Sunday, 3 January 2010

Lessons in debt for 5 year olds

Kids are soon to be given 'financial education' that will commense as early in a child's life as 5. Now this seems wrong to me. The idea that the concepts of the money system - like debt - will be engrained in a child's consciousness from such an early age is really worrying to me. 

I think it will be equipping children with a mental framework for the unfortunate route of  economic slavery before they've even had a chance to learn that there are alternatives available to life on credit. The ever increasingly linear nature of education, and the ruthlessness of advertising combined is already a toxic mix. These things make it very difficult for young people to explore the diversities of society in lifestyle and financial freedoms, and ensure that there is not a fair representation of all of the available options to people as they begin to decide what it is they want from life, and what it is they want to do with theirs. Democracy you say??

Presumably this a move from the government, or whoever controls syllabus in schools, to ensure that there will be as many future investors in the wealth of the economy as possible, regardless of any dreams, hopes or aspirations that young people may have that don't involve money; but those things aren't a priority when there's profit in the equasion, ay?

1 comment:

  1. Saw this on Facebook and it interested me, Tom. Thought I'd add my opinions here rather than on FB.

    Perhaps 5 is an early age, but I do think there needs to be financial education in schools -considering many parents financial capabilities and understanding may be poor. This should including alternatives to living a life of frivolous credit (store cards, CCs, unnecessary loans and IFCs), and when and where credit is more valuable (conservative business loans and mortgages rather than the liberal handing out we had up in till very recently which crippled the financial system and the fatcats for a while but sadly impacted the man on the street ever worse). IMO You can never understate peoples naivety toward finances -I wanted to say stupidity but I think naivety is more apt after some thought. So that’s why I believe in financial education.

    I think you can live well in life whilst sticking to modern western societies take on capitalism, if that's your wish, without such credit; and yes possibly even achieve your dreams. And that doesn't mean you have to be an organic semi-militant anarchist vegan climate change animal rights stereotype living in a squat. You can be an everyday person, who chooses not to waste their money on crippling arrears fees and huge APRs.

    Frankly, I think teaching people about the harsh realities of credit will actually discourage them from taking out such credit, and perhaps hopefully give them the understanding it's a rip off and not actually that useful unless you hustle the system.

    But in fairness to what you said 5 is way too early and it all depends on how it's taught. Judging that on the state of today's school system perhaps it's moot to have any sort of financial education when they struggle to teach a lot of people basic math. But if they can then I think it will help future generations create a more stable financial system without it devolving into the great fallacy, when taken literally, "The root of all evil is the love of money".

    Hope you appreciate the thoughts Tom. And an interesting blog, I'm definitely gonna keep reading so keep posting them badman. You may have inspired me to make my own blog at some point!
    Sam AKA Ratty McPotato the Accordionist, Gaelic Thug.