Some More Thoughts on the Economy: US Edition

Sorry for the delays but these last few weeks have been surprisingly busy for Yours Truly. Anyway, about two weeks ago I wrote something about the state of affairs of the Russian economy and why I believed that the average Russian is very much pro-Putin. I then wrote a follow-up essay on the latest round of sanctions leveled against Russia and how I thought they were foolish and will probably peter out in due time.

In the first essay, I wrote how this trilogy of essays were inspired by three of our commentators on Monomakhos and that they should be able to identify themselves at the appropriate moment. The first essay was instigated by an inveterate Putin critic. Now I ask that we turn our attention to our own homeland. The other two commentators should be able to identify themselves in this one.

This particular blog-post will concentrate on the state of the American economy. It’s inspiration came from the second commentator, who like me is a Greek-American and seems to be a contemporary to myself. Anyway, his life experiences were markedly similar.

Like him, my father was a Greek immigrant who came to the States in the late fifties. Also a blue-collar worker, he was able to feed, clothe and shelter his family on a working man’s wages. We weren’t rich by any means but my mother was able to stay at home and care for our family in a way that put my sisters and I on the road to a better life.

What’s surprising is how unexceptional this all was. All of the other children I grew up with had similar life experiences. We were not in any way unique. Working fathers, housewife mothers, intact families. Children playing outdoors everyday. Not perfect in the Leave it to Beaver sense but certainly none of the outward pathology that is so commonplace today. There were no credit cards. The overwhelming number of families had one car.

Let’s put our cards on the table: this is no longer possible. Not for blue-collar worker in America today. Nor is a college education any guarantee of future success. Unless one goes into the one of the STEM fields (or is a con-man like Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg), the best career options will likely include work as some type of office fauna or Starbucks barista. To say nothing of the permanent indenture to the Federal government thanks to Guaranteed Student Loans.

I may be wrong, but it seems to me that those who cheer lead the awesomeness of the American economy vis-a-vis the Russian economy are much younger than me. I seriously doubt that they have an inkling of what I’m talking about.

Yes, I do admire Putin the man, the leader of Russia –but even if I didn’t I wouldn’t be castigating him from the vantage point of American exceptionalism. That exceptionalism –working father, stay-at-home mother, an intact, nuclear family–doesn’t really exist today. Not to any appreciable extent.

So why do we believe it? I believe it is only because of the incessant propaganda (in the form of commercialism and stupefyingly idiotic K-12 indoctrination) we’re subjected to. Personally, I myself was so beguiled by the propaganda that I couldn’t see the big picture. Likewise I succumbed to Francis Fukuyama’s thesis back in the 90s that democratic liberalism was the end-state of history. All people were the same; all people wanted Democracy. That’s the pond we swam in; as one wag said, “fish don’t know that they’re wet”.

There’s another saying, about a frog in a boiling pot. At first, the water is cold and only gradually it’s heated, otherwise, he’d jump out immediately. Eventually, it gets so hot that he’s boiled to death; by then, it’s too late.

We have experienced that in America over last fifty years. Leaving aside the immoral morass we’ve sunken into, simply consider the economic stagnation that has taken place. In the fifties and sixties, a high-school educated wage-earner could provision a family. Of course things were tight but everybody was expected to live within their means. It was a given. Now, only a professional, two-earner family can experience the economic stability that was normal when I was a child. Again, that’s why I’m far more circumspect about criticizing other countries as my age has given me a perspective that is not available to Gen-Xers and Millennials. Or so I presume.

So how did it happen? How did the pot go from cold water to tepid water to warm and then to a boil?

I believe there are three broad areas that contributed to the erosion of the American working class and to de-Americanization in general. Roughly speaking they are indiscriminate immigration, forced integration and the sexual revolution. Let’s consider them briefly as to do otherwise would do them injustice.

Pride of place I believe goes to the sexual revolution. Beginning in 1953, Hugh Hefner published the first Playboy magazine. Somehow, he got a hold of Marilyn Monroe’s nude pictures and created a magazine out of them. It was a sensation.

In order to get through the (perfectly constitutional) anti- obscenity laws in place back then, he included some short stories and assorted news articles to give Playboy the veneer of sophistication. It was not just a stag magazine but a “serious publication”, one with great writing. And truth be told, it did have some astounding writing. (But somehow I never bought it for the articles.)

Anyway, long story story, it became hugely popular and single-handedly caused a loosening of sexual mores almost overnight. Hollywood soon followed suit and if anything, served as an accelerant in this process. This included the lessening of laws against divorce, the introduction of the birth control pill, co-education and so on. Feminism and abortion-on-demand were the inevitable results. It had to be as men were no longer responsible for the protection of their womenfolk.

