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Education Does Not Guarantee Economic Achievement
Forbes ^ | 06/13/2010 | John Tamny

Posted on 06/14/2010 6:34:43 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

A chart in last Sunday's New York Post revealed that only 35% of Americans could name even one member of the U.S. Supreme Court, and only 1% could name all nine members. That night Baby Stewie on Fox's The Family Guy admonished viewers who in a mock poll failed to attribute a famous quote to Henry David Thoreau.

Though Family Guy is merely a silly, often crude cartoon, Stewie's point about the clueless nature of most Americans, and his view that this speaks to our decline relative to other nations is a popular one, particularly among the political elite. For the left, American density when it comes to scholarly knowledge is a call for more spending on schools, while the right regularly seeks vouchers and education tax credits (so much for tax simplification!) in order to fix "schools that don't teach."

Both sides of the political spectrum believe that American frailty in the classroom foretells our economic doom relative to other nations where students perform much better. Unless we improve our schools, we'll soon fall behind countries that we're "competing" with economically.

Of course, there is enormous value in knowing how to add and subtract and pen a coherent sentence, but the education argument as it pertains to our economic health is completely divorced from reality. To see why, we need only consider the educational exploits of some of our country's greatest business successes.

(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: achievement; billgates; diplomas; economy; education; jobs; prosperity
Here are some examples the author draws to buttress his case :

* Apple Computer ( AAPL - news - people ) billionaire Steve Jobs was an indifferent student at Reed College for a semester before dropping out.

* Larry Ellison left the University of Illinois after his second year and later founded Database giant -- ORACLE.

* Hollywood moguls Barry Diller and David Geffen dropped out of UCLA and the University of Texas, respectively.

* Microsoft's ( MSFT - news - people ) Bill Gates and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg never completed their studies at Harvard.

* In his new book Delivering Happiness, LinkExchange and Zappos.com (sold for $265 million and $1.2 billion, respectively) founder John Hsieh writes that during his time at Harvard he did as little schoolwork as possible. The logical response to the success of individuals listed here is that so high are they on the intelligence scale, traditional schooling likely wouldn't matter to them only.

1 posted on 06/14/2010 6:34:44 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

College—be it Stanford or South Carolina State—merely educates us about the past. If our professors really had a hotline to the future of commerce, it’s a fair bet they wouldn’t be toiling for a professor’s salary on campus.

Technology eminence Guy Kawasaki long ago noted in Forbes that M.B.A. degrees, at least at Silicon Valley firms, worked against applicants. Kawasaki’s assertion may have been a bit overdone, but at the same time, can those of us with M.B.A.s really say that our classes in entrepreneurialism, operations and finance really meant a whole lot to our future success?


2 posted on 06/14/2010 6:35:39 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

None of the Bloods went to college.

They are thriving criminals


3 posted on 06/14/2010 6:37:43 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . Ostracize Democrats. There can be no Democrat friends.)
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To: SeekAndFind

No but education creates huge government deficits and income redistribution. This is the new ‘right’ to a service we have by Democrats and many Republicans, which means another set of servants become our masters.


4 posted on 06/14/2010 6:41:18 AM PDT by sickoflibs ( "It's not the taxes, the redistribution is the federal spending=tax delayed")
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To: SeekAndFind

A few thoughts:

Education is important only to the degree that you use it. Some of us (myself) have chosen to get a higher education, both for the “foot in the door” benefits and personal satisfaction - but - you still have to distinguish yourself to benefit.

Furthermore, the education problems we have in the US is due to ingrained cultural blocks to getting an education, that it’s “not cool” to do well in school.


5 posted on 06/14/2010 6:42:01 AM PDT by RockinRight (I can see November from here!)
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To: bert

I think all of Obama’s cabinet members and friends ( e.g. Professor Bill Ayers ) have college degrees.

The Upper Management of Fannie and Freddie are college grads as well ( mostly from Ivy Leagues ).


6 posted on 06/14/2010 6:43:17 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

The author confuses education with “schooling”. Government k-12 schools are impediments to education, as are parts of most universities.


7 posted on 06/14/2010 6:43:59 AM PDT by achilles2000 (Shouting "fire" in a burning building is doing everyone a favor...whether they like it or not)
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To: RockinRight

Are you saying my “Women’s Studies” degree was a waste of time?


