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Education in America

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NY Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman published an article today titled The Uneducated American which discusses the disappointing and deteriorating level of education in the United States.

I’d advise people to read the article for themselves as it touches on the huge issue of weak state and local government budgets which will likely hurt public education nationwide.

But what bothers me about this article and much of the recent campaigning from the Obama administration about stressing education is that they all seem to tiptoe around the huge issues.

Issue #1: Advanced education has indebted the public to levels which make it unrealistic for low-middle class families to afford college education for their children, thus creating a never-ending generational cycle of debt.

Issue #2: How can a government and economy completely dependent on the ignorance of its own people stress the value of a REAL education? Entirely too much of the material taught in public school systems and institutions is based upon the philosophies and theories of those in control instead of teaching a wider spectrum of theory. In some cases students are given books which twist the truth of historical events so much as to alter our “reality” and perceptions of right and wrong.

The typical high school graduate, for example, has no idea about the devastating effects on the U.S. during FDR’s presidency, the warnings against central banking from America’s founding fathers, the governing structure of the Federal Reserve, the true causes of the American Revolution, Lincoln’s disinterest in abolition of slavery, and many other very important events that shaped the country we live in. Based on my experiences, not many college graduates even have a grasp on much of the above list despite the various economics classes taught. I’m no history expert either, so I’m not completely immune to the above analysis.

Issue #2b: The privatization of education and the exploitation of media. For the purposes of this exercise, let’s remove the actual names of the leading colleges, universities, television networks, and newspapers. Look at the founders, executives, board members, and financiers of these operations and suddenly we’re looking at the same short list of families and inner circles from the banking and monopolized industrial companies of the 1900’s. Most of the names have changed as time has passed, but the founding principles remain the same. In other words, we only hear what a concentrated group of elitists want us to hear.

I’m all for capitalism and believe in diversification across industries and the building of generational wealth, but not when it results in the consolidation of control over a large population and the eventual destruction of human freedom. Before we blame the usual suspects for the problems in education though, why not look within?

Why do so many people today feel the need for third-party confirmation of intelligence? Why do so many people today run up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to pay for an education in a field that they never actually work in?

The answer, in my opinion, is that the American public has lost their sense of intellectual freedom. We refuse to educate ourselves about the fundamentals before seeking the advanced teachings of an expert. We refuse to believe in any individual theoretical or philosophical elements without simultaneously believing in the entirety of its creator’s theory or philosophy. We refuse to speak openly about controversial issues for fear of political correctness. We refuse to challenge the concepts taught in our education system. We refuse to stand up and take control of our own success as a country, but instead simply vote for the most charismatic lobbyist to think and act for us.

With all of the above, how does anyone expect education in America to be thriving? Perhaps this is why there is such a huge disconnect in American sentiment between us and the rest of the world. I don’t have the answer and I doubt anyone does, but hopefully the Internet and future technological advances help to further intellectual freedoms instead of stifle them as certain interested parties would like to see.

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Written by Myron

10/09/2009 at 12:26 PM

Posted in Off-Topic

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