@cjb: you might not have noticed that the title of the article was misleading.
The author didn't say that education was not the key to prosperity. Some
editor at the DN said that. Alyson acknowledged the importance of education in
creating a prosperous society, but pointed out that quality education relies on
a foundation of liberty. There goes that darned MSM distorting things again!
Saying liberty is key to prosperity not education is like saying, vitamin C is
key to health, not vitamin D.What kind of liberty contributes to
prosperity? In the United States it is much easier to choose what you want to
be in life than in most other countries. In many other countries, it is very
common that a person is walled off from being what they want to be because of
tests they didn't get high enough scores on during elementary, junior high
and in high school. Also in the Unites States it is relatively easy for a
student to change their major. All this adds up to the fact that if a person in
the United States wants to become an __________ they most likely can become
one. This meanswe have more people following their passions here in
the United States which means that we have more individuals contributing more,
which leads to more prosperity.
@Kent C. DeForrest:"Sort of like 'We've got to get
back to the Constitution!!!!!!!"Nothing wrong with getting back
to the Constitution. It's a great idea. Why do you suppose the Founding
Fathers drew it up? So it can be ignored? Of course, if you think the
Constitution is outdated, the Founders made a proviso to fix that as well...
called Amendment.It's also a great idea for our leader in the
White House to get back to obeying the laws of the land as written by Congress.
Those who don't follow federal law are deemed felonious. Obama decided some
federal laws don't need to be obeyed/enforced... such as the law governing
immigration, including aiding and abetting same (8 USC 1324).
@one old man:"Education is the FOUNDATION of freedom."You got that backwards. Freedom is the foundation of education.
Without freedom, education mostly goes wanting. Freedom means people are able
to peruse education."Where does freedom flourish in the world?
In nations where education is strong."No, no. Education
flourishes where, and mostly only where, there is freedom."Where
does freedom fail in the world? Let's see . . . Afghanistan, much of
Africa, much of the Middle East. All places where many people have no
education."Again, no, no. These countries fail becasue they are
controlled by dictatorial regimes who suppress freedom."Why do
some of our 'leaders' want to defund education?"I've seen no leader who wants to de-fund education. What they wanna do
is get parents to understand it's the parents' responsibility to
ensure their kids get educated. Kids who fail in their education pursuits are
generally the kids whose parents don't give a hoot about it."Think about that. Very carefully."I did. And my thoughts
are as above.
What is “the unprecedented tracking of our children and the concentration
of all educational doctrine into the hands of a few”? In general, it has
been state school boards that have required accountability (tracking). Most
conservatives have thought that accountability was a good thing. Also, I have
read in this newspaper articles where very conservative legislators have put
forward bills to require the teaching of this or of that. Is that the type of
concentration the author is worried about?Certainly liberty is
essential to progress. And an education saturated with propaganda (liberal or
conservative) does not serve any constituency well. But (as others have
pointed out) a populace lacking education is a ripe target for demagoguery. And
how can any product (education included) be any good without accountability?So is liberty good? Undeniably so. Is education necessary to sustain
liberty? Absolutely. Is accountability necessary? You bet. There is no
conflict here.If folks want accountability at the local level, vote
that way. If at the state level, vote that way. That is the way of liberty.
Ms. Williams,Thank you for your thoughtful article! I could not
agree more.We are surrounded by politicians on all hands who will
spare no expense and will spare no liberty in the vain effort to provide free
education for all. They will force individuals to get an education and they
will force their neighbors to pay for it.And then they'll try
to pull the wool over our eyes by declaring that liberty presupposes education
and therefore they are justified in violating freedom in order to ensure it with
free education. Wrong! A man is free regardless of whether he's attained
any education or not. He's able to take greater and wiser actions with
that freedom as he uses his liberty to gain more education. But freedom is
first!I congratulate you for seeing through the sheepskin and for
sharing your clear vision in print.
The sad part is the 98 guys who lost their jobs. Many of them were half way
through the course requirements for electrical engineering degrees.
