Econ Education: Focus

If a college hired the past head of Greenpeace to lead the Marine Studies Program what would be the focus of the department? Do you think the practices of the whaling industry might receive scrutiny? Is it possible a new course would be developed to analyze this topic? Of course, it would. Personal bias enters into the selection of coursework at the college level sparked by the viewpoint of key Professors.

Likewise, the Econ educational curriculum is biased by the idea of redistributing incomes. This focus comes from the liberal political policy that rose to prominence in the early twentieth century. In fact, the political philosophy even permeates the high school economic education policy in the United States. The Council for Economic Education ( sets the National Standards for Econ education. The National Standards list twenty topics in the order they should be taught to high school and college students in the beginning Econ classes. The first topic is "Scarcity," or the fact there is not enough for everyone so a system must be devised to ensure everyone gets a share. From this assumption there are two prominent paths to follow. Either government steps in to divide the products of the community (communism) or the market divides the product of the community according to individual success in the economy (free market system).

Path one is a political system where the government takes possession of the production processes of the community. Path two is the use of an economic system. Econ education obviously should be focused on Path two. What should occur first in Econ education is a historical discussion of how earliest man developed a barter system and then eventually developed a monetary system. The role of banking and government should be introduced so the student has some perspective of the underlying reason government got involved in the economic system (to increase their wealth) and bankers (to increase their wealth). This is the outline I followed in the Rule of Money.

After discussing the role of personal choice in the second National Standard of the Council for Economic Education (CEE), the next topic of Econ education is "Allocation." How the CEE can jump to the allocation of products without talking about the economic participants (Buyers and Sellers), the history of production and the development of markets seems oddly out of order. I strongly doubt any manufacturer every considered whether his products ended up with the "right people." Nevertheless, the CEE goes down this path to show product distribution is not "fair," and it needs to be modified by a compassionate government. Unfortunately, the history of government is quite different from this fairy tale view of government. Who sacked and burned cities over the last three thousand years? It was not the farmers or even the bankers, it was the government. Most of the history of government is as a greedy totalitarian group of people only looking after their own welfare. Historically the welfare state is a misnomer.