walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

what to teach the next generation about money? redux

The Freakonomics blog over at NYT has an answer.

http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/21/are-we-a-nation-of-financial-illiterates/

Predictably, their answer is: teach people to be Smart About Money, specifically, they need to understand compound interest and the price of money and How Markets Work.

Let us pause for a moment and contemplate that as a concept.

Sorry about whatever was in your mouth, and has now passed through your nose and dirtied your screen. Feel free to take another moment to clean it off.

If we all have to understand compound interest for this to go well, let's just say, ain't never gonna happen. As a little sidelight, when I read his remark about how we don't teach kids how to bake a cake in high school, my immediate response was two-fold: (a) we should and (b) actually, that's usually in junior high. Or at least it was.

Moving on from the cake (because, let's face it, revolutionaries have been having _way too much fun_ misinterpreting remarks about cake for a long time, and it's senseless to participate in that at this point), I really do think this is kind of one of those things where teaching the kiddies is dumb. That's not how we make sure we get income tax out of the population. That's not how we reduced the mortality rate associated with cars. That's not how we stomped out smallpox. I'm thinking something more structural is going to be needed.

Believe me, I'll be posting more on the general topic. But I promise to try to stay away from the Freakonomics blog.
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