As millions of fans enjoy part two of the final Harry Potter film, parents and teachers all over the world owe a great deal of thanks not just to author, J.K Rowling, but to the British welfare system which sustained her as a single mother, while she created her little wizard and his magical world in a coffee shop, able to watch her own child with the knowledge that her and her child's health care needs were covered.
Contrast this with the single mother you may know, working a minimum-wage job with no health benefits, having to rely on others for child care with little energy to do anything else at the end of the day but fix dinner and put herself and her child to bed. In return for its commitment to invest in its citizens, Great Britain yielded dividends from a multibillion-dollar industry, creating thousands of jobs and, perhaps more importantly, watching millions of children in Great Britain and the rest of the world, put down their iPods and pick up books.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, "The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children (and their mothers)." Judging by the priorities currently being set by Congress, I'm afraid our society's morality will be found wanting!
Richard A. Kosinski