It seems to me, our children’s education is the most important factor in sustaining our civilization as a highly efficient, prosperous, healthy and free society, with a growing standard of living. We all agree that these are the attributes of the civilization we want to live in and want for our children. The only way to have and to maintain such a place is by keeping people moral, hard working and informed. Ignorant people can be easily tricked into giving up their liberty, immoral people will rot their culture from within, and lazy people will let society crumble for lack of the energy to speak up. This suggests that education has more facets than merely reading, writing and arithmetic, a truly educated person is self interested rightly understood. Sadly we have ignored this monumental responsibility and allowed our schools to become absurd caricatures of what they are supposed to be. The proof is in the results.
Youths who graduate College and high school have no work ethic. Ask any employer and they will tell you it is much easier to get a foreigner to work than an American kid. Something in our culture and education must have ruined our children’s work ethic. Our parents had a very good work ethic, which shows the destruction of the American work ethic is recent, and throughout US history there has been a strong Protestant work ethic, showing the problem is not native to the American culture. That is the dirty little secret of why the Chamber of commerce wants immigration at all costs – to get some hard workers.
Any and every market system requires a measure of trustworthiness in the people that engage in it. This is not taught in our schools but is perhaps the most critical factor in a functioning market system. Moral people are easier to do business with, so it can be said that virtue facilitates economics, since education is to allow people to engage in the market system, part of a well rounded education has to include ethics. It can be said, the more moral a people are the better their economy will do, and it also follows, the more prosperity there will be. That should be pretty obvious. With every generation people become less trustworthy which is proven by the need for lawyers in every human interaction possible.
Logic is something that is critically absent in our culture today. The whole foundation of the Enlightenment, is the eschewing of authority for logical argument, but today logical argument has given way to emotional rhetoric and calls to authority, more than ever! Everyone who graduates high school should have at least an understanding of logical thinking. Teaching how to think is inculcating logic; teaching what to think is indoctrination.
A society’s likely prosperity could be measured by the percentage of people who are moral, knowledgeable and hard working, against those who are lazy, vile and ignorant. I would also argue the longevity of that civilization, level of crime and violence, as well as the basic well being of a society… could be similarly measured. Therefore, it is in all of our best interests to insure young people get a good education, so they become well rounded, moral, hard working and learned citizens.
To be self interested, rightly understood, is to understand that one’s own interests are tangled up in the interests of the State, their employer, their employer’s customers, the grocer, the street sweeper etc… The interests of all of us are entangled in such a way, that a bad done to someone we don’t even know could do harm to our way of life, and so it is in our interests to protect other people’s interests. Part of being educated is teaching children to become self interested rightly understood, ie, moral, hard working and well read as well as wise.
Education is more than being able to count, read and put down a comprehensible sentence, it is to grow a child into a moral, hard working and knowledgeable adult, who can engage in the market system and bring value to any endeavor they set themselves to. The advancement of humanity would be much faster and scientific progress would proceed quicker if our schools were turning out well educated students. Sadly, the quality of the education in the State monopoly school system is dropping even faster than the cost is rising.