"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

An Economics Professor, the Tooth Fairy and the Little Red Hen

The following is a revealing video clip on Valencia College students' views on "what the American Dream means to them" in an economics class.  These views are a compilation from 180 sophomores in three different classes under Professor Jack Chambless.  The professor had them expand their description of the "American Dream" and they wrote what they wanted the Federal Government to do to help them achieve their dream.  Chambless has made this a yearly assignment and he reported on the results from this year's economic classes.

Ten percent (10%) of the students wrote they wanted the Federal Government to leave them alone, not tax them too much and not saddle them with too many regulations.   Eighty percent (80%) of the students listed what they wanted the Federal Government to provide them so they could achieve the American Dream:

  • Free tuition and health care
  • Jobs
  • Money for a House
  • Money for Retirement
  • Money for Me (after taxing rich people)
Here is one interesting comment from a student that may perfectly sum up the definition of a nanny state replete with entitlement programs and federal regulations:

"As human beings, we are not really responsible for our own acts, and so we need government to control those who don't care about others." 

Wow.  Reread that quote.  Is it the function of government to control its citizenry, or at least those citizens who "don't care about others"?  Could it be these students know little about economics and even less about the Constitution and the function of government?

It is a fascinating video providing a view into the minds of the entitlement generation.  My advice to these students about economics?  Reread the childhood story The Little Red Hen.  Why should the little red hen be responsible for all the other animals who could help but were too lazy to do so...but then those same animals wanted to reap all the rewards?  

Shouldn't this be one of the first economic lessons children learn?   Do schools even allow the reading of The Little Red Hen or has it been banned because of its message of self-sufficiency and hard work?  Has the Little Red Hen been marginalized because some believe she is uncaring and won't share?    

Professor Chambless believes some of these students think there is a Tooth Fairy in Washington DC to provide them goodies and treats.   Watch the video, hear what the professor thinks is at the root of this entitlement mentality, his lesson on pickpocketing and how the American government is practicing this sleight of hand.

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