Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Your Teacher Said What?!

Your Teacher Said What?!
Trying to Raise a Fifth Grade Capitalist in Obama’s America
By Joe Kernen and Blake Kernen

This is a book worth reading despite its somewhat misleading title. Mr. Kernen disappointed by not establishing the bona fides for his title. Some examples of the political, economic and environmental biases conveyed by the public school system would have been helpful prior to launching into his discussion with daughter Blake.

As the subtitle says, the book is devoted to countering the influences of school, the MSM, television, and the prevailing culture. It begins, as all good discussions should, by defining terms. The ones that have dominated the national news: Cap and Trade, inflation, derivatives, mortgage, stimulus among them, and also words that are rarely if ever heard: words like creative destruction, capitalism, Hiiggs effect, supply and demand and risk. Along the way, Blake and the reader get a short course in the “ABC’s of the Free Market.”

The chapter on the “Properties of Property” delighted this reviewer by including a recap of the once famous (now mostly forgotten) Julian Simon-Paul Ehrlich 1980 wager. Economist Simon challenged scarcity-monger Ehrlich to pick any basket of commodities, hold them for ten years, and if prices increased because of Ehrlich-predicted shortages, Simon would pay the difference. However, if they decreased, Ehrlich would do the same. Ehrlich lost and paid Simon.

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