Because young people are idiots

Owen Jones:

Nearly eight out of 10 of young Britons blame capitalism for the housing crisis and two-thirds want to live under a socialist economic system. How did that happen?

Answer: see headline.

Emily Harris, 20, a student in London, says her biggest worry is that “there’s not even going to be a planet: we’ve got Jeff Bezos launching himself into space while Las Vegas runs out of water and half the world’s on fire. If these billionaires stopped making money they could solve all of these problems and still have billions in the bank.”

See?

23 thoughts on “Because young people are idiots”

  1. It’s from indoctrinated at school.

    My 10 yr old daughter is coming home from school and complaining she is being made to feel guilty about her life when she’s not exactly got much choice in the matter. The oppression olympics is now visiting the sins, or virtues, of the parents and grandparents on children.

    My daughter is keeping her mouth closed in class as she doesn’t want to be isolated socially. This is corrosive to mental health and is *exactly* the same as under communism. My wife, who lived under actual communism, is very concerned.

  2. Lurker,

    No it isn’t. Never has been, really. The main value of education is at a primary level. What builds a society like ours is mostly people being able to read, write and do arithmetic. Beyond that is a tiny percentage of specialists who create drugs, direct movies, solve Fermat, build airliners and so forth.

    I’m pretty convinced that we would be a richer society if 80% of kids left school at 13. They spend years and countless hours poring over books so they can rote learn subjects and regurgitate the right answers so that they pass an exam that will never get used. At best it’s a signalling mechanism of how intelligent and hard working someone is, but you can judge that at 13.

  3. Nothing new. Anyone who had comprehensive education suffered this kind of indoctrination 40+ years ago. Main difference lately is that it appears to have infected the private sector too.

  4. Regardless of the accuracy or realism of their diagnosis, it is a warning sign to the Tories that they’re going to spend a generation out of power unless they do something about home affordability for the young. They seem a long way from their Maggie era realisation that you can create new conservatives by helping them become property owners; at present they seem more worried about turning their existing voters into Lib Dems by allowing anyone to build anything anywhere ever.

    @bom4 I sympathise with that view to an extent, for sure most people don’t even use most of what they learn at A-level or GCSE. But there are some counterpoints.

    A world based on limited academic education and substantial vocational education, preferably in-job, does seem beyond us now. People simply switch employers and even careers too often to make that kind of prolonged in-job education feasible. It’s also clear general education has benefits beyond what’s specifically taught – it may still help the development of scientific or critical thinking, transferable skills like written communication (writing and speaking well is about more than just knowing how to read or write) or problem solving (solving mathematical problems is about more than knowing how to do basic algebra or arithmetic), IT skills or whatever. Now I’m happy to accept that kids often leave school with worryingly low attainment in important skills but they’ll only be worse if you let them out at 13.

    There’s also the issue of brain plasticity. Extra years of education do bump up IQ scores, causatively (this isn’t just due to selection effects that smarter kids stay longer at school, it’s to do with brain development). I don’t think employers are likely to stick 13 year-old apprentices in the most intellectually challenging or stimulating roles. So withdrawing kids from school may make them permanently thicker and this will make them worse at adapting if they switch jobs later.

    I don’t think it’s just aircraft designers and pharma researchers who would benefit from a degree, or at least A levels. This is an increasingly technical economy. I’m sure we are, net, somewhat over educated – in the sense that an unnecessarily and undesirably high proportion of time and resources are spent in the education system – due to signalling effects and cultural convention (eg the feeling that everyone middle-class has to do uni). But letting most people leave the system at 13 is very far the other way.

  5. It’s long been true that the youngsters are more favorably disposed to Socialism (perhaps much more so now), due to several factors:

    1 – Naivete, they’ve yet to see how well government really works compared to their professors’ dream world

    2 – They have little assets and income and most of the taxes they pay are hidden, such as VAT

    3 – In their social circles it’s only acceptable to be pro-Socialism and for the Brave New World they and their peers are ready to create

    This tends to get fixed to a large degree once they get jobs in the private sector and run into the bureaucracy, start paying taxes and mingle with people who aren’t strictly left-wing.

    Unfortunately, a higher percentage that in years gone by don’t end up in the private sector.

