The Wussification of America

Regular commenter Mike M requested that I start a thread on this topic.

How about the mutual fund industry’s decades-long guilt trip on parents to convince them that it is their duty to save for their children’s college education? Now many parents accept that duty as a given without question.

If college is one of the best investments, there should be no problem finding funds for that investment.

In fact, it would be quite the lesson in investing if students approached college as such rather than a free 4-years at the resort (as a visit to any college campus will reveal that they are now competing for kids not on academic credentials but on the amenities offered and sports affiliations).

It also may not hurt kids to have to work some while earning their degree.

Also, what’s up with bullying? What happened to the old saying, ‘sticks and stone may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.’ I found that to be quite an effective antidote to bullying and hazing.

Add what you like.


5 thoughts on “The Wussification of America

  1. Seth, you make some EXCELLENT points!

    I remember when most kids paid at least part of their way through college if not the entire cost. Of course, college tuition was much cheaper then, both in absolute and relative terms, but perhaps a part of the reason for the increase in cost is due to the fact that parents, rather than kids, are paying the tuition. Just like in the discussion of government subsidies leading to increased tuition, when parents subsidize their kids’ tuition, prices can be expected to rise. Indeed, anytime the actual consumer – the kid – alone isn’t paying bearing the full cost, prices will rise.

    As you pointed out, if college is a great investment, kids will be willing and they will find a way to make that investment. Perhaps a better way of stating things is that the market (kids and colleges in this case) will determine a price at which everyone’s satisfied because everyone gets something they want more in exchange for something they want less.

    Working or struggling – facing hardships and learning to overcome them – in order to get something you want is an education in its own right. Add in the opportunity to make contacts and learn new skills and the work study option makes a lot of sense. The Cristo Rey network of schools (high schools) do this and with great success. Poor kids are “apprenticed” one day per week to a business where they replace temps (who are evidently less reliable and necessitate more frequent training). Evidently, the businesses and the kids both feel they benefit.

    There are also some colleges that do this as well.

    • That’s interesting, Mike. A long time ago I saw a clip about schools in one of the countries the left likes to point to as having better schools. In these schools, students worked. They mopped the floors and cleaned the restrooms to help keep costs down to teach the kids to have pride in their work. Not quite as glamorous as the jobs the Cristo Rey students work, but a good lesson nonetheless.

      • In most martial arts schools I’ve trained in, part of the culture is that the students clean the school after every class. It keeps costs down. It creates a culture where people care about the place they train at. It teaches some basic skills (it’s amazing how many people don’t know how to sweep and mop a floor).

        It isn’t glamorous. It’s ownership.

        • Hi Wally — That’s interesting. And, I agree that it is amazing how many people don’t know those basic skills. There’s actually an art to it and doing it, I think, says a lot. Sends signals that you are attentive, have pride and integrity and like you said, ownership.

  2. Pingback: A Quarter of our 26 YOs still need mommy to cook for them | Grumpy Opinions


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