The Sentence I Overheard That Made ME Liberal


Capitalism has been associated with freedom, opportunity, risk, success; the list goes on and on. Communism is often associated with the complete loss of individuality. It seems, however, that a college that costs $40,000 sans room and board is the furthest thing from opportunity. With 1 in 6 children in Milwaukee living in poverty, the notion that America is a land of opportunity seems awfully far-fetched.

I am fortunate enough to attend a high school with tuition exceeding ten-thousand dollars per year. For years I had been under the opinion that Capitalism was what made higher education possible; this idea was based upon what I was taught by others, for I had never put much effort into researching what made my education possible. The school is located in a relatively poor neighborhood, and after school one afternoon I was waiting to be picked up, when a group of 4 or 5 teenagers walked by the school. The next thing I heard is something I can never forget.

“HA, the students that go to that motherfucker walk around with 10 G’s in their back pocket!”

Perhaps the education I took for granted was denied to most children, children that would give anything to switch places with me. This

Kerry State School

Kerry State School (Photo credit: Rana X.)

is what made me realize that the notion that “America is the land of equal opportunity,” is not based on facts, but on manipulated opinions given to the general public by people who can afford to pay millions to keep their billions. Perhaps there can be no “equal opportunity” when there is absolutely no equality in the education system.

America is not Charlie Scheen, despite what the media has caused most people to believe, America is not always winning. Let me be clear, America is LOSING. We are losing ground faster than ever before. It is appalling to see presidential candidates deny that they ever cared about education reform in order to gain support.

Few people know that Canada’s McGill University costs $1,900 per year, even fewer realize that it is ranked higher than 3 Ivy League schools. I have decided to work on Daniel Riemer’s campaign for Representative in the State Assembly in Wisconsin’s new 7th District. I have decided that I will work as hard as possible to assure that no child is left behind because their parents could not afford to spend $40,000 on their high school education. To learn more about Daniel’s campaign or to contribute to someone who brings hope to Wisconsin’s struggling public school system due to Scott Walker’s policies see: http://riemerforassembly.com/

 

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22 Responses to The Sentence I Overheard That Made ME Liberal

  1. RichardB1001 says:

    Agree totally with the sentiment you are expressing here. Keep on keeping on.

  2. Wayne says:

    I agree that it is sad that America spends more on public education than just about any other country, and we get next to nothing in return.

    So, your opportunity to go to a private High School made you a socialist elitist?

    Would you explain that further?

    Wayne

    • Ethan Hill says:

      Not merely the opportunity, but the opportunity in addition to the realization that by an accident of birth I had been given the opportunity to attend a better funded school than someone who went to a public school.

      Could you explain what you mean by a “socialist elitist” please?

      Thank you, I am glad you asked for clarification and I am more than happy to answer any additional questions you have.

  3. Great piece! Keep up the good work, you are an inspiration!

  4. Wayne says:

    Ethan,

    You seem to be smart, and well educated. Your parents have sacrificed a lot for you to go to a better school.

    I believe you live in Wisconsin area. Is that correct?

    Please, do not believe the socialist elite’s little lies.

    Your education at just over 10k/yr is CHEAP. Public school in your area is much more expensive …. Anywhere from 20% more to 50% more. (*) Thank you for encouraging me to do some quick research on that.

    And the public schools do not give what they are paid for.

    You yourself wrote that you get a better education. It is the social scientists manipulating your beliefs who have told you the better education cost more.

    It does not cost more. It costs less.

    And that is only the beginning of what Big Brother is doing to your generation.

    Over the last four years, the elite have increased your share of the national debt from $100,000 to about $200,000 …. that would be enough money for you to buy a new house and a new car or two …. but, that is debt for their decades of waste, fraud, and abuse.

    And they want you to feel guilty, so you will encourage them to waste even more.

    Because you were accidentally born to ‘privilege.’

    Never forget, it is hard work which should earn privilege.

    Wayne

    (*) The 8 district spread sheet was scary.
    http://dpi.wi.gov/sfs/cmpcst.html

    • Ethan Hill says:

      By that logic I assume that it would be better to have no schools at all. Yes, I concede that hard work earns privilege, but I will not concede that the less you spend on education the better. I do not see how a school with an average ACT score of 27 is somehow not educating their students better than other schools.

      I live in district 8 and none of those statistics are cross applicable to a city like Milwaukee where, I repeat, 1 in 6 children live under poverty level.

      • Wayne says:

        Poverty is not a direct function of education. Poverty is a direct function of wage versus cost of living in an area.

        We are massively over-spending on schools. And no one is holding them accountable.

        We are spending almost 4 times as much per student as when I was in High School (COMPARED to private schools). We are spending 10 times as much on higher education, but wage inflation was only 4 times as much.

        We have been led down a dead end path. And if we do not correct it soon, your grand children will speak chinese and live in a tent ….. if they are not in poverty.

