Monday 16 November 2009

Teach it in schools, am I the only one who thinks it's crazy not to?

There will be a "new, independant government agency" setup to provide financial education. This sounds like a laudable development that has been a LONG time coming, since most people come out of school completely clueless about all things financial and then they wade far out to become neck-deep in debt before too many years of their working lives have passed, and most of us will never completely escape this trap. Helping people avoid the issue seems like the only sensible thing to do. In fact, I would argue it should be right up at the top of the curriculum with the three R's myself, because it is a fundamental life skill to be able to manage money and budgets, at least at a rudimentary level.

But on closer inspection I realise that this new initiative is purely a palliative measure, because the education will not be given to all and sundry as part of the curriculum. It will be taught to people by an agency when they are in trouble already. This is far too late! Perhaps it will help some people avoid going irretrievably in too far, which is of course better than nothing.

But why stop short like this? Ask yourself who stands to benefit from most people being in debt to at least some degree, and the answers you might come to will not include you and me the average chump debt slave on the street.

No, someone out there much prefers to keep the average person on the street disinterested in all matters relating to money and finance, so they prefer to trust those nice people in the financial services industry. You know, those clever people in the big houses, with the Porsches and the yachts. Someone has to give them the money they use to buy those things, and if you didn't realise already, that person is you!

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