To "Ultra Bob" the businessman that you describe typically self
destructs, and destroys himself. Look at Totally Awesome Computers. The
company was growing, and the owner did much of what you describe. What is the
condition of his enterprises now?Another example is Walmart. While
they have not folded, they have a bad reputation in many parts of the country
because of the greed of Sam Walton's kids.You are wrong about
the dependance on smart machines. The more smart machines a company uses, the
more educated people they need to service the machines. It is the uneducated
people that lose their jobs. Think of an assembly line. You replace 100 line
workers with 30 robots. You now need to hire an educated electrician to
maintain them, and a computer programmer to fine tune them to your exact needs.
If a person was an avid businessman bent on becoming rich without any regard for
others, and who’s definition of individual liberty was mainly the liberty
to commercialize everything, and who’s definition of prosperity was the
accumulation of wealth, his attitude might approach that of conservatives
regarding the nature of education. A Businessman would tend to
have little regard for education because it makes his customers more wary of his
promises and his workers theoretically thinking they should have higher wages.
The sad fact is that as business becomes more dependant on smart
machines there is less demand for educated workers or any workers at all.
While it takes some smart workers to make the smart machines, the need is for
only a few. If we are to ever have prosperity again for people, we
may have to change the rules of the game.
"To preserve and promote prosperity, 'we the people' must require
that any policy to improve education does not erode individual liberty."Hmm. So, we must "require" the increase of liberty. Sounds
rather authoritarian. Typical conservative mumbo-jumbo that sounds good on the
surface but doesn't make sense when considered more thoroughly. Sort of
like "We've got to get back to the Constitution!!!!!!!"
Oh, Lane and Hutterite, so you think maybe we need more liberty to do critical
thinking in our education instead of indoctrination? Such a novel idea. Any
ideas on how to accomplish that? Maybe liberty is pretty fundamental and
necessary for a quality education after all, huh?
Now, more than ever, we need critical thinkers coming out of our schools. People
who will take advantage of our freedoms. The last thing we need, however, is
'doctrine' in schools. No pseudo science, or wishy washy watered down
stuff. Teach people to think and let them do it. For themselves.
kathynActually, as I get older and read more and more about the
Founding Fathers, I realize that WE were taught the sanitized version of their
stories. That is not downgrading what they did, but humanizing the truth. I
prefer the truth to delusions of perfection. If these fallible individuals can
create such a wonderful constitution and country, we too can rise to a level
above the rest.
Actually, I think I understand why Alyson wrote this. Education and liberty go
hand-in-hand. There is a trend in education today to make everything
politically correct and to downgrade what our Founding Fathers did. I have
grandchildren in school and some of the things they are being taught amount to
social engineering and not to regular education. I worry that critical thinking
is being replaced by political correctness.
Good letter, Alyson. Detractors want to pretend you didn't emphasize the
importance of education, but you did. That being said, nothing is more
fundamental to a vital education system than liberty. The Soviet Union had a
good education system, but it was saturated with Soviet propaganda.
Nevertheless, they excelled in the sciences which are more difficult to
propagandize. People don't become involved in revolutions
because they can't get the education they want. They throw over
dictatorships because of the lack of liberty. To assert anything else is
ludicrous. Superior education can exist only in an environment of liberty.
Education is the FOUNDATION of freedom. Where does freedom flourish in the
world? In nations where education is strong. Educated people are capable of
resisting those who would deprive them of their freedom.Where does
freedom fail in the world? Let's see . . . Afghanistan, much of Africa,
much of the Middle East. All places where many people have no education.Where are people rebelling against oppressive leaders? Hint -- all are
in places where more and more of the population is becoming educated.Who are first people purged by those who wish to oppress their people? The
answer is simple. It's the teachers and other educated citizens.Why do some of our "leaders" want to defund education?Think about that. Very carefully.
Alyson,You were free to write this letter, but until you had the
skills taught to you, you truly were not able to do so.Education IS
a part of freedom, plain and simple.