Today my daughter, very frustrated at not being able to get services for her autistic son, asked me what other countries’ school systems do. (Bear in mind, she’s looking for services from the school at this moment and I don’t think she is going to get them b/c the school’s business is academics and he does well academically. However, teachers are now beginning to notice the socialization problems at age 13 Junior High, right?)
I told her you have to first divide the advanced countries from those who do not have the infrastructure to put up a good system of social services and education, thus leaving Chad and El Salvador out. But when you get to Japan, Finland, France, etc., the picture is different. Most of these countries offer educational and social services superior to our own (conservative examples of amputated limbs piled up in filthy British hospitals aside).
One country whose ed system I know a little about because of reading Finnish Lessons is Finland. What they do is put about 50% of their students in something resembling Special Ed in the first two or three years of school, then by high school they have almost no one in Spec Ed. They corrected and accommodated problems early on. Now, you ask, why can’t we do that in this country? Well, why didn’t I use Russia as an example of an advanced country? Look at her history serfdom. Well, you say, stupidly, the Western European countries had serfdom, too. Yes, about 300 years ago; Russia’s ended about the time our slavery did.
Oh! Bingo! Slavery. Yes. What Spain, Italy, France, Sweden, England, Luxembourg, did not have was slavery and so they do not have a large population of descendants of slaves. Why does the U.S.? Because the U.S., like all countries of the Western Hemisphere, started as a colony and still bears the heavy imprint of that legacy. The patterns are the same all over the Americas: a dominant White population of European origin, perhaps a numerical minority, owning everything, running the government, making laws, controlling religion, and so on. My son-in-law decries the Gold Canyon crowd who refuses to pass bond elections for the local school because, they say, they’ve already raised their kids. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were all Republicans who listen to Limbaugh and Fox and think the schools are filled with dark-skinned kids. Even if all the kids were White but poor, the same mentality applies. And here it is…..
WE ARE HERE TO EXPLOIT AND WE EXPLOIT THE LAND, THE PEOPLE, THE INSTITUTIONS, AND WHATEVER ELSE WE CAN IN THE NAME OF FREE ENTERPRISE, CAPITALISM, AND FREE MARKETS AND THIS IS WHAT GOD WANTS US TO DO.
This began when the exploiters thought they would return to Europe rich men. Now it has transformed itself into a class system and a caste system only recently done away with in law. What these folks don’t realize is that the exploiters at the top, the Romneys, the real sharks, plan to export their wealth to other countries. Someone I’ll report on her book when I finish it noticed that these “plutocrats” have little to no national loyalty. They are true internationalists. We have to be very careful with that term b/c it has often been applied invidiously to Jews. The point is, these people feel no allegiance to anyone but themselves other than some who are very religious and feel an allegiance to their coreligionists again with the caveat that this charge is often hurled at Jews, but Mormons could qualify in this regard. However, most of the exploiter class of people bear no allegiance to any institution, ethnicity, nation, or anything except amassing power. They will sell the country down the river.
Since this is under my category of politics, what political solution do I offer? I say continue the free enterprise system by all means, capitalism with regulation, which Adam Smith himself called for. Free markets are another matter and my knowledge of economics is not much, so I won’t comment on how free market strategies work. I do see that historically, unlocking the potential of people all people results in a better life for all. What has to stop is naked exploitation and indifference to overall welfare. Thus we provide a social safety net and regulations that do not permit corporations or individuals to harm other people by selling them worthless stock or spoiled meat. Francis Fukuyama points out in The Origins of Social Order that this cycle of people getting fed up and revolting only to see a small group of wealth gatherers begin to dominate and then control government and the taxation powers to put the burdens on others and enrich their own class…….. until people get fed up and kill them all. Is this what we want?