Education and the Economy


May 20, 2014

I read a newspaper editorial today that states that education is tied to the economy. It amazes me that we do not automatically understand this and have to have it reinforced through the media. The article goes on to state that the local work force is a product of local education. It continues to discuss the importance of innovation to ensure students are exposed to better educational opportunities. It then continues on to discuss the potential obstacles local education can create in trying to recruit the best talent to work and develop the businesses that feed the local economy. This article reminded me of a discussion that took place on Meet the Press a couple of weeks ago when it was stated that we need to declare War on Education.


A couple of months ago I wrote a blog on Life Long Education and the importance of everyone understanding that education does not stop when you get out of college or high school. The article and TV show reinforced my resolve to spread the word about how important education is. I think a lot of people in key positions understand this and work to promote this. However, many do not.


There is no doubt many educators are doing incredible jobs, however we may really need to declare war on education. Understanding that we live in a global economy, if we are to continue to be the leaders in the world, we need to ensure we have the best in the world in science, math, technology and engineering, not to mention business and finance and the many other areas of knowledge. To do this we need to have the best schools and teachers that produce the best and the brightest and we need to ensure that we fund the schools and teachers to ensure we are attracting the best educators. Educators need to not only teach, but to challenge and get students to think! The teaching jobs need to be attractive—not just in the wanting to help students grow and develop, but in pay. Yes, pay. Teachers have an incredible impact on our future as well as our present, and yet many that are good or great educators are leaving teaching for more profitable endeavors.


How many of those receiving food stamps and other handouts would have avoided this with proper education? In fact, imagine if we taught students business at the primary and secondary levels and unleashed them into the economy—the impact they would have.


I continue to be amazed by the amount of those running small businesses, key management, and entrepreneurs that fail to seek out more education, much of which is free. Many just do not invest the time or money to sharpen the saw, or be introduced to new or creative ideas, or to be inspired to think.


For many years I have believed that we need to teach basic business skills in high school. How many leave high school and cannot balance a checkbook, write a check, or understand why they need to recognize why checking accounts need to be reconciled? How many leave high school and understand cash flow or credit? I admit that I do not know this as a fact, but based on what I see, if we do teach these things, we are failing at this basic education.


Certain books should be used as text books and to my knowledge are not in public schools. Think about the impact of studying How to Win Friends and Influence People or Think and Grow Rich or The Magic of Thinking Big or The E-myth Revisited or even The Compound Effect in high school.


Yes, there is a direct relationship between education and the economy. Think of the impact of developing the relationship between education and business integrated with thinking.