Gary North of Lew Rockwell: An Excerpt - Some Problems With School

Dear Everyone;

Gary North strikes again. The following is an excerpt from todays Lew Rockwell. The whole column is about: How To Make More Money by Understanding Time is Money. If you are a business entrperenuer you'll appreciate what he has to say about the successful business person. If you are associated with public schools you're gonna wince.

Ron Getty
SF Libertarian


Teachers are paid salaries. The educational certification process screens out entrepreneurs. Yes, there are super teachers who are masters. But the inherently bureaucratic nature of formal education does not reward these people. They may be great teachers, but they are not allowed to multiply themselves. They are oddities.

John Taylor Gatto was such a teacher. He won Teacher of the Year for New York City three times. He won it once for the state. Then, after decades of career success, he quit. He realized that he had wasted his time. The educational system is structured to grind down teachers and students alike. He decided that students would do better in business situations or other non-bureaucratic productive environments. He has a website devoted to alternative education. Read his free, on-line book, The Underground History of American Education.

Teachers do what they are paid to do: baby-sit and give exams. They multiply themselves. But the system militates against the development of skills leading to consumer satisfaction. The free market principle of consumer sovereignty gains little respect from employees who are paid by taxes and promoted in terms of formal criteria that have nothing to do with increased output.

Teachers push for smaller classes. When I went to school, classes of 35 were common. Today, classes of 25 are considered large. Teachers are bureaucrats. They are taking their pay in terms of less work, not more money.

The best high school teacher I ever had once made a proposal to the principal. He volunteered to teach every class in senior problems (civics/family) if the school would pay for a part-time assistant to read exams. He would have had to run classes of 60 students or more. He was a master lecturer. He could easily have done this, even with disciplinary problem students. He asked that his salary be doubled. The school turned him down. It would have saved the district money, but it would have established a precedent. He could not have been replaced when he retired. The principal wanted institutional continuity. He could not personally pocket the money that the teacher would have saved the school. Why change?

Time spent in school is money down the drain for creative students. It is compounding time lost forever. Schools teach to the best and the brightest a set of skills that are suitable for leisure-seeking wage-earners. Schools do not teach business skills. This is especially true of graduate schools of business, which are staffed by Ph.D.-holding writers of unreadable term papers, which are called scholarly journal articles.

The educational system screens in terms of bureaucracy: taking exams. This is why most of the investment in formal education is wasted on people who have business skills.

There is a man in my church who owns and operates motels. Back in the 1980s, he was in college, earning a degree in physical education. He was also making $60,000 a year in the motel business. His coach told him to quit school. "You�re making more money than I am. Why do you want to teach junior high school boys, whose parents will be on your back to give their kid more playing time?" He wisely dropped out of college.