We need to invest in education, we need to teach them how to behave, we have to train them to be more productive, spend the money and the assumption is that the results will follow.
I believe in training, I value the benefits of teaching our children and youth and I do not think for one minute that we should not have an education system. When it is presented as the answer for all that ails us however I have a very different perspective from those people.
When I see or hear about a problem, I don’t see lack of education as the foundation for the problem. There are many ignorant academics in the world for example and a lot of educated people who lack commonsense. No amount of education has changed the way these people view the world or modified their behaviour.
If education was the answer
In the 1970’s an 80’s in both government and the police force rampant corruption existed in Queensland. I was at school at that time however talking with many friends much older than myself, none of them considered the community as a whole as ignorant, as uneducated.
The police commissioner Terry Lewis among other policemen as well as ministers of the crown went to jail at the time and one well-known identity Russ Hinze passed away before court proceedings were finalised. No amount of education identified and certainly didn’t prevent this systemic problem.
It is a long bow to draw to claim that education is the solution to developing economies and drag third world countries out of poverty as a consequence. The staring point is setting the conditions for economic development then creating access to harness the benefits of those conditions.
Setting the conditions is all about our governments understanding that the economy operates at the margin and they need to ensure that we low transaction costs associated with regulation, corruption and monopolisation. If they achieve that then we have no unfair or abuses of competitive advantage and consumerism establishes a vibrant, robust and prosperous economy.
Why is access more important than education
Access is what allows people to take advantage of an equal opportunity if established by government doing its job properly; access allows a society to harness their opportunities and reap the rewards from their efforts. The six killer apps of first world economies identified by Niall Ferguson are the key factors that have allowed industrialised economies to flourish.
If we live longer, share information, have smaller families then survival is no longer the imperative, we create a fulfilled life, not just an existence and without going into too much detail… we dispel the Malthusian view on growth, it is not a prerequisite that modern economies require unlimited population growth.
What then is the value of education
In a developed economy, continual improvement in the health and wellbeing of society, the ability to adapt to change in the economic landscape for example are all possible the more we develop our knowledge. This is the most important aspect of having am education system in place. It creates the environment where minds can be developed to seek and create more knowledge.
The second aspect is incentive; tertiary qualified people typically have incomes 75% higher than non-university workers. We want people to forgoe income in their formative years because they contribute so much to society as a consequence of their education, it requires this incentive to make the delayed gratification equation worth their while.
The licence to learn and acquire knowledge from tertiary education also allows society to produce but not limited to, specialists whom we depend upon. This is obvious in the fields of medicine for example but the arts as well as sciences set the conditions for both incentive (enjoyment) and innovation (exploring the possibilities) critical for improved social wellbeing.
You don’t need an education
I know many small business owners educated in “The School of Hard Knocks” who are incredibly successful.
Education has a vital role in our future but it is not what got us to where we are nor will it establish democracy or rule of law in third world economies or transform dictatorships.
The hard work and knowledge of small business owners across the country is the far more important in our economy than education in my opinion, what are your thoughts?
Yours in Successful Small Businesses…