Beaming with Paternal Pride!

June 10, 2013
By: Bobby Casey, Managing Director

Beaming with Paternal PrideMy daughter, Ashton is a lovely 17 year old whom I affectionately refer to as mini-me.  For years she rejected the idea that she was like her dad.  Over time, she realized it was unavoidable.

She is a younger, female version of me.  Sure, she is her own person, but we share very similar personalities – we are both aggressive, abrasive, loud, obnoxious, and very, very opinionated.

Since we’ve lived outside the USSA for a few years now, we decided last year to enroll her in a private online school for expats.  It is much like online university that is so popular nowadays, but this is for the grade-school crowd.

Last week I was paid one of the best compliments I’ve ever received.

You see, Ashton received an email from her US History teacher that read, “This sounds like you have been raised by an anarchist.”

This note was in response to one of Ashton’s journal entries she made answering a question from the teacher. 

The question from the teacher read, “Explain reasons why the business and labor practices of the Robber Barons were unfair.”

My little mini-me’s response was;

“I believe that the business and labor practices of the Robber Barons, or leaders of the corporate world, were undoubtedly vicious, but I do not believe they were unfair. Many of these men came from humble beginnings, slaving away at their dream of controlling a particular industry. Is that so unjust? They came from the same background as many of their workers, but somehow managed to make it to the top. They should be commended for their perseverance and hard work. Our country has this obsession with “what is fair” and making everyone feel good about themselves by placing a metaphorical gold star on everyone’s work. I believe that many people in the media back then, just as they do today, would twist the truth in order create villains out of these successful entrepreneurs and find someone to place the blame upon. Wake up, America. Life isn’t always fair.”

This is the moment every parent waits for.  The moment you realize your offspring actually starts to “get it”.  All those years of discussing economics and entrepreneurship at the dinner table seems to have finally paid off. 

I do find the nature of the teacher’s question a bit humorous though.  It was clearly written to lead the students toward a desired answer.  The teacher is asking the students to explain WHY – not IF, but WHY – the labor practices were unfair. 

Let me say that overall, I do think this online school for expats does a pretty good job. It is a private school, not state funded and run by expats who have a much more worldly view than the state indoctrination camps, also known as public schools.

But this type of questioning is just plain irritating.  This teacher is subtly (or not so subtly) trying to project their own personal views on the students and help “guide” their minds as opposed to allowing them the ability to disagree with their viewpoint and dispute their claim.

Luckily my stubborn, opinionated daughter didn’t fall for the teacher’s ploy and took the opportunity dispute the claim regardless.  And this is where one of my best compliments ever emerged – although I doubt it was intended to be complementary. 

My view, as a parent, is it’s my job to raise my children to be curious.  They should question everything.  (Except me, of course, because I’m always right.)

I just don’t understand the mentality of those who can be satisfied with the “status quo”.  How can one listen to a politician, preacher, teacher or anyone else sitting in a perceived position of authority and just accept the garbage that spews from their mouths?

Beaming with Paternal Pride I cannot fathom the idea of raising my kids to just “accept” and follow like a good little sheep. 

This broken way of thinking is a huge burden on human progress.  Looking back in history, all great breakthroughs came from people who refused to just “accept”.  They were thinkers and doers. 

Not sheep.

And yet we still send our kids to these indoctrination camps to “educate” them?  Really? 

Do you also teach your kids to talk to the invisible man in the sky who grants magical wishes as long as you follow his rulebook and give him money?

These indoctrination camps do nothing but create the next generation of worker slaves.  The entire concept of public education today was created at the dawn of the industrial revolution and its stated purpose was to train workers for the factories. 

Hello, people!  We don’t live in the industrial age anymore. 

Do you really want to educate your kids for the world ahead? 

Teach them foreign languages.  Take them to different parts of the world to experience different cultures.  Have them read great literature and thought provoking non-fiction. 

Teach them to ask questions.  Teach them to be curious.

