Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Different kind Of Wealth Redistribution

My how things in education have changed since this picture was taken. This school pictured here was located in Blackbird Delaware and dates from the early 1900's.

At that time schools were pretty simple,reading, writing, and arithmetic. There were no fancy computers, kids learned American history rather than "Social" studies, and there was no new math just plain old arithmetic.

And yet children from schools like this were better educated,in many instances, and better able to compose written essays and reports, than many collage graduates today.

But this article isn't about academics it's about socialism in the classroom. Perhaps socialism, or redistribution if you will, crept in when American history was thrown out, and social studies came in.

America was built upon a healthy respect for individual responsibility, as well as ,respect for personal and private property. And yet today in many public schools these principles are woefully absent.

When I went to school back in the sixties and seventies, children were given lists of supplies such as rulers,types of pencils, notebooks etc. appropriate for their grade level. Parents were advised on what quantities of these supplies would be necessary for the beginning of the school year.

Once Mom and the kids had their supplies. The kids took them to school and were expected to be responsible for stowing these supplies in their desks and keeping track of what was theirs.
In this manner children were taught a valuable lesson about personal property and responsibility.

Now there were some things that were brought and shared in common,such as big boxes of tissues. Each child would bring one big box for the class, and also had some of the little pocket packs in their desks.

But like I said my how things have changed. this week I went with my youngest to get him enrolled in school I was promptly handed a list of supplies that would be required for the beginning of the school year. And what an extensive list it was.

The header at the top of the page read "General Supplies".and requested: one pack of note book paper.
3 packs of pencils 20 per pack.
1 big eraser(latex free)or a box of pencil top erasers.
5 containers of Clorox or baby wipes.
1 pack of "skinny" glue sticks or double stick tape.
1 or more rolls of scotch tape.
1 pack of at least 12 colored pencils.
1-2 hand held pencil sharpeners.
1 roll of paper towels.
At the bottom of the list it said "These items will be collected in the gym on the first three days of school and divided between the core teachers".

There it was plain and simple"from each according to their ability to each according to their need". I know why they started doing things like this, it's so those students whose parents are poorer won't "feel bad" if they can't get as many or as nice supplies as a wealthier student.

In my day each kid had their own small list of stuff and had to take care of it. My parents didn't have as much money as the parents of some of my friends, and sometimes I had to get the cheaper items, or maybe my notebooks etc weren't as fancy,but kids like me did just fine.
We learned that if you wanted more or better things you had to improve yourself or work harder to get more money.

Today kids in situations like this learn that if one doesn't have as much as another to look to the authority at hand to collect from the whole and redistribute it to the individual. This results in an artificial sense of equality.

It's no wonder we find our selves in the mess we are as a nation. A whole lot of people have been trained to believe that inequalities in wealth can be solved by the government seizing from the haves to give to the have nots.
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