8 posted on 06/14/2010 6:48:15 AM PDT by Thurston_Howell_III (Ahoy polloi... where did you come from, a scotch ad?)
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To: Thurston_Howell_III

Back in the day “Women’s Studies” meant a tall stack of Playboys.


9 posted on 06/14/2010 6:48:53 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Thurston_Howell_III

“Insert your perpetually aggrieved group here” studies degrees do nothing but

garner the approval of your peers, who are also members of “insert your perpetually aggrieved group here”.


10 posted on 06/14/2010 6:50:39 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a (de)humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Personally, I never let my schooling interfere with my education.


11 posted on 06/14/2010 6:58:48 AM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: anniegetyourgun
Personally, I never let my schooling interfere with my education.

Hey, I like that. If this isn't alredy in a bumper sticker, I'd probably like to make one and put it behind my car.

This will be a better sticker than those lame stickers : "My son is an honor stuudent at (name your school here)" that I often see in front of me.
12 posted on 06/14/2010 7:00:42 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
Education Does Not Guarantee Economic Achievement

I would add, school attendance does not guarantee an education.

13 posted on 06/14/2010 7:07:11 AM PDT by Logophile
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To: SeekAndFind

on the democrat plantation

obamatuers are trained in “alienation” and “radicalized”

and dumbed-down like all folks inner city high screwls.

look at cindy mccain and barbara bush, both of whom have lofty edjukations.


14 posted on 06/14/2010 7:10:47 AM PDT by ken21 (i am not voting for a rino-progressive.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Not sure I can take credit for it...I think it may be a Will Rogers-ism.


15 posted on 06/14/2010 7:12:52 AM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: MrB

But without those classes how am I supposed to learn that I’m oppressed?


16 posted on 06/14/2010 7:30:36 AM PDT by Thurston_Howell_III (Ahoy polloi... where did you come from, a scotch ad?)
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To: Thurston_Howell_III

Well, now, that kinda gets into a catch-22 situation,
because why would you take a class in perpetually aggrieved studies unless you already know that you’re perpetually aggrieved?


17 posted on 06/14/2010 7:31:32 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a (de)humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: bert

Most have done time in the criminal university systems we call jails. You get classes such as: pimpin’ fo’ cash and economics of drug dealing, not to mention all the networking opportunities...and you get a well stocked law library.


18 posted on 06/14/2010 7:33:54 AM PDT by Thurston_Howell_III (Ahoy polloi... where did you come from, a scotch ad?)
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To: SeekAndFind

bump


19 posted on 06/14/2010 7:34:05 AM PDT by VOA
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To: anniegetyourgun

Who said this :

The more you study, the more you know.
The more you know, the more you forget.
The more you forget, the less you know.
So why study? ...


20 posted on 06/14/2010 7:38:12 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

from what I observe, the higher your level of education the more likely you are to be drawn into the halls of academia or some sniveling Federal Bureaucrat policy-wonk job, rather than doing anything productive.


21 posted on 06/14/2010 7:41:26 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: SeekAndFind

dunno


22 posted on 06/14/2010 7:48:29 AM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: SeekAndFind
I worked in housing development for many years and with two Harvard MBAs and a graduate of the Wharton School and was not impressed by their practical understanding of how business really works and saw them make some really poor business decisions. I subsequently met several true entrepreneurs, some educated at local colleges and universities others who lacked a college degree who knew more than all these MBAs combined and who had an enviable record of business success.
23 posted on 06/14/2010 8:13:45 AM PDT by The Great RJ (The Bill of Rights: Another bill members of Congress haven't read.)
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To: SeekAndFind

“NY passes students who get wrong answers on tests”

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/how_do_you_pass_ny_school_tests_tCqFKo40FhcwkO5SoPYWRI


24 posted on 06/14/2010 10:33:38 AM PDT by WOBBLY BOB (drain the swamp! ( then napalm it and pave it over ))
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To: All

A German high school grad is 4 YEARS ahead of his American counterpart in Math/science. His salary in the global marketplace is ~20k USD a year.

A Chinese high school grad is roughly comparable to his American counterpart in math/science. His salary in the global marketplace is ~8k USD a year.

Then we have the average American grad who thinks he is more productive than the German guy, looks down on the Chinese guy, and somehow believes that he “deserves” to be paid 30k a year.


25 posted on 06/24/2010 9:14:16 PM PDT by artaxerces
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