Notice I did not say “civil rights”. Nobody in their right mind believes that the enaction of civil rights for African-Americans was wrong. Certainly not me. What was wrong was the forcing of integration in the public schools coupled with the acceleration of Federal largesse beyond all bounds of propriety. It not only led to the destruction of established white neighborhoods but to the hollowing out of formerly intact black ones as well.

Let me point out why.

Remember how earlier I wrote about the majority of working families having only one car? That’s because that one car was usually used by the husband. The children usually walked to school. If the father worked evening shifts (as did mine), the mother could attend the PTA meeting by simply walking to the same school her children attended in the daytime.

Think of how economically liberating such an educational regime was. Unlike today, in which two cars (and the attendant upkeep) are a necessity, the schools were usually close the house. Now, one could interject that for those white families who decamped to the suburbs that doesn’t present that much of a problem but what of the black families who had their neighborhood schools shut down (all for the best of intentions)? Whose kids had to wake up earlier in order to catch the bus? Unlike all the parents in my neighborhood who simply walked to Riverview Elementary at 7pm on some random Thursday night, such a convenience was lost to black parents. And unlike us, many of these families didn’t have even one car, relying as they did on public transportation.

Within a mile radius of my parish (which was the other neighbohood anchor besides Riverview), there were no fewer than five elementary schools, as well as two junior highs (Horace Mann and Theodore Roosevelt) and one high school. Standing in the playground, I could even see off in the distance one of the other schools. Now there is only one elementary school.

White families of course left for the suburbs. Oh, it was expensive but with feminism becoming less stridently hairy-legged it became more acceptable for women to work outside the home. In truth, in order to actually move out to the suburbs in the first place, it was impossible to do otherwise.

While this had an eroding effect on lower middle-class families and made family life in general more hectic, it was not without its financial rewards. For one thing, the land was cheaper and thus more could be purchased. The houses located thereon were bigger than the typical stoop apartments or cottage bungalows that had earlier provided comfortable –if cramped–shelter for working class families.

Increased mortgage costs of course were a problem but that’s where the extra income came in handy. And thanks to the mortgage deduction, all these added costs could be folded into the monthly payment with the benefit of a handsome tax return sometime after April 15th. When you add in the fact that property taxes could be subsumed into the mortgage payment then that was all the sweeter. Under such a scheme it became advantageous to have higher and higher property taxes in order to build bigger and better schools. In economics this is called maximizing the profits while socializing the costs.

Free education became a financial windfall thanks to this taxing scheme. These benefits –not just the education itself–were denied to the denizens of the cities.

Liberal do-gooders were thus caught on the horns of a dilemma. How then to keep open historically black public schools? They of course never bothered to ask black children how they felt about having to ride three miles to a school that their white schoolmates walked or bicycled to but then again, liberals never really understood the arrow of causation.

So what bright idea did they come up with? In Tulsa, they glommed onto the magnet school concept. Bond issues were passed which raised the funds necessary to refurbish and/or expand some of these schools. Propaganda campaigns were enacted which sang the praises of the “new Booker T Washington” or “new George Washington Carver” school. Teaching standards were raised. For the cost of a public education (which is “free”) white liberals could give their children an education on par with the best parochial schools.

There was a hitch though. Two actually. First, in order to get into a magnet school, one had to apply. The list was long and not everybody made the cut. That was for white families. For the blacks who actually lived near the magnet schools, the list was long as well. For every white kid who made it to Booker T, one black kid who most likely lived within walking distance of that school, couldn’t attend. He would be bussed crosstown to Edison High School.

Now I ask you, how was this going to alleviate the problem of lower educational standards? It didn’t work for the majority of black people who saw their kids turned away from their neighborhood schools. And worse, these black families couldn’t afford to move to the suburbs. Even though the Civil Rights Acts made restrictive covenants illegal the uptick in real estate prices made joining white people there impossible. In the final analysis, magnet schools were a dear price to pay so that well-off white people could preen about their moral superiority.

The erosion of good, public education is clearly a major component in the erosion of Middle America. Why? Because when we talk about education, we are talking about one of the single, greatest contributors to social capital. And it’s social capital –the accumulation of prudent habits acquired over generations–that give a child a leg up for the future.

It goes without saying that education by private tutor is the most ideal scenario but that’s not attainable for the great majority of people. The pooling of resources is the most realistic educational scheme. And a good education for the masses could be had in a neighborhood school under strict parental oversight. Lest it be forgotten, working people have enough problems in their lives, to heap onerous burdens upon their shoulders in order to alleviate the white guilt of liberals is unconscionable.

Despite my father’s fractured English, he knew that his children would have the same education as the children of the mid-level executives at his workplace. And given that this was still the sixties, he didn’t have to worry about the school nurse driving his daughters across state lines so they could get an abortion.

