the loss of that individual’s gift to the world. It is one of many ways to try and measure the effect of the negative externalities of lightly regulated capitalism.

There is both a human cost and an actual financial impact on collective wealth: it goes down. It will be lower than it otherwise could have been. We all miss out, because the size of the economic pie is smaller for all of us. We are surely impoverished intellectually and spiritually as well by the loss of these missing geniuses.

Ethical questions

How can we justify not helping the poor on any basis then?

  • We all lose out; the pie is smaller
  • It’s a very small amount of money relative to other traditional parts of public budgets
  • It improves various measures of civil society, public health, crime, and other public services
  • It’s the right thing to do
  • The Golden Rule indicates it
  • Jesus commanded it

What rationale remains?

And if we still insist on metering talent development out to spite our own face, then who do we allow to have that kind of mental space, to spend enough time pondering the Big Questions? Who do we assume will do those things?