A couple of nights ago I explained basic supply and demand concepts to my 12-year-old, using Hurricane Sandy as an example. She was easily able to grasp concepts that apparently eluded Gov. Chris Christie, such as the fact that prices go up when demand goes up and supply goes down. More important, she was able to understand the effect that artificially depressing prices has on supply. (Gov. Christie still needs to figure that one out.)
These are not difficult concepts, but our schools don’t teach them the way they should. Which means that, in a crisis, politicians can put on fleece and go around artificially depressing prices, and people confronted by shortages consider these politicians to be heroes.
That conversation got me thinking about the fact that, as a culture, we need to get these concepts across to our children systematically. Coincidentally, I received an email today from the author of The Fisherman’s Catch : A Conservative Bedtime Story. From the book description at Amazon:
Hanauhoulani (call him Han) is a fisherman in a remote pacific island village a long time ago. He figures out a better way of catching fish and begins to become wealthy. The village chief decides it is not right for one man to have so much while others have so much less.
Experience a story that teaches kids it is hard work and determination that creates wealth. Not simply having something handed to you. From the old adage, “You can give a man a fish and feed him for a day or teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime” this story helps explain that true wealth does not come from redistribution of goods but from inspiring others to reach their potential.
The author has a Kickstarter project for his second book, which he describes as follows:
The second will be called “The Cobblers Magic! A Conservative Bedtime Story” and takes place in a land of magic just on the other side of imagination. The concepts it will teach will center on Deficit Spending, Inflation, and that it is okay to say ‘No’ in a world of infinite wants, but limited resources, the word ‘no’ is how we budget. It compares an intelligent cobbler elf named Silvia against the fairy council that simply does everything that the other faeries want.
Ultimately the fairy council casts a dark and terrible spell to try to fix everything, they try to ‘make magic’ which is the currency of the land. This does not work and instead they simply dilute everyone’s magic and cause a whole new set of problems to take place and quickly spirals out of control.
I recoil a little at the idea of “conservative” children’s stories, because it smacks of brainwashing children towards acceptance of a particular ideology. However, as a practical matter, most popular culture brainwashes children towards an ideology that rejects self-reliance and economic realities in favor of a mushy socialistic reliance on government. I haven’t read these particular books, but I like the idea of teaching children how the real world works. If that means it has a “conservative” label, so be it.
If we’re going to save the future, educating our children properly is going to have to be part of it. Check out these books and see if you think they might help.