I’ve been reading up on the concept of Universal Basic Income lately, including the book Utopia for Realists. There is a lot to consider with UBI, including one of the main arguments: simply giving money to the poor is more cost effective, and provides better results, than providing them services. I don’t have the exact figures at hand, but the gist of it is that giving a certain amount of cash directly to people today to bring them out of poverty will save you multiples of that funding that you would have to spend later to deal with the issues caused by poverty.
Not really a “stitch in time”, and not quite a nine-fold savings, but the principle is the same. Spend a little bit now so you don’t have to spend more later. But just as with that pithy bromide, it is easy to express the savings of UBI but not so easy to get people to accept it to the point they are interested in acting on it.
I have a similar challenge in my day job helping people understand how to use an Enterprise Social Network to be more effective, to spend a little bit of time now instead of a lot of time later. As an outsider to their process, it is obvious to me what they can do to improve. As a part of the system they are using, it is just as obvious to them that they don’t have time to change how they are doing things even if intellectually they understand the value in it.