"Creating People On Whom Nothing is Lost" - A high school English teacher in Colorado offers insight and perspective on education, parenting, politics, pop culture, and contemporary American life.
Disclaimer - The views expressed on this site are my own and do not represent the views of my employer.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Are College Students Brainwashed Liberals?
In the clip below, a college professor offers his accounts of what is wrong with America.
Well, I'd say this.
Young people and college students are always more liberal. It'll soften as they become employees and taxpayers.
Ultimately, it's not necessarily wrong for them to believe in publicly funded education, tuition, retirement insurance, and health care. In fact, public education, social security, and medicare are not only incredibly popular, but an integral component of first world society. No industrialized nation lacks these ... and America has the least extravagant of all.
If young people believe in these causes, that's fine. It's a free country and they have a right to vote for what they want. They just have to be willing to support them in taxes. That's been America's problem for a hundred years. We want the programs and strong govt - we just refuse to fund it. It's basic math. Social security, medicare, and higher ed are the key examples. People need to understand. Remember "Keep your govt hands off my Medicare"?
Of course, this prof is a bit jaded and equally biased. He puts the blame on public schools and claims the kids have never heard of Thomas Malthus, Adam Smith, and Frederick Hayak. Well, those are only one economic theory. Did he ask the kids about John Keynes or Robert Samuelson or Joseph Stiglitz? No. And guess what? The kids haven't heard of Keynes or Marx or Hobbes or Locke or Mao either. It's not that they only get biased liberal economic theory. They get no economic theory. It's not in most state standards. And who knows if it should be.
Do you recall knowing about Hayak and Malthus in high school? Did you discuss Hobbesian theory or utilitarianism? Guess what. My kids are learning about Malthus and Smith right now. But it's satirical criticism of their theories as seen in Dickens' Hard Times. At the same time I asked my kids about Marx and Hegel the other day, and they hadn't heard of them. They had no knowledge of socialist or classical liberal thinkers.
And, of course, I don't necessarily blame kids for their views on tuition and health care ... or even down payments. Think about what they've been experiencing as they come of age. Many probably have real life experience struggling with private health care. And tuition. Geez. The average college grad now begins life with $26000 in debt. $26K! Can you imagine coming out at 22 with that on your shoulders. And then needing 20% for down payments. And skyrocketing health care? Or no health care?
It's a different world out there. And it's pretty scary times for young people. I don't blame them for a lot of this. And it's not unusual for young people to have more faith in the government. They still have that sincere belief that the govt is supposed to be the guy in the white hat when they are struggling.