Reading, Writing, Arithmetic … and Economics

January 25, 2013

There is no classroom subject more important to the quality of life in the United States than economics.  Yet many people earn doctoral degrees without taking a single course in the subject.

Likewise, the most important role of the President of the United States, other than defending the country, is to keep the economy in good health.  Yet the President is not required to take a single economics course or to have an understanding of how capitalism works.

Do members of Congress have an understanding of economics?  Forget about it!  Most are lawyers who see their job as passing laws.

Then there are voters, who can cast their votes without having a clue about how our economy functions.

If every voter had a basic understanding of economics, imagine the impact it would have on elections.  Americans might even take their personal finances more seriously.

Conversely, given the perspective that might be given by American teachers, maybe it’s a good thing that economics is not a requirement. 

How many members of the faculty of the typical high school or college have an understanding of capitalism?  When I attended college in the 1970s, most of my professors were avowed Marxists.  If any of them were capitalists, they kept it to themselves.

Would teachers unions allow the teaching of an economics course that teaches students how capitalism works?

Our children need to learn how capitalism works … but we can’t rely on our schools to teach them.


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