        This is not about saving yourself, or your family, this is about saving all of America.

        This current method of social experimentation has failed. But, leaders are making more changes quickly. They hope to get the changes made before everything here collapses.

        And I will write what I have written many times: economic enslavement of the poor is a heinous crime.

        It is treason.

        Wayne

  5. willtellsall says:

    Ethan,

    As always, great piece. I saw something from you the other day asking how Obama can be a socialist considering his tax policy. Not something I could answer in a comment but it’s my latest post, “The Truth About Obama’s Tax Policy”.

    I have a few things to add to your post on education. Please don’t think that spending less money on education is my position, but the money we do spend is woefully wasted and that is a hard fact just like one it six kids living in poverty. Be careful listening to the spin from an administration who is trying to demonize republicans by saying they are against women’s rights. Women’s poverty is at one of the highest levels ever and “Blame Bush” is played out… these are liberal policies at work now. They simply can’t blame Bush anymore and its time to start looking at what is really happening as I illustrated in my “Obama/Tax/Socialism” piece. Education;

    Don’t ever let one sentence make you anything. Especially don’t allow that sentence make you liberal. Life is about choices and capitalism is the ultimate expression of that. Before I get into that I would like to address the sentence itself. There were how many of them, four or five, and just you? Then that sentence came flying at you at the precise moment they passed [or within earshot… I’ll be reasonable]? I think you may want to consider the sentence was a plant, purposefully dropped in order for YOU to hear, and intended to mess with your head. It is just a possibility and I will tell you why…

    I grew up in poverty. The high school I went to I was a minority as a white kid. The middle school my father went to had “beat up white boy” day… he was the only white boy. I also grew up quite strange as I travelled to countless trade shows and art festivals with my silversmith father and mother. Point is I know all types, I have met all types from destitute to famous, and I once messed with people on purpose simply because I knew they had prejudged me [or I at least thought/assumed they had]. My upbringing did make me very good at mortgage sales thankfully because of my ability to “read” people but my odd upbringing also taught me something very important. It doesn’t matter where someone if from, rich or poor, entitled or downtrodden… you cant hand most people an opportunity in this country without them messing it up or blowing it off completely.

    Life is about choices and we live in a country that exemplifies that. Those kids cant afford to go to the school you go to because of choices their parents made, good and bad, and just as we all have the opportunity to succeed… we have the opportunity to fail. When we fail as adults we effect our children, family, and even friends in a negative way. There was a time when that was enough incentive to work very hard… but that time is long past. The more “safety nets” we offer many citizens the harder they will come crashing down… it’s just a fact of life.

    There are other choices that have placed education in America in peril but that is a much longer conversation. One biggie is the cost of education which was relatively reasonable until the 60’s when guess what? The GOVERNMENT started getting involved…

    I will ask when is the last time the Department of Education taught anyone anything? School and higher education were not always so expensive and I would go into it but I would just be regurgitating what so many well respected scholars have already said about the demise of education in this great country ONCE government got it’s hands on it. The C.A.T.O. Institute is an Independent Libertarian think tank out of D.C. and a really good place to start such as the following section of the site dedicated to education in this country: http://www.cato.org/federal-education-policy

    Education is a multilayered problem, much of the “doom and gloom” reporting on the sorry state of our education system is true, but the way to fix it is by making better choices not implementing more government oversight and bureaucratic control. That is much of why are are where we are. Just an opinion.

    Congratulations for joining a campaign no matter what side you have joined. I believe in checks and balances so those who are conservative and want no government control in their life must be balanced by those who think government is a necessary evil in ALL parts of our life.

    -Will Tell
    willtellsall.blogspot.com
    Follow us on Twitter: Will_Tell_2012

    • Ethan Hill says:

      I very much appreciate the work that you put in to write such a comprehensive comment. Also, the person I am campaigning for is in his mid-twenties and was a graduate of an “inner-city” school. He cares about education more than anything and I do not think that leaving education up to the private sector is a good idea. Unfortunately this country is built on an economic system that determines one’s value as a person. If one cannot make a profit he would not start a school. That is just how I see it, and there certainly are exceptions.

      Thank you once again! I always find that you have some of the best comments on my blog, and I can only hope to see you here in the future!

      • willtellsall says:

        I definitely don’t think education should be left up to the private sector though I welcome “for profit” schools. I am just very uneasy about giving more power to government because of the catastrophes they have caused. As a chronic pain patient, one of the worst most specialists have ever seen, I have faced charges of drug seeking several times during my seventeen year career as a chronic pain patient. The only reason, or the main reason that has happened to me is because of government control stemming back to 1914. Govt is a necessary evil but necessary nonetheless (in my humble opinion). I’ll have my GF read your post on religion b/c she’s a preachers daughter and very “non” religious.

