I've come to the conclusion that our education system absolutely sucks!
It's not on that it sucks because kids are below the global averages in reading, writing, science and other such subjects, but it's because today's educational system doesn't prepare you whatsoever on how to be an American. And to be an American means to be a Capitalist.
What good is all that math, science, history, writing & reading, if you don't know how to monetize it? How can you take what you learned in the years of grade school and make a living out of it? You can't. That's something they definitely don't teach in High School is how to be a good capitalist, how to be an entrepreneur, how to be an industry force to net you the American Dream.
In days long gone (mainly after WWII), it was possible for someone to have anything from a mediocre job digging ditches or assembling things on an assembly line to working in a bank or in an office to get a home, a car, appliances, support a family of 4 or more, and be able to retire and enjoy one's “Golden Years”. That was the late 40's to around the 1960's.
That has all changed. Companies are outsourcing to foreign countries for cheap labor or are replacing humans with robotic machines. Recessions bring massive layoffs and, when the economy “recovers”, the jobs have been replaced leaving those that lost their jobs to find another career – to start over from scratch. There's no company loyalty and no employee loyalty for that matter. Benefits are cut or reduced, promised pensions are cut or eliminated, costs go up and wages stay stagnant – not able to keep up with an ever changing economic landscape. Housing is beyond the affordability of most Americans, and you can't even purchase a car without being stuck with a major bank loan.
Working for someone will net you nothing! The moment the economy goes bad, you lose pay, lose benefits, lose your retirement dreams or (worse yet), you lose your job and have to fight with millions of other people for only a couple thousand jobs that pay below what you need to live on. It's pathetic!
So what needs to be done is, our educational system needs to change the curriculum. What needs to be taught to America's youth is American Capitalism: Market trading, business management and marketing, and finance. Every High School graduate should come out with knowing how to buy and sell on the stock market, run a business, and manage money. What good is all the math you learn if you can't balance a business ledger or figure out how much money it will cost you to borrow $150,000 at 6.2% interest over a five-year period? Most kids don't know the difference between “gross” and “net” income until they take that first summer job. They don't even know how taxes impact their lives whatsoever or how laws affect their ability to make money.
And Republicans wonder why so many people want to keep government-funded social programs (the proverbial “Entitlement Programs”). It's because most Americans don't truly understand how to be capitalist. It's been drummed into our heads that we're “free” and a “democracy” and that we have “liberty and justice for all”, but what our society truly is, is capitalist.
All that so-called “freedom”, “democracy”, “liberty” and “justice” is only given to those that have money and power. The less money you have, the less power and therefore less freedom. “Democracy” is only for those that have the financing to influence policy in their favor. “Liberty and justice” is a luxury for the rich. Most of the people that are in prisons around the United States are poor to middle-class people – very few come from wealth, and most of those are ones locked-up because they had achieved said wealth through illegal means. Rich people usually avoid jail because they can afford the fancy lawyers to work much harder in their favor than some snot-nosed, rookie fresh out of a low-end law college that works as a court appointed attorney who either won't or can't do squat to help you.
So the way to avoid the pitfalls of America is to rise high enough above them that even when you fail, you're still way ahead of the game – such as becoming independently wealthy. Wealthy enough that you have “liquidatable assets” to get you money to survive on for when things go bad, and keep you floating until things get good again. It is this ability to prosper or be able to weather any social/financial storms that come along is what makes a good American capitalist. Something that the average American is never taught.
Perhaps it's because those at the top want to keep their “Billionaire Club” as a limited membership. If everyone were rich, then nobody would be rich.
Well, if that's the case, then why do they bitch so much when people want Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, Welfare, Unemployment Insurance, Public Healthcare, etc., etc.? Working for the top 1% doesn't give you the opportunities in this country as a successful entrepreneurial enterprise. Working for yourself is the only way to go, but unless you know what you're doing it'll be doomed to fail.
Therefore, I reiterate that Americans need to be educated on how to be true Americans – we need to learn how to be capitalists!!