Monday, January 29, 2018

having built a system that fails...

Woodrow Wilson as president of Princeton University had said,
"We want one class of persons to have a liberal education, and we want another class of persons, a very much larger class, of necessity, in every society, to forgo the privileges of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks."— Woodrow Wilson
Wilson, as president of the US, signed the Smith-Hughes Act into law in 1917.  That act, regarded generally as a success for the industrial arts movement, set up a separate system of manual and industrial arts training, thus isolating the training of the head from the hand. The idiocy did not start or end there, and now we are harvesting the consequences. According to this report, most people in the United States live on the edge of monetary collapse, unable to afford even a minor emergency.

In the meantime some American billionaires are pouring billions into the manipulation of American politics. A large part of what the billionaires want and are paying for is the reduction of taxes to make certain that any shreds of remaining safety net are removed. These folks are targeting Social Security, medicare, and healthcare for the poor as things they claim we can no longer afford.

An understanding of the dignity of all labor was one of the purposes of Educational Sloyd, introduced into the US in the late 1970's and virtually ended by the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917. My point is not that all folks should have a "liberal education" as described by Wilson, but that all folks (most particularly those going to college) should be educated in the ways of the hand. The consequences would be that all would be better consumers, all would be better participants in community life, all would have greater respect for the contributions made by others, all would have a better understanding of human culture, and all would show greater respect for the plights of others.

A man educated in the hands and through the hands, and having learned the lessons that the hands and mind together impart, would care for others, and provide wages that would allow all folks to live in security and respect. Those educated in the hand and respectful of all labors would work to insure that others live in security and health. We need to establish a system of shaming in which those who have too much are held accountable to use their resources to serve others. If that makes you overly uncomfortable, then perhaps we should raise taxes on the rich and raise taxes bigly on the very rich and spend the money on education and healthcare.

Make, fix, and create...

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