        -Timothy

      • willtellsall says:

        ooops… used my real name. Still getting used to using a pen name as the pen name is new. My small following is evidence of that as I had a much larger following before I decided to use one… but it was necessary. Call me Will, Timothy, Tim… whatever. Again nice piece.

  6. “It seems, however, that a college that costs $40,000 sans room and board is the furthest thing from opportunity.”

    I completely agree. Some dont realize the backward nature of our higher education system. As far as I understand, in Nicaragua, University is free. I wouldn’t mind that here!

  7. cmunal says:

    Is education a right or privilege earned?

    I believe it is something to be earned. The notion that education can be free is a fallacy. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Many people even if you hand them a future on a silver platter will mess it up. You must earn your right to have a education especially at the higher level.

    When you have state run education like in the United States you put people in the system who were not meant to be there. Some people will become doctors/lawyers and while most will never amount to much else. Is everyone meant to be a CEO?

    Equality in America stems from your right to make whatever decision you want in life, right or wrong, and rightfully reap the benefits or failures that result. It rewards productivity and punishes all else.

    Equality from socialism is the sharing of suffering whereby everyone receives the same treatment regardless of merit. It punishes the rich for their virtue of success, through claims of greed, and it rewards the inadequate through claims of need.

    • Ethan Hill says:

      Without state run education you realize that people who deserve to have a higher education will not receive it. You seem to think that children should be accountable for their own education, regardless of the cost. When you show me one example of a 13 year old boy or girl (the age one starts high school) who is willing to earn, at minimum wage, $10,000/year for education get back to me.

      • cmunal says:

        Without a state run education system the people that deserve a higher education will receive it. The people that have money, meaning they did something productive in society to earn it, will rightfully be rewarded the opportunity to learn. Education is a service provided in exchange for money and can be run more efficiently in a market place where demand of the service will dictate a higher quality, rather than the soup kitchen quantity over quality style we have now.

        Children are accountable for their own education. If parents fail to pay for their child’s education it is up to the child to make his own way.

        Andrew Carnegie started working at the age of 13 in 1848 in a cotton mill. He worked 12 hours a day and received $1.20 per week. From these humble beginnings he eventually amounted to becoming the second richest man in history. Against all adversity Carnegie realized his full potential with a key ingredient, work ethic.

  8. .Hi Ethan,

    I agree with your other commenters that America spends way too much money on public education which gives much to nothing in return. And its citizens are paying way too much for a college education that turns out less than it should. It’s really nothing more than a poverty trap nowadays. Ethan, don’t feel guilty because your parents are able to send you to the school they feel is best for you.

    Wayne, I agree with you on all points.

    I also agree with willtellsall’s comments. Ethan, you can’t let one sentence define you, or your future. I find it interesting how they called the school a MF and not the students. That tells me they see the waste and abuse in our educational system.

    There are lies going around perpetrating as truth. BEWARE!!
    Best wishes!!

  9. shellybernal says:

    Ethan – I found your decision to participate in the political system by supporting a campaign inspiring. Many of us have spent decades of our lives without this level of civic engagement. Congratulations and thanks for the motivation! Shelly

  10. Ya know, I’m not gonna read through all the comments to see if this point was brought up, however once you start paying property taxes, you’ll realize that part of your property taxes go to the local school district. If you live in a community where people have worked their asses off to buy a nice house then you need to thank them for your 10K education. Understand, most funding for K-12 comes from local taxes not federal or state taxes.

    It used to be that people worked hard, saved their money, and invested in their son’s and daughter’s education. People wanted to make things easier for the next generation of their kin.

    Now, everybody is worried about where their new $500 Iphone, everybody has an $800 car payment because they got to keep up with the joneses, and there credit card is maxxed out because they just had to have that 88″ big screen hanging on the wall.

    In the interum, they aren’t working to make it better for the next generation, they are working to pay for interest on all the shit they bought that they couldn’t afford in the first place. Progress stands still, nobody’s buying houses, and those that already exist are empty, because nobody can secure a loan because their credit score is all fucked up!The next thing you now . . . the tax base for the community goes to shit. And the community can only afford to drop a grand per kid per semester.

    You better bet your ass that conservative people are paying for your 10K school. Look around, I bet you are surrounded by a lot of high dollar houses; houses that people pay high property taxes for.
    Some of ’em are trustee children, and some of ’em worked their asses off just so they could get out of the ghetto. Some of ’em jsut do enough to get by, and they are still in the ghetto.

    if people want to go to a 10K per year school, or send their kids there so they can have a better life, they better get off their asses and pitch in if they want the conditions in the community to improve.

    Nothing is free. Spreading the wealth only makes everyone mediocre and that is not how the United States came to be the great nation it is. I’d be willing to bet that you have never even been introduced to the childrens fable, “The Little Red Hen.” Our educator’s are too busy fillin gyour head’s with bullshit to fill tem with the didactic tales of yesteryear.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Red_Hen

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