Category Archives: College Education

Book Review: SMART MONEY, SMART KIDS by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze

smartmoneyRating: 5/5

Suggested Audience: Every parent in America with a kid living at home

I have been a huge fan of Dave Ramsey for years. I actually think he may be one of the most important Americans alive today. In some ways, I consider Ramsey quite possibly the greatest economics “teacher” in America. The fact that he is an unabashed conservative is a nice bonus.

When you consider our wealth and success as a nation, there should be no excuse for the financial situation many Americans find themselves in.

“A recent survey from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that 64% of Americans couldn’t even cover a $1,000 emergency with cash. In real-life terms, that means they couldn’t pull together enough money for a single mortgage payment, or maybe even a month’s worth of groceries for their family, without borrowing money. Another study from Bankrate.com found that one in four Americans does not have a single penny saved.” p. 60

Ramsey has been waging a one-man war for the better part of the last 25 years to combat this. Asking people to live on a budget, cut-up credit cards, and live their salary, he has impacted close to 10 million people (according to his companies estimates) through his books, classes, live events, and radio show.

Building on his previous books and teachings, Ramsey and daughter Cruze, take the message of personal finance to parents. The message in this book is simple. Teach kids to handle money, so they can grow up and do the same with their families.

“Now you are that dad or mom. You don’t have to be perfect in your handling or understanding of money to teach these concepts to your children. There are no perfect parents. We all know that, so give yourself some grace. But be in the game. Be in the fight to win your child’s heart to money-smart principles.” p.246

For those that follow Ramsey, some of this book will be a review of his financial plan. Even if you are an avid follower of Ramsey, I think you will be able to get something new out of the book. Ramsey and Cruze adapt the principles well to children.

I really liked how the book was written. Ramsey and Cruze take turns giving their generational perspective on the various topics in the book. (This book reminded me a lot of Dan Miller’s Wisdom Meets Passion which I have failed to review here, but is very much worth the read! Miller and son Jared Angaza both trade off on the topic of career.)

Much of the early part of the book is Ramsey’s general philosophy as applied to children. Chapters two through six give parents a general framework for teaching kids about money from the age of three till they first enter into adulthood. Chapter eight focuses on college. Overall, I thought this chapter did a good job to dispel some of the cultural foolishness that is connected to college. College is not a right, and if you are planning on sending your child to college, you better be ready to combat the problem. And, no, you don’t have to take out loans to go to college! (I just wish I had found Ramsey before I made that financial mistake.)

As Ramsey often says, change your family tree. I’m proud to say that my wife and I have done this for our  family. Over the last three years we have paid off $75,000 in consumer and student loan debt. We look forward to teaching our child the principles in this book, so that he may continue building a legacy for successive generations.

As conservatives, one of our core principles is fiscal discipline. It’s my belief that if you self-identify as a conservative and don’t practice these principles in your own life you are a WALKING, TALKING CONTRADICTION. I greatly admire all that Mr. Ramsey has accomplished in his personal and professional life. As conservatives, and especially as teachers, we all should be aware of Mr. Ramsey’s products and mission. If you haven’t yet, buy this book!

 

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ACADEMIC INCEST INBREEDS INTELLECTUAL IMBECILITY

file0002135280483This is a guest post by FJ Rocca.

We all know what incest is. It is the mating of people within the same family, i.e., of inbreeding. Incest and inbreeding are a readily recognized cause of imbecility. It is not the only cause, but it is a proven one.

This is true of academic incest, as well as with genetics. If you search the web for a definition of academic inbreeding, you will find it describes people whose educations all come from one place of learning, one university or from one set of professors. But I suggest a wider definition: The process of studying only the same ideology or pseudo-philosophy as though no other exists.

Universities are supposed to be places where genuine learning occurs, where the atmosphere of academic freedom abounds for intellectual stimulation, experimentation, inquiry, debate and speculation. In other words, universities are supposed to be portals to the universe of truth, knowledge and wisdom. We are not speaking here of the professional training one may get in, say, law, medicine, or one of the hard sciences. We are speaking here of what is called liberal arts education.

Let’s clarify something very important. A liberal arts education is not the same as an education in which one is taught liberal ideology. A liberal arts education ponders the central problems of philosophy and ethics, and provides the seminal lessons of history, literature, mathematics, the social and physical sciences. The central theme of a liberal arts education is objective inquiry, to hear and reason the arguments and ideas presented from as many sides as possible. Without academic diversity there is no objective inquiry

A university education is supposed to provide the tools for an intellectual life, an ongoing process of thought, of the development and expansion of ideas and of ongoing self-learning, with relentless and fearless inquiry and expansion of experience and knowledge. One’s participation in the process contributes to a vast, available repository of knowledge and wisdom that can be passed on to future generations and is which then will be added to by them. Thus, a university education should be a fertile ground for eternal perpetuation of knowledge and wisdom. Without diversity there is no objectivity and without objectivity, no argument can be reasonable. Without reason there is no intelligence and an unintelligent person must be deemed an imbecile.

Nowadays, too many college campuses are dominated by inbred academics who promote the tired, worn-out and utterly failed notions of leftist liberal ideology despite socialism’s century-long proven record of failure, repression and ultimate rejection by entire societies. These inbred academics are the white coated “mad scientists” keeping its defunct cells alive like a brain floating in a jar of murky fluid. They suppress free thought and intellectual inquiry and even punish those who oppose their closed minded views with the weapon of political correctness. Thus they engage in academic incest inbreeding leading to intellectual imbecility. Why? Because they themselves have been infected with the disease of social-liberalism and in the degenerate structure of their minds, the ghost still haunts, like the fumes of a corpse that will not lie down and die properly.