Comments

  1. Tom Beach says

    Robber Baron is a term that is used to vilify the business elite of that era. They used their power to gain advantage over the working class and make outsized profits. These were not people who cared about the social consequences of their profit machines/businesses. They were in it for the money and the power.
    The Robber Barons were indeed unfair. They were vicious. They really did not care at all about the welfare of their laborers. They cared about profit. Take a close look at the labor practices of the textile industries in Bangladesh. Are they fair? The Robber Barons are alive and well and doing very well indeed. They are now off shore and international. They do not rob. They exploit the cheapest labor available on the planet to make the biggest profit possible.
    Robber Baron is the wrong term. It should be Exploiter Barons. They take advantage of the weakest and poorest people in the poorest nations to turn as large a profit as possible. The argument always seems to be that, if they do not do it, someone else will. True enough.
    But does that make it right? At what point does wrong become acceptable in the name of profit? At what point does it become unacceptable? Does the building have to collapse and kill everyone inside to become the wrong use of labor and resources? Or can the Exploiters perhaps yield a little larger percentage of their profit to create a safer work environment. How much suffering and death is acceptable for workers? Why must Exploiters be always forced to consider the human cost of their exploitation?
    How about a little empathy to go along with seeking profit. Does it always have to be maximum profit at maximum human cost?
    Who do those being hurt go to for social justice in the workplace?
    Just for a moment place yourself in the shoes of those laborers who barely make enough to live in dangerous conditions. I doubt that you would feel such compassion for the entrepreneur who is just seeking profit.
    But hey, I could be wrong. You might feel nothing for those who are little more than slaves. After all, you got yours and don’t need to feel anything for those who live in squalor and fear.
    It is funny how fortunes turn for people. One generation is well off and then some misfortune happens and the next generation is living on the street or working in a sweat shop.
    Be careful how you treat and see others. One day you may be the other.
    Aloha,
    Tom

    • Sounds like you are drowning in the Koolaid Tommyboy. Enjoy your mediocrity.

      Personally, I have been on both sides. I’ve been the laborers working as a carpenter and various other low level jobs. I did not begrudge the boss who made considerably more than I because I knew that he took risks and deserved the reward.

      I’ve worked in minimum wage jobs. I’ve had wealth, lost it and regained it. All through hard work and perseverance. And not a minute of this defeatist mentality you clearly possess. Yes, I’ve got mine. And I worked fucking hard for it too.

    • Kevin Beck says

      What do you mean, subsidized profits? They weren’t receiving payments from those who were not their customers, like fedzilla wants to encourage today; they made their money from providing an actual good that their customers were willing to pay for. These businessmen were not granted monopolies like what exists today; instead, they earned their position in the market by producing things better than their competition did. That’s the way you succeed in the free market. None of this crony BS that the government wants to enforce today.

  2. (Do you also teach your kids to talk to the invisible man in the sky who grants magical wishes as long as you follow his rulebook and give him money?)
    In general I like this article; however the hi-lite line above I find offensive as a Christian. He is NOT an “invisible man in the sky”, He is the great I AM”, that created us. Thank you God, His rulebook – called the Bible (or Torah by some) tells of God giving us rules to live by, from the 10 commandments to “the Greatest Law” given us by Jesus. If God gave us EVERYTHING, giving Him our first fruits is an honor and a privilege and is NOT a prerequisite to receiving His grace, but is the right thing to do. (and this is the least we should do!) I’m sorry to go on like this but that one line just nullified everything else he said and shows what a messed up world we really live in. It proves that head knowledge in NOTHING compared to HEART knowledge and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It just happens to be what I am preaching on this week.

    (These indoctrination camps do nothing but create the next generation of worker slaves. The entire concept of public education today was created at the dawn of the industrial revolution and its stated purpose was to train workers for the factories.
    Hello, people! We don’t live in the industrial age anymore.)

    If we don’t produce something, someone else will, and they will rule the world. “Atlas Shrugged”

    (Do you really want to educate your kids for the world ahead?
    Teach them foreign languages. Take them to different parts of the world to experience different cultures. Have them read great literature and thought provoking non-fiction. )

    These things are OK if they are directed by a Christian- or – Spirit filled parent that teaches their child that Moral Values are more important to us as an individual and as a society than some “New Age” culture promoting a drug like induced coma of some pseudo-intellectual pretending that their knowledge is superior to God’s Word.

    • While I respect most of what you said in your post the last paragraph really grated on me. Saying that you shouldn’t learn about the world or read thought provoking literature unless it’s guided by a Christian(as a kid). Its also implying those that don’t follow christianity are part of this “New age” which in my opinion is worse than the comment you were complaining about.

    • -not an invisible man in the sky? – prove it. Funny how otherwise intelligent, rational people get offended about their belief in mysticism. I chose not to teach my kids to believe in fairy tales that have no basis in reality. You claim “he” exists – I say prove it. You have faith. Faith is believing without seeing which logically means you have no physical proof of “his” existence. In all recorded history there is zero evidence of this existence. And whatever you do, don’t reference the bible as your “proof” of existence. That’s like citing wikipedia as a reference for wikipedia.

      David A Spitz, “One might be asked, ‘How can you prove a god does not exist?’ One can only reply that it is necessary to disprove what has never been proved.”

