I few years ago I took a random IQ test and scored 126. I’m not sure how accurate it was as it classified me as an “entry-level” genius. While I’m not sure what the means, I feel smart but never too smart to grow and learn more. Watching the news on TV the other day, I had a vision of a countdown…126…125…124…I realized the news was stealing my IQ. I was actually getting stupider. My readers are smart, at least smart enough to read blogs about personal development and awesome achievement. The news depicts “average” society as moronic and self-defeating. The Occupy Movement of a few years ago was hyped as a social movement to change the future of banking in America. It was, however, simply a fest of dirty, unemployed hippies, bored and looking to score. No one is suggesting the Occupy People are a fair look at the “average” person. Average people have much more influence and are much more ignorant in areas that impact society in so many more ways.
Basic economics has disappeared from the knowledge base of our youth. The rising cost of college education in America is a direct result of ignorance and bad economic policy.
Face of the Tea Party Movement 16 (Photo credit: theqspeaks)
Many years ago, a small percentage of people were able to attend College. Partially due to intelligence and partially due to cost factors, many people were excluded. Colleges had small staffs of professors and manageable costs. Then, in the 1950’s, the government got into the student loan business. As more people were suddenly able to attend, the supply related to the demand sharply declined. What happened next? School started getting more expensive. The response over the years from the electorate and elected officials has been to raise student loans. Since 2/3 of all students attending have loans, the government is a major player in the college industry. Raising the student loan amounts, thus raising the demand, does not raise the supply. Schools can simply pocket more money and raise the cost of attendance. This is something we may certainly see with Obama Care.
As the government becomes growingly influential in the “free market”, it essentially becomes “the market”. Government throwing more and more money at an industry does little more than increase the cost.
Take for example my recent day care shopping. If I call the local daycare provider as Mr. Normal suburban dad looking for daycare, I’m going to be charged a price the provider thinks is profitable, yet possible. If I call as Mr. Government, with a trillion-dollar budget, the provider is going to charge me a price that is profitable, yet not possible for anyone without a trillion-dollar budget. Those numbers are vastly different based on Mr. Normal verses Mr. Government. The government should not be in the business of dramatically dictating market prices; that was never the intention of the founding fathers and it’s a dangerous road to venture.
This post is not an article against student loans or any government involvement at all (although we can discuss my libertarian leanings another time), it’s more about the need to develop a better understanding of economics and influence within society. 1 + 1 equals 2 whether you are black, white, asian, gay, straight, Martian, Canadian, or even a gay handicap Martian who is 2/3 American Eskimo and a descendent of slaves born of gay parents. We can decide to redistribute money for a greater good and to help people who need it for various reasons. As a society, we cannot accept being duped into thinking there’s only a nominal cost when that simply isn’t true.
As your influence grows, you are responsible to educating those within your sphere of influence. Ignorance within an organization as well as society as a whole is dangerous. If you don’t understand the basic math of economics and are unwilling to learn, most likely you won’t gain much more influence than your one vote. Seek understanding. Speak with confidence, determination, and a real understand of your influence and the influence of the big players.
2. Basic Economics: Tomas Sowell
There’s a ton more to read, listen to, and absorb. Be intentional about the world around you and have a desire to understand.