Thursday, April 23, 2009

THE YOUTH OF AMERICA

I was asked today to meet a group of college program students along with some other media professionals. The idea was to share what I do and allow them some networking opportunities. There were six of us and six tables of students and every 15 minutes we would switch tables. Most of them had standard questions and I gave them the basic philosophy of work hard and be a good teammate and opportunities will open up wherever you work. An encounter was worth mentioning here.

About halfway through the program I sat with a student from Ecuador who said he majored in Economics. Economics is interest of mine as you know. I read those books for fun. Like a fool who should know better, I asked him if he was familiar with the Austrian School and he looked perplexed. You know Hayek, von Mises etc? No I haven't, he said. What about the Chicago School, Milton Friedman? No, I haven't heard of him.

So now I looked perplexed. I guess we haven't gotten that far, he said. We've been studying the London School, Keynes. Oh, yes Keynes. Of course. Why would a poor country study the free market when they could be studying how to stymie growth.

I knew intellectually that Keynes is a God everywhere in the world and no one has heard of Hayek or Friedman despite the Nobel Prizes. I just didn't want to put that knowledge to practical use. The world is a mess and I was reminded.

2 comments:

Sir Saunders said...

I got Donovan reading and watching, "Free to Choose" by Milton Friedman. There's one youth that won't fall to the corruption. In some ways I think that the young man's teachers are doing him a disservice and sabotaging their own goals. When you leave vital information out, then a person discovers it later, it makes it seem as though the Prof. was hiding something all the time. It makes the "forbidden fruit" seem all the more appealing. That is likely what happened to the baby-boom generation who were rasied on very conservative values but then found Eastern Religions, Pot, Psychedilc Rock, etc etc and rebelled by embracing what was forbidden. There's a backlash coming, but it may take the next generation to lead it.

E said...

I spent a fair amount of time over the weekend sitting and reading at the student center on Tulane's campus. From overhearing students' conversations and study groups and taking a peek at their textbooks, it would be hard to conclude that the culture war is not lost.

P.S. This year's commencement speaker is Ellen.

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