This situation is unlikely to persist, because the very decay of their absurd ideas will eventually collapse from its own weight. Like socialism itself, its ideologues will flee the ship once they realize it is sinking. Even now, that is beginning to happen. Alternative avenues for obtaining an education, private and online schools calling themselves universities and many technical schools are proliferating and, for many people who want a real education, they are replacing university campuses. For one thing, they do not include the restrictive and expensive requirement of living on campus. And they are free of the doctrinaire academics and intimidating specter of political correctness that provide little incentive to pay enormous sums for the privilege of being indoctrinated.

Universities will have to find a way out of the present situation, because, if they don’t replace intellectual imbecility with true academic and intellectual freedom, a new Dark Ages will descend.

FJ Rocca is an independent, conservative writer/blogger of fiction and non-fiction, most interested in the philosophy of American conservatism. Clarity is more important than eloquence, but truth is vital to human discourse.

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CONSERVATIVE IDEAS HAVE NO VOICE IN EDUCATION

Image courtesy of Phiatoon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Phiatoon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This is a guest post by Dana R. Casey.

Across this country, conservatives are being silenced, especially in our schools and universities.

Condoleezza Rice recently had her invitation to speak at a Rutgers commencement ceremony challenged by over 100 faculty members who signed a petition stating their objections. On May 3rd, Ms. Rice withdrew from the ceremonies releasing a statement saying that “she did not want to detract from the day’s festivities.”

A student organization created for “the exposition and promotion of conservative principles and ideas” at the University of Miami was denied approval four times from the Committee on Student Organizations and ultimately had to enlist help from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) before they were officially recognized.

Veteran CBS investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson resigned after a two decades long relationship with the network for being repeatedly restricted from reporting negatively about the Obama administration.

Individuals are silenced too. Admitting to being a Republican or a conservative or even a Christian elicits responses of “bigot”, “racist”, “homophobe”, or “Islamaphobe”. Decades old friends think you’ve lost your mind and stop inviting you to gatherings.

Education is one frontline of the battle between liberal and conservative. Here, conservative ideas have as much power as prisoners of war. Conservative ideas have been locked out of the battle. I am personally fighting the battle from behind the front lines and in enemy territory against liberal indoctrination being forced into my classroom through revised curriculum and polices. I always try to present multiple perspectives in the classroom and I never tell students what to think. I challenge them HOW to think, to question, and to investigate, never WHAT to think.

I am also fighting the same battle with the education being provided to my teen daughters, both of whom go to public schools. My girls get a political education from me at home just from hearing my husband and I discuss the issues, so they often see through the liberal indoctrination presented by their teachers as “facts”. Unfortunately, their fellow students don’t realize that they are receiving biased information. There is no one to present other perspectives to them. My daughters do not feel comfortable bringing up alternative perspectives to the liberal ideology presented, because they fear being bullied by their fellow students or of having the teacher fail them because of their family’s political beliefs.

My daughters come home week after week with tales of liberal indoctrination, viewings of An Inconvenient Truth, or the lie that Republicans were really Democrats of the past (i.e. racist, KKK members, anti-civil rights) and the Democrats have become the Republicans of the past (abolitionists, civil rights supporters, Abe Lincoln, Frederick Douglas, and Martin Luther King’s party). According to my daughters’ teachers the two parties just magically switched names one mysterious undocumented night.

During the 2012 elections, I asked a few of my students this simple question, “What do Democrats stand for?” I received essentially this same answer from student after student, but here is one direct quote, “Democrats love blacks and poor people.” I then asked what Republicans stand for? The answer I got was, “Republicans are old white men who hate blacks and poor people.” My students then asked me for whom was I voting. I responded, “I do not discuss my personal political beliefs with students. It is not appropriate.” One student then responded (and I am not kidding), “You want to take my food stamps. My mama needs her food stamps!” Note that I never stated for whom I was voting, but her assumption was that if I did not immediately say “Obama of course!” that I must be one of those who hate blacks and poor people. These urban students are given exactly this narrative at home, at school, and through the media day after day. It is relentless.

Those on our college campuses are further indoctrinated. In February, Swarthmore University’s Institute for the Liberal Arts hosted Robert George and Cornel West in a campus-wide discussion on the meaning of discourse at Swarthmore. The Princeton professors, friends with strongly opposing viewpoints, discussed questions like “What does it mean to communicate across differences regarding what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong?’” Many students felt that conservative Robert George should not have been invited to the discussion at all.

One member of the class of 2016, Erin Ching, clearly demonstrated her lack of understanding of the word “diversity” when interviewed about the discussion. Instead, because she sees conservatism as naturally evil, it must be excluded not included in conversations about diverse ideas. This is what she had to say:

“What really bothered me is… the whole idea is that at a liberal arts college, we need to be hearing a diversity of opinion. I don’t think we should be tolerating conservative views because that dominant culture embeds these deep inequalities in our society. We should not be conceding to the dominant culture by saying that the so-called “progressive left” is marginalizing the conservative, (daily.swarthmore.edu)

So for Erin, “diversity” means exclusion of conservative ideas in any discussion that is considered “diverse”; thereby, making all worthy diverse conversations limited to only those with whom they already agree. This is exactly the opposite of diversity. It is also the exact opposite meaning of the term liberal arts. A true liberal arts education is the process of truth seeking through examination of all opposing arguments.

The liberals have stolen control of the narrative, especially in education. It is time to take it back.

Dana R. Casey is a veteran high school English teacher of more than two decades in an East-coast urban system.  She is a life-long student of theology, philosophy, and politics, dedicated to the true Liberalism of the Enlightenment, as defined by our Founders and enshrined in our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights.

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