Have you noticed? Many of our colleges and even high schools are getting away from the teaching of marketable skills, and instead are focusing upon studies like multiculturalism, social justice and other debatable subjects. Unfortunately, these classes actually train our students to be able to do virtually nothing. (And then we wonder why many of them are not able to get jobs.) Of course, these classes would not be offered unless the students were “buying” them. So is this a failure of Liberty, because the free choice of the students is leading them into unemployment and frustration? No, the concept of Liberty includes being responsible for our choices. So if people choose poorly that is their responsibility, and they must live with the consequences.
If you think about it, there really can be no other way. As an example, some laboratory studies train rats by providing a pellet of food to them each time they turn on a light switch. This works fine for the rats, but only as long as they stay in the lab. Similarly, rewarding students for getting good grades in dead end courses of study in college “labs” is also fine – until the students get out of school. But the real world is not like that. So the fault is with the students (and their mentors!) for not realizing they are making poor choices at the time they are making them. Liberty isn’t heartless, it simply encourages us to face reality.
(Next week: Liberty and Healthcare)
Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
BTW This particular column was inspired by David Mamet’s The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (Sentinel, 2011), which was given to me by two of my great friends. (Thank you!) And I strongly recommend the book to all of you!
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