Teachers could use a lesson in economics

Students should be taught the value of money management and the dangers of not balancing the budget

Kids matter? Really? Union demands to cost the students.

Much has been said during the course of the ongoing negotiations between the teachers union and our government.

Everyone claims to have the interest of the students at heart. Smaller class sizes, more time off, more pay, more of everything — it’s only an extra $600 million to $2 billion.

Not too many years ago when I was in school, Pro-D days didn’t exist, Christmas break was a maximum of two weeks, spring break was a week, and we were in school a lot longer in general. One would think that the more classroom time, the greater the opportunity to teach and educate our children.

Perhaps if our children spent more time in school their math skills would improve and maybe we could introduce a history course that explains why they are so in debt from the moment of their birth. In our expanded math course we could explain that each of them owes somewhere between $15,000 and $35,000 in debt accumulated by the various levels of government. Maybe we could work out some sort of formula to project what they will owe upon graduation from Grade 12. If time permits, maybe we could even give them a course in money management, explain and demonstrate the dangers that await from not balancing ones budget.

Oh, and if we only had a little more classroom time how about an expanded course on history. We could start with a study of Greece and look at what has occurred to now leave this beleaguered, broke country on the cusp of financial ruin. We’re talking no money for food, crazy inflation, drastic salary cuts, reduced or eliminated pensions (never mind fully indexed), yes even to teachers. We are a potential Greece, just at another point in the time line.

We could even explain to the students this generational shift in debt that has occurred without them even getting a vote or say in it. We could tell them that way back when we decided to start living beyond our means in this great country of ours, we built infrastructure, rewarded ourselves with big pay increases, took more time off work, allowed our productivity to slow, and created these awesome pensions for ourselves and more. We couldn’t afford it so we borrowed the money, and we continue to borrow more. For retirement we expect Freedom 55, hope for 65. You, our students, should hope for Freedom 65 and expect 75.

We must make sure that we thank our students for allowing us to mortgage their futures so that we may be more comfortable during our working and retirement years.

Come to think of it, maybe our teachers could be truly visionary and forward thinking and do something good for the financial future of their students, our children.

Our governments are broke, our governments are us, we can’t afford to spend beyond our means and put our kids further in debt.

E. Ihadanuff

 

Penticton