It seems to me, as education goes in a nation, so does that nation. If children are given an excellent education in a wealthy country, the likelihood of economic advancement becomes far more likely, while at the same time a poor education in a wealthy country, will grind that nation into poverty. The same holds true in a poor country, good education leads to better outcomes and poor education leads to poor outcomes. Taken in the aggregate, the more good outcomes for the individual, the better the national outcome. Children need to be able to read, write, do math, know history as well as understand economics. In most nations today, if not all, economic education is absent, and history is a means to vilify people rather than enlighten. Education is an investment in the future wealth of a nation.
Like any investment there are good investments and bad. One can invest in fake oil futures and loose her shirt, or invest in heavy manufacturing, and make money. Education is like that. Invest in bad education and the future wealth of that nation is destroyed, invest in good education and the future is so bright kids have to wear shades. We as a society have embraced the idea that education is an important investment, we spend huge amounts of money on it, yet we see the abilities of our kids diminish. To sharpen the point a bit more, if someone invests a thousand dollars in a scam, they will loose all the money, if they invest a billion dollars in that same scam, they will still loose the money. The amount of money invested does not effect the quality of the investment.
The quality of an investment is only dependent on the quality of the investment itself. There have been times in the US where education was not expensive at all yet the quality of education was excellent. Today we spend exponentially more and have outcomes that wouldn’t have been tolerated even a few generations ago. The quality of education has gone down while the cost has risen. Clearly we are investing in an education system that is under performing. Those who make money from the present system, shockingly, claim the answer is to spend more money on it, (them), citing the fallacy that more money improves the quality of an investment, which is patently untrue. The reality is we need to improve the quality of the investment, education, rather than spend more money.
Education over the last century has gone from the purview of local government, to national government, taking the decisions farther and farther from the people, putting them in the hands of unaccountable administrators, who make gobs of money regardless of the outcome of students. Obviously that is a recipe for disaster. Whenever people are unaccountable for the outcome of their actions, it is in human nature to become arrogant and have poor performance. Today we have education standard that are set by bureaucrats at the highest reaches of government, local schools must follow else loose access to the heaps of money the government takes from us to enforce their objectives. Good education is not one of them, political education apparently is.
Students should be taught economics and everyone graduation high school should have a basic understanding of a market system, money theory, the interaction of interest rates and inflation, and have a grasp on the various competing theories of economics, Keynesian, Marxist, Austrian school and Schumpeter’s boom bust theory as well. Such education would allow kids to understand the macro economic theme of various elections and the underlying economic theories of the various actors. Sadly, that is not the case today, in fact economics is not taught in high school at all, even home economics has been abandoned for political indoctrination. Children are being taught what to think rather than how to reason.
History should be taught in an over arching theme of humanity advancing in science, philosophy and culture, never in a political context. Industrial arts must be returned to our schools, for those children who have a talent for working with their hands, especially since it gives kids the ability to create what they dream. Basic philosophy, logic, epistemology, ethics and semantics should be covered in a good education system. These are some of the important courses that have been ignored so that other less important course can be taught, like how to put a condom on a cucumber, how to use Google, why homosexuality is good, atheism, etc… Our children are nothing more than lab rats to the hubris and egos of the education dictators. The results are children graduating school, unable to engage in the market system, angry at the history of their nations, incapable of controlling themselves, needing safe spaces so they don’t have to hear unpleasant truths, and cannot make change without a cash register doing it for them.
The government monopoly school system has shown itself to be an abject failure, in every way by every measure, more spending will not change that. That failure portends our children’s economic standard of living to be a failure as well. We need to get away from traditional school funding and bring in a voucher system, where parents can choose the education they want for their children, and allows use of the money government takes from them to do it. Let the free market improve the quality of education, rather than throw more money at a failed system, to maintain it’s failure, and our children’s mediocrity. Those education tzars who run the show today scream like scalded cats at the thought, adding their voices to the political elite, who benefit from a poorly educated people, to insure a voucher system never be tried. They argue… “a voucher system would destroy the public school system,” which if one thinks about it, is grounds enough to do it, if only people had sufficient education to reason it through.