      Your mysticism is nothing more than another version of indoctrination camps. You are preaching mysticism with no basis on reality and using fear and guilt to extort money from weak-minded people. Disgusting.

      The worst thing in the world I could do is to raise my kids in a christian environment. I want my kids to have sound moral judgement, not biased with false pretenses and raised with irrational fear of some invisible man in the sky.

      Marcus Aurelius, “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

    • Kelly Diamond says

      I happen to subscribe to the Christian faith: focusing mainly on following the teachings of Christ than legalism. And while I think both the side of the atheist and skeptic and the side of the spiritual or believer can generate a good and productive human being, the spiritual side is more of an individual preference. Personally, I don’t think it’s my job to “prove God exists”. That’s God’s job. He proved Himself to me, and I trust He will do so in His good time for all. If someone doesn’t want to believe in God, then that’s their deal.

      I don’t think that God is or should be inconsistent or incompatible with reality. Our discovery of reality via science and whatnot is, IMO, our discovery of God. As I put it to one person: We believe in the same science, I just believe that there was Someone deliberating orchestrating those events rather than those events randomly happening for no reason. There are some who believe snowmen build themselves by random drops of snow falling into that formation. Others believe someone built the snowman. Both agree that the snowman came into existence somehow. The snowman is the reality we are left to deal with… how it got there is something to ponder, but nothing to divide humanity over.

      And there is Kelly Diamond’s two depreciated American cents…

  3. Pat Perry says

    Great job Bobby, I know that parenting moment, congratulations!
    How do you figure that the instructor got from a well expressed defense of free market actions to ‘your old man must be an anarchist’? Albeit true and complimentary you would think that he would have said ‘capitalist pig’ or something similair.

  4. Congratulations Bobby, it is a moment to cherish because as you have stated, the past 17 years have not been in vain.

  5. Not in the industrial age any more? Where do all the cars, iphones, etc. come from? Perhaps you should have said that children were being trained to be subordinate drones in an industrial society, cogs in a machine. Denying the existence of the machine doesn’t make too much sense. Loved Ashton’s reply. My proudest moment in prep school was an English essay in which I contradicted the teacher’s thesis about whatever work of literature we were studying at the time.
    I got an A for good writing and a well-reasoned presentation (from a prof who rarely gave better than a B).
    I was wrong, by the way… The prof. had it right (not too surprising). But he was secure enough to give me points for what the class was about – composition and reasoning – rather than docking me for disagreeing with him.

    • Most historians consider the industrial age to have begun around the late 18th or early 19th century. It transitioned to the technological age and now most consider this to currently be the information age.

      • PT Heewee says

        Admin – If strictly speaking about the US economy the majority of the companies are indeed technological/service driven now which long ago, i.e.1980’s, the service industry surpassed the manufacturing./industrial sector as the majority sector of the US economy.

        As far as the comment by Mr. Marc de Piolenc above it is naive and absurd to believe “cars, iphones, etc.” are made in the US. They are marketed here only.

        Nice article Bobby. Keep it up. If I had kids I would want that type of wisdom in them.

  6. Bruce R Porter Sr says

    Congratulations! That’s great. I’m retired now, but made a career of the Army, questioning all the way, but I loved soldiering and combat and jumping out of airplanes etc, etc.
    However, I began questioning as an 18 year old PFC in Viet Nam….asked my platoon leader why we were fighting the war the way we were because our own manuals said we couldn’t win that way.
    I could go on and on about Nam….Then I caught on about the money. Then I figured out we only had a1 party system. We started home schooling our children (final total 6) and started home school organizations in CA and NC
    I had been an atheist but became a Christian and eventually an Eastern Catholic priest. Still questioning all the way. Oh yeah, I’m a high school dropout, one of my better decisions.
    Don’t want to turn this into a book, but I guess I needed to congratulate you…..and let off a little steam.

  7. I am a teacher in one of the so called state indoctrination camps. I asked the
    same question worded as follows:

    There are scholars who criticize the ethics of the labor and business
    practices of the Robber Barons. There are also scholars who support
    them. Evaluate these practices from your personal perspective. Please
    note whatever side you take, you must offer supporting evidence to
    defend your position and citations for the evidence. In your essay, be
    mindful of the fact that certain business practices are mandated by
    law and beyond the control of the entrepreneur.

    • That is a much better way of asking the question. It seems you are not leading to a foregone conclusion but allowing the student to research and draw their own conclusions.

  8. LOVE IT ! Congrats are in order and hope she gets the ” A” she deserves.

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