Wed. Sep 28th, 2022

What could possibly be more important than preserving our nation and our freedom for the next generation? If you agree with that statement than you agree with The Society that educating our young people in finance & economics is an absolutely critical item that needs to be accomplished in order to promote prosperity for the next decades. The questions of course that we must ask are what do we do and how do we do it; otherwise we’re no more than the talking heads who complain, but provide no solution, and far be that from The Society.

In America today young people are treated as if they incapable of learning the critical issues related to money, investing and economics. Nothing could be farther from the truth! By 6th or 7th grade, most kids are actively engaged in our economy spending money, so why shouldn’t they be taught how to be a positive participant in our free (capitalistic) economic system. Why should these Junior High School aged kids not be taught what a bank is; what an insurance is; what business is; where government gets its money, etc. The Society believes that all young American’s should be taught the critical life-skills they need beginning at the earliest possible age.

So with the question of “who should be educated” answered, the question of “how should they be educated” comes to mind. The Society does not believe in “dumbing down” a curriculum to live down to the standards in many cases being pushed upon our kids, but rather believes in bringing kids up through a combination of audio, video and printed materials. We know that people have different methods of learning; some are visual, some are audio and some are written so we need to incorporate all three methods. Furthermore, the lessons that need to be taught to the nations next generation must be broad based and foundation in that it teaches economics & finance in English from the bottom up. The current curriculum offered vis-à-vis the Path to Prosperity Audio Library and Print Edition offer a comprehensive curriculum of 23 important lessons.

These lessons begin with the fundamentals of banking and increase in complexity into lessons on day-trading and global investing. These lessons are provided in audio and print form. To supplement this, The Society has produced dozens of live Webinars and Video’s and will continue to create more in the future. Our position quite simply is that education never ends and it is an incumbent responsibility to The Society to create better and better content on a continual basis.

According to a recent Harris poll, 2 out of five American’s rated themselves at a C, D or F in financial literacy. This is a dangerous if not fatal statistics because the American Republic requires an informed and educated population. If individuals don’t understand basic financial and economic concepts, how then can we expect them to vote, or to raise children capable of making wise decisions for our nation’s future?

The danger here is real. First, financially ignorant people are incapable of participating fully in a marketplace; for example a recent study by the Atlanta Fed found that 36% of people believed they had fixed rate mortgages when in fact they had adjustable mortgages. The second issue is that the consumer problem will lead to a government solution which will make the matter worse, not better. Rather than fighting the problem where it is, that is at the individuals own educational level, government will regulate providers of financial services holding them accountable for bad decisions made by individuals. This will dramatically raise the cost of doing business and will force smaller providers to close shop thus reducing the supply of services. A corollary to this issue arises as government relieves the individuals from the responsibility of making good choices, this leads to more and more making poor choices because they will come to believe it is someone else’s responsibility. In the end, a government solution will create less supply and less willingness to truly fix the problem.

We must all become part of the solution to this major dilemma. Far too many people sit around the kitchen table at night and simply complain about the state of affairs in the United States. Far too often do people simply throw up their hands because they believe the problems faced personally and by our nation are simply too big to tackle. Far too often do people simply give up, and turn themselves and their children over to the state for caretaking. The Society believes this is unsustainable as a model as eventually, should too many people buy into this, there will be no more producers left to pay the bills and thus The Society believes we must solve this problem by providing people a clear message that their future is in their own hands, and we must couple this with the tools they need to build and sustain the type of prosperous life they desire.

Steve Beaman is the Founding Member of The Society for the Advancement of Financial Education – S.A.F.E. He is the author of over 400 articles on better living; a 2 volume 12 CD Audio library and “The American Dream Under Fire”.

By rahul