I didn’t watch the entire DNC convention day 1. I have little interest in it and find it painful to watch because of the lack of the golden thread of logic running through their cause to the effect. They rely heavily on superficial appearances which I find to be quite disingenuous even if they truly believe what they are saying.
Mayor Castro discusses the need for investments in education for prosperity tomorrow, but he doesn’t talk about the “what” that education is supposed to deliver to America’s children. It seems to me that it should be a give and take kind of situation that requires the consideration that we need more for our money than just learning how to read. He doesn’t talk about how we have been dumping ever more money into education for decades, spending more on it than any other developed nation on earth with declining success and returns. Simply throwing more money at it as we have isn’t going to change the calculus of results.
In addition, I don’t believe that the discussion of education is an appropriate thing to pair with a sort of populist message of bolstering the middle class. Consider for a moment the cultural aspect of our education and what kind of education would be required to raise a culture of entrepreneurialism and aspirations of reaching the stars. The majority of very successful people, after all, have a different set of behaviors than everyone else, and I wonder if we are teaching our children to emulate those behaviors, or if we teaching them to simply take what is there and not strive for something better that they can make of themselves while also creating more opportunities for others.
Here is where I find some considerable incoherence in their message that successful people are the takers instead of the makers, conditioning people to settle for less than they might otherwise have or be, and that they can be successful in this rich land of opportunity at the same time. It just doesn’t follow that an entire society can be run like that with any longevity – and it can only make sense from the point of view of a life-long bureaucrat or sleazy politicians who care only about convincing people to vote for them.
On a philosophical note, I don’t have so much of a problem with providing some kind of leg up, if we are considering the legs up in a vacuum. But if the plan is to just keep funneling money into an archaic education system that teaches dependence rather than independence, celebrates mediocrity, and that was never intended to do anything other than educate “workers”, then we are not ever going to prosper as is being promised. These people that are being fed this line by the shovel full are being sold way short of their own individual potential and it is a dramatic waste of human capital to the point of being immoral.
There is so much else to pick apart in this exercise in superficial appearances; I could spend a lifetime disassembling it. But I’m not going to do that here. Everyone has a responsibility for themselves, which includes educating themselves as I have largely done on my own. Nothing I ever did that made me “successful” in any degree had anything to do with what I was taught in public schools, except for the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. Perhaps that is really all that should be expected of public education with no other guarantee attached. Everything else should be community based with encouragement toward apprenticeship from a young age so that successful people can teach others the required aspects of personal success. Government has no clue.