Wednesday, July 28, 2021

The education establishment self-destructs

As Mark Twain put it, "First God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards."

Until a few months ago, most people admired public school teachers. Not anymore. Teachers have declared war on students and their parents.

What teachers have done is part of a bigger picture, and it's not pretty. They have chosen to join professional sports, the media, higher education, and big corporations in a woke crusade against their own country and its traditions. Ironically, they have done as much damage to themselves as they have to the country.

In his Wealth of Nations (1776), Adam Smith wrote, "The greatest improvement in the productive powers of labor, and the greater part of the skill, dexterity, and judgement with which it is anywhere directed, or applied, seem to have been the effects of division of labor."

In other words: Stick to your knitting! Instead, teachers, school boards, journalists, actors, athletes, and CEOs have all decided it's their job to instruct the rest of us on how to remake our economy and culture.

Again, to quote Adam Smith, "[c]onsumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to, only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the customer."

Public school teachers, however, work not for their customers — i.e. students and parents — but for school boards, the government, politicians, and their unions.

In his 1962 book Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman wrote:

If one were to seek deliberately to devise a system of recruiting and paying teachers to repel the imaginative and daring and self-confident and to attract the dull and uninspiring, he could hardly do better than to imitate the system of requiring teaching certificates and enforcing standard salary structures that has developed in the larger city and state-wide systems.

Needing only a push from us, public education is a rotting tree ready to topple.

The traditional definition of socialism is "government ownership and operation of the means of production." Public schools are owned and operated by the government. Our public school system fits that definition of socialism. Socialism always fails, and public schools fail for the same reasons.

Society has no greater duty than educating each new generation. Leaving it in the hands of government is a horrible mistake.

Public school teachers did not deserve the respect we gave them. It was possible only because of a lack of transparency. One positive result of teachers destroying the respect they had is that it's exposed who they've been all along. Their recent behavior has, at last, made the gravity of the situation crystal-clear and given us the resolve to do something about it.

The education establishment self-destructs July 28, 2021

Ron Ross Ph.D. is a former economics professor and author of The Unbeatable Market. Ron resides in Arcata, California and is a founder of Premier Financial Group, a wealth management firm located in Eureka, California. He is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma and can be reached at

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