There’s a commercial that asks, “What leads us as a society?” And then answers, “Education.” I don’t agree. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against education (who does?), but I’ve always thought that individual freedom leads our society.
Daniel Pink, writing in Reason magazine, makes my point. “Whenever students around the world take those tests that measure which country’s children know the most, American kids invariably score near the bottom,” Pink observes. But he adds, “by almost every measure, the American economy outperforms those very same nations.”
“If we’re so dumb, how come we’re so rich?”
Well I know: it’s because Americans have been more free than other people to dream and to endeavor to make those dreams come true. So we’re more inspired. You didn’t think we were somehow born better than other people, did you?
Pink calls America the “free agent nation.” The richest man in America and the world, Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, is a college drop-out. In fact, nearly 10 percent of the Forbes 400 richest Americans never completed their college education. Four of these multi-millionaires never finished high school!
Now I have a child of my own starting college next year and I’m sure not suggesting she drop out. But I do think our kids’ futures depend less on some stupid test score, and more on the freedom they have to chase their dreams. And if you need to teach yourself something to chase that dream, you’ll do it even without a professor giving you an assignment.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.