Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Money for Dummies

Writing in the Daily Beast, college sophomore Zac Bissonnette claims, ''The failure of the schools to teach kids about money has done more to perpetuate the status quo than any lobbyist in Washington could ever dream of.'' Uh-oh. He thinks that High Schools should offer, ''home economics class with a focus on finance and budgeting''. What could such a class teach? ''Resisting temptation would be a good start. From the time they turn eighteen, students are bombarded with credit card offers.'' He also suggests that the class teach how to save for the future and the basics of home ownership.

He makes the point, repeatedly, that high schools offer what he sees as less valuable classes, such as Latin, instead of teaching ''practical life skills''. Good point. Maybe when we're done the state can take up all the responsibilities of parenting. A culture of big babies can't be expected to teach their children mysterious and esoteric skills like not being idiots with their money. Oh, why doesn't somebody (else) do something?!

You know, honestly, I'm starting to think that this recession is the best thing that could have happened at this point.


Holly said...

So... these are the same schools and administrations and parents who don't even know if they want to teach their children about sex. They don't know when, or how, or what exactly to teach them, but also they don't know IF they want to teach them about sex.

I'm not really so sure I'd want to take financial advice from those people in the first damn place...

My parents and schools also did not teach me about financial adulthood, and although I made several false starts, I eventually got right with Jeebus. There is hope for the future, as long as the future isn't primarily populated by people with the intellectual ambition equivalent of a hatchling cuckoo.

rufus said...

I would say that my parents are probably less knowledgable about money than I am. But, I had the benefit of growing up in a family that could never afford anything. So, I still get a tightness in the stomach whenever I'm in stores.

One thing I just can't understand with most people- my parents taught us to avoid credit cards like they were made of plutonium. I don't get why there are kids with credit cards. I didn't have one until I was nearly 30 and I still hate using it.

I think you're right though that people need to learn some of these things for themselves. Of course, it doesn't help that the government wants to bail out anyone who's stupid with money.

Alex said...

When I was in high school, we did have mandatory home economics classes. They were meant to teach us useful skills (balancing a budget, figuring out how much to pay for rent, etc). But these were skills, and remained as such until the parents would teach their children on how to use them.

I was lucky enough to have parents that would hammer in how it is important to save for the future... However, some of my friends, who got the same set of skills I did, carry depts that will follow them to retirement - we're all roughly 30.

Basically, you can't blame the school systems nor the parents, I beleive you need both to prepare properly for adulthood. That and a good deal of common sense, wich seems hard to come by these days...

rufus said...

That's definitely true. Good point.