  6. MBE,

    “A world based on limited academic education and substantial vocational education, preferably in-job, does seem beyond us now. People simply switch employers and even careers too often to make that kind of prolonged in-job education feasible. It’s also clear general education has benefits beyond what’s specifically taught – it may still help the development of scientific or critical thinking, transferable skills like written communication (writing and speaking well is about more than just knowing how to read or write) or problem solving (solving mathematical problems is about more than knowing how to do basic algebra or arithmetic), IT skills or whatever. Now I’m happy to accept that kids often leave school with worryingly low attainment in important skills but they’ll only be worse if you let them out at 13.”

    I’m not saying that kids should go to work at 13. I’m saying that they should do what they please. Maybe a girl or a gay wants to be a hairdresser when she grows up, so get her on a C&G course. Let them learn what they see as useful to their future, or just interesting.

    Most of what employers want is not taught by schools. Or is at degree level (e.g. sciences). School doesn’t teach kids how to do software testing, marketing, CNC operation, law, accountancy, hairdressing or bricklaying. We spend millions of hours teaching kids French or trig that they will never use. I just never grasped chemistry, why it was of any use to me, why I should care. I failed it miserably and still sat there in lessons wasting everyone’s time. Many kids equip themselves for their life better by not doing their homework and spending their evening on their hobbies.

  7. MBE–You are a cut price NIV–though fortunately less verbose–and BoM4 is correct.

    My Mam taught me to read helped by a Batman comic giving me something I wanted to read. Very little of my school time was not wasted .I would make better use of it had I the chance to re-live those years but so would we all.

    Finding what you want/like to do in life is better than school crap. If it is financially viable. Even though wanting to be something in ltd supply like an artist/actor is not a good plan unless you can use your skills in commercial art or some other creative way.

    Better to restore the old Uni system of exams determining if you can benefit from Uni and then a grant pays for you to go. 10% of population tops will benefit from Uni and benefit the nation. Too often school just wastes time that could be more productively spent.

  8. Dennis, Not Being Sarcastic At All

    You hand Richard Murphy the keys to a classroom and then wonder why you graduate morons.

    I think it time to be hanging some college administrators.

  9. The energy crisis would be a good example why education beyond 3R’s is useful: if ecoloons like Princess Nut Nuts had learned some elementary science they might know about energy quantity and the impossibility of their unicorn-driven perpetual motion machines.

    But no, we are run by a government and civil service who can speak dead languages, but don’t understand it gets dark at nights.

    But Kwangroach has assured us the lights won’t go out this winter, so that’s alright then.

  10. Young people often assume the world operates in the same way as their family operates – on socialist lines where the parents make decisions but look after the children.

    As they get older, they realise this model doesn’t work at scale.

    Cycle of life. Nothing new about it, other than young people seem more infantilised for longer than previous generations.

  11. Tim the Coder,

    “The energy crisis would be a good example why education beyond 3R’s is useful: if ecoloons like Princess Nut Nuts had learned some elementary science they might know about energy quantity and the impossibility of their unicorn-driven perpetual motion machines.”

    I’m pretty sure that every child is taught this. I’m confident this was taught to me before I had to take options.

    It’s like most MPs get the question of the probability of flipping two heads wrong. Conservatives barely had a majority, Labour were overwhelmingly wrong. And we definitely teach that to kids around 11 years old. Most of these people probably have O level maths.

  12. MyBurningEars said:
    “I’m happy to accept that kids often leave school with worryingly low attainment in important skills but they’ll only be worse if you let them out at 13.”

    What about giving them an incentive to learn? Let them leave school early, but only if they pass 5 O levels, including maths and English?

  13. BonM4,
    So if it isn’t stupidity and ignorance, why are Nut Nuts, that swedish doom goblin and coherts, doing all this eco-lunacy?
    Are they simply evil?

  14. @MBE
    You seem to leave out the most important part of education. To learn how to learn. Is there much sign of that going on in the modern education system?

  15. @adrian: the young today don’t also have the ‘Look over there at the socialists driving Trabants and wearing trouser made of cardboard, while we tootle around in our VW Golfs dressed in Levis’ example that anyone over the age of 45 did.

  16. Jim, even if they did see such a person, they would assume the state would behave like their parents and sort it out. La la land.

  17. I think Anne Widdecombe summed it up recently when she pointed out that education used to be about teaching people HOW to think and now it’s about teaching them WHAT to think

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