Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Educate Yourself...Seriously!

So, I've been reading and writing for the past month now, and I am beginning to see now why it is that we have such a divide in America today: people choose not to properly educate themselves. I am in no way saying that people are idiotic or naive, but I am saying that people are putting a lot more stake in what they hear as opposed to actually doing research and finding out the facts for themselves. I see a lot of arguments made in support of further taxing the wealthy, feeding more "stimulus" money into the economy, and even just bashing political parties just because of what they support or believe in. We do this because we are influenced by word of mouth and the media. We are content because - after all - why would these sources lie to us?

Michele Bachmann has expressed the desire to close down the Department of Education. It is easy for people to argue against that idea because of the benefits that people are told are provided to their children. I remember having a discussion with my brother. My brother told me that college was nothing like what he expected going in and he was in no way prepared for how challenging it would actually be. The reality is that he was not properly educated and not given the necessary tools to succeed in college. He was educated in a public school. So was I. I made an attempt at college, and failed quite miserably. I am not blaming public education completely; it also had to do with a lack of motivation on my part. The problem is that I did not go to a 4 year institution. I went to a community college, which was supposedly going to prepare me for a 4 year institution. I was not prepared for a 4 year college. Such is the case for hundreds of thousands of high school graduates each year who receive a public education.

My brother went on to tell me that a student in the public sector only receives half the investment toward their education that their privately educated counterparts receive. My brother believes that students in the public sector are being deprived of their due education. He also says that the teachers actually make matters even worse, doing the absolute minimum when fulfilling their curriculum requirements.

I agree with him on all accounts. It is not fair that a child/adolescent/young adult pursuing an education in the public sector is not exposed to the same education as one would receive in the private sector. It is as though the public sector is preparing our children for blue collar jobs and lower level management, while the private sector prepares children for upper level corporate positions and company CEO's. This is not to say that all kids educated in the public sector do not ultimately succeed, but it is plainly obvious that the vast majority do not make it past the first year or two of post secondary education.

Proponents of the DOE would profess that disbanding such an organization would prove to be detrimental to our youth: taking away their privilege to a proper education and therefore further reducing their chances of success in life. The reality is that the DOE is merely a federally run institution charged with the oversight of smaller state run components which serve the exact same purpose. Simply put, we are putting billions upon billions of dollars per year into an organization which serves no real purpose. If there is any change in education, it has been for the worst. For starters, there has been little - if any - improvement in standardized test scores between prior and post-DOE establishment. Additionally, they are responsible for statistics that can easily be acquired at the state level. By nationalizing the education system, you eliminate competition. Competition was what made this country great at one point. Seeing how other states performed was enough incentive for other states to improve their methods of educating the youth. The DOE has clearly done more harm than good.

No Child Left Behind is a complete farce because there are plenty of children who are indeed left behind. Children are being pushed through school despite not meeting or barely meeting established standards only to realize the brutal reality upon graduating from high school: they are nowhere near prepared to take on a college education. If nothing else, the DOE has proven two things: 1) Teachers in the public sector do not adequately prepare their students to pursue their secondary/post-secondary education; and 2) Public students are far less likely to succeed in pursuing their post-secondary education than their private sector counterparts. The DOE is a failed system that is in place simply because the name looks appealing...that has to be the reason because the results are a far cry from appealing.

Another area that folks choose to ignore is the spending rampage the government has been on over the last 10 years. I am not going to go into a history lesson, but going back to 2001 we have been on an absolute tear spending money that we basically don't have...and there are many who advocate spending more! Are you kidding me?! All I have heard in the news is "fiscal responsibility" this and "balanced budget" that. Out of nowhere, President Obama presents a brief glimpse of his new "stimulus" plan to create more jobs and reduce the unemployment rate in America. So, let me get this straight. It wasn't enough that President G.W. Bush used the TARP fund worth $700 Billion to bail out the bank and mortgage industries, and you also pushed through a $775 billion "stimulus" to serve the purpose of improving infrastructure, stimulate spending and create more jobs; now you want to push another bill worth a reported $300-$400 billion to stimulate job growth (which, by the way, was supposed to be accomplished by your previous "stimulus" package). Are Americans not quite realizing the trend here? In the past four years alone - including universal health care and the aforementioned bills and bailouts alone - we have accrued a debt of almost 3 trillion dollars; that's not even including the potential passage of this alleged job creator. If you were to divide that debt on to every living American today, that means that we are each on the hook for $30,000 a piece; considering that we are actually on the hook for over $14 trillion, I would gladly take the $30,000 any day.

Sadly, not very many people who favor the astronomical spending are really looking at the disastrous long term effects that are being created since they are getting what they want today. They don't care that the rich will get taxed more because they feel that the rich don't deserve their hard earned money (while I know it disgusts many of you to see or even think of rich people flying around on "corporate jets", and children inheriting mommy and daddy's fortune, realize that the vast majority of millionaires created their wealth from nothing but a small idea or investment...they were just like every other average Joe, but they had a vision that they chose to pursue with dogged determination: achieving the ultimate success as a result. Do people think of the fact that, if you take away the corporate jets from their owners, you're taking away the business from the jet manufacturers: resulting in more jobs potentially being lost from a decrease in the companies' revenues?). We went from being a country which prided itself in success by way of virtue and frugality, to now being a country engulfed by greed and entitlements. People who became rich were praised for doing so because of the work they did to get there; now, they are penalized for their success because a higher human power decided to supersede the real Higher Power to determine they did not legitimately deserve their fruits of labor.

So many of us choose to see the system as black and white. The problem is that there is soooo much more in between that folks choose to overlook: the reality which is gradually putting America's economic situation in serious jeopardy. We choose to turn a blind eye to reality because we feel safe in our little bubble, but how much longer will it be before that bubble shrinks and eventually dissolves? It is better to get a grasp on reality today than to wait until we realize what was once preventable has suddenly become inevitable. Yes, ignorance is truly blissful and the truth definitely hurts; however, knowing the truth also presents the opportunity to create a less painful outcome or to create a solution to avoid a painful outcome altogether, whereas ignorance leads to the painful realization that such a problem could have been avoided in the first place.

We are programmed to accept what is; it is up to us to educate ourselves so that we may eventually overcome what is and realize that which could be.

No comments:

Post a Comment