The author, Jon Cohn, describes research on early childhood development, including the fascinating and horrfying accounts of Romania orphanages. The upshort of the research is that the first two years of a baby's development is incredibly important. Ignore or abuse a child during those first two years and the damage is permanent. No amount of love and attention can entirely heal the child's brain.
Romanians horror orphanages are extreme, but there are quite a number of substandard daycare centers in America. Imagine kids strapped into carseats watching cartoons all day.
If early childhood is so important, why aren't we spending more on babies than on prisons? Cohn says we spend $4,000 on early childhood education, while we spend $11,000 on older kids. We spend even more on senior citizens.
Maybe we need to adjust our priorities.