Opinion

Financial literacy? It’s elementary

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Burwell Stark
Freelance Writer
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      Burwell Stark

      Burwell Stark is a columnist and freelance writer. A former teacher, he also has worked in the areas of legislative research, budget analysis and communications. He lives outside Wake Forest, NC with his wife and daughter.

Furthermore, since I went to a government-run school, I am sure none of those financial lessons were anchored in reality. I was taught that my take-home pay is the money the government allows me to keep. I was also led to believe that Social Security would be available for me when it was time for me to retire, which back then was probably at the age of 62½ years.

Therein lies the problem with government-sponsored financial education — it cannot keep up with the pace of life. The world, the economy and the market change too fast for any department of education, state or federal, to keep up. By the time a new textbook is printed or a new lesson plan is developed, the old way of doing things will have been replaced by something newer, faster and more efficient. Thus the state-run school will be left with nothing to teach but an outdated way of doing things.

How else can you explain the continued proliferation of Keynesian economic education?

Clearly, I disagree with Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s proposal to teach personal finance to kindergarteners. The government, which has a budget deficit of $1.3 trillion, has no business teaching any student how to manage money.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go. I received a hot stock tip from a toddler with a Blackberry and have to act before it’s too late.

Burwell Stark is a columnist and freelance writer. A former teacher, he also has worked in the areas of legislative research, budget analysis and communications. He lives outside Wake Forest, N.C. with his wife and daughter. For more of Burwell’s columns, visit burwellstark.com.