The problem with the debate over why our schools are failing is the whole premise of what constitutes education. In the past when education was more influenced by the local community of parents test scores and graduation rates were higher. So what happened? As discussed in recent weeks, the farther the curriculum was removed from the control of parents and local communities and given to states and the federal government the less effective education has become.
It seems that the debate always revolves around money $$$ and not methods and agenda of government education. For seventy years we have been putting more and more money into education at the federal, state and district levels. If money was the answer then our children would be the best educated children in the world. As we know, they are not. Watch any late night “man on the street” interviews and it is blatantly obvious we have generations who have not been taught history, economics and government.
What we have done is create a population of citizens who live by their feelings and emotions instead of citizens who are equipped to be self-governing. It is almost as if they never mature beyond the adolescent stage because they have not been taught how to think intellectually and use the common sense God gave them. I just read an article on basic economics and the writer used the term “planned ignorance” which confirmed my conclusions.
“Planned ignorance” is when children are denied knowledge of the basic principles upon which our nation and government were established – the laws of nature and natures’ God, biblical principles of economics, American and World history and our republican system of government. It is when truth is hidden and false ideas that have never worked are put forth as truth.
Planned ignorance creates citizens who will embrace socialism because they don’t understand what it really means, only that it sounds good. To Millennials, who have grown up in a culture where they all get trophies for just showing up at sporting events, it is a “fairer” system even though they don’t really know how it works.
Capitalism has not been properly defined if at all so they do not understand that it is characterized by private property ownership, private ownership of companies free to compete for their own economic good; and free market forces determining the prices of goods and services. To them Capitalism is bad because they don’t understand what it is.
In the same way they do not understand that Socialism is complete government control over businesses. But when they are questioned about free markets they are all for that. So basically what they dislike is actually crony capitalism (where the government determines winners and losers) but without the context of truth, understanding and knowledge of basic economics and history they “feel” Capitalism is bad.
What is being played out daily in this presidential election cycle is the end result of planned ignorance. When we don’t have a solid foundation of truth it is almost impossible to have discernment regarding political rhetoric coming from candidates. Emotions are running high at this juncture of history because of the damage that has been done by this administration. Fear is everywhere present at this time and for good reason.
Astute candidates are tapping into the issues that are causing this fear. Then they repeat phrases that promise an end to current problems and repeatedly call their opponents names instead of talking about solutions to the problems. Citizens who buy into what is being said react emotionally instead of rationally. Truth and facts become irrelevant because they might not make us feel good. We know so little about our Constitutional system that we don’t even recognize when a candidate says something that is way outside of what the president can constitutionally do.
Some people are happy living in ignorance thinking that what they don’t know won’t hurt them. What they really mean is if they don’t know, then nothing will be required of them. Citizenship requires that citizens be informed and that they respond out of a strong sense of duty to God, family and country.
We do not have the luxury of sitting back on our laurels because America has reached a tipping point. If we don’t recommit to becoming true Americans and educating our children on what it means to be American, there will be no real liberty left for them or their offspring. It is time that we rediscover our American identity and do all we can to keep it.
Dinner Table Discussion Question: What ways can we teach the basics of economics and history in our homes? Discuss what it means to be American. Is America a place or an idea?