The Hart-Cellar Act of 1965 certainly bears some responsibility for this Great Erosion but only a bit. I do not ascribe the same detriment to it as do many others on the Alt Right. For them, the opening up of America’s borders to non-Europeans was demographically undesirable. I’m less concerned as I believe that modernization has a leveling effect on all people in general.

Still, I see their point. American culture was perfectly fine without gangs, female genital mutilation, cock-fights and honor killings. Somehow we survived just fine without all these things blighting our shores. Nay, we actually thrived.

There are economic downsides as well, particularly the dependence of many legal immigrants glomming onto the welfare system in one way or another. In addition, too many workers’ visas have caused a glut, further driving down native wages. Therefore, I applaud President Trump’s new immigration reform package, one which is markedly like Australia’s and puts a premium on English-speakers and conscientious workers who have no intention of going on the dole.

The big problem of course is illegal immigration. Perhaps more than anything else, even more than feminism, incontinence and forced integration, the importation of millions of mestizos and other Third-worlders into America has driven down the average American’s wages significantly. Of this there can be no doubt.

Besides socializing costs and driving crime in many areas upwards, it has eroded much social capital. Consider the story I heard recently of the young black man in California who applied for a job at the local McDonald’s. Because he couldn’t speak Spanish he was passed over. Like most fast-food stores, Mickey D’s is the entry level position for young, unskilled people everywhere. But now, in his native country, he’s not able to get a job because he can’t speak a foreign language. In what universe does this seem fair? Not in mine; certainly not in his.

When the erosion of the Middle Class is looked at in the broad sweep of history, it’s amazing how much ground has been lost in my lifetime alone. I’ve described three such reasons. Certainly there are more.

But what about the future? What about the majority of Millennials who did not study STEM subjects in college; and who indebted themselves heavily in order to major in Lesbian Latina Studies? Being a Starbucks barista is not going to pay off the $50,000 that was borrowed from Uncle Sam so that a “scholar” could enjoy a four-year bacchanal at Enormous State University.

Look at the trajectory here. My father was able to support a wife and children on one full-time job and one part-time job. Even though I’m a health professional, I couldn’t do that. Like millions of other people my age, I moved out of my old neighborhood so my kids could be in a better school district. In the interim, educational standards had fallen so severely in the public school system that parochial schools were the only answer. Had they not fallen so precipitously, then I suppose my wife could have stayed at home. But they did fall and so we sacrificed many things in order for our children to get a decent education.

Whereas my mother trundled her three children out the door as we walked the three blocks to Riverview Elementary, I had to drive our sons to school. When I was growing up, neighborhoods were long established and safe. There were no organized team sports but ad hoc, sandlot play, with lots of leisure time for both parents and children. Think about it: isn’t leisure one of the hallmarks of wealth? And we certainly weren’t wealthy.

Forgive me for the length of this essay and if you’ve made it this far, I thank you. In closing I want to consider the comments of yet a third correspondent regarding the state of affairs between Russia and America. Specifically regarding spirituality.

Some have taken umbrage with my assessment of the upward trajectory of Orthodox Christianity in the newly-resurgent Russia of Vladimir Putin. Fair enough; I don’t know the full story and possibly never will. But the writer in question asked a simple question, why is it wrong for us to assume that the people’s daily troubles couldn’t be assuaged by daily prayer in a beautifully built church? Or put another way, why should we be surprised that people should seek solace within the walls of such a structure?

Yes, I know, we can pray in our homes, our cars and our workplaces. Of course we should. St Paul said that we should pray “ceaselessly”. But why should we castigate Putin (and Russia) because thousands of churches have been built, rebuilt and refurbished over the last twenty-five years? And that thousands of people are gathering there spontaneously to take in beauty?

In my pilgrimage to Russia last year, I toured dozens of churches and monasteries during the middle of the week and saw hundreds of ordinary people visit churches. They lit candles, prayed, gave their confessions, disbursed alms and so on. I saw nothing but reverence. Is that a bad thing? Speaking only for myself, I envied them. How I wish there were three beautifully adorned churches open throughout the day within walking distance of my house or close to my workplace. What would be so wrong about popping in and lighting a candle? If I did so daily, I might even be a better person.

Perhaps those critics of Russia should exercise a little humility and dial back the trumpeting of our economic might. Especially when viewed in a multi-generational sense. If you don’t want to think about the erosion of the Middle Class or what brought it about, fine. But don’t be so pollyannish as to think that there been no erosion or that things are so hunky-dory here in America.

For those of us old enough to remember, things don’t seem so rosy today. I suppose you could say that I “made it” but I work with Millennials and at that point in my life I was already a married home owner.

Anyway, at this point in time, I can only pray for the Lord’s mercy on us and that we come to our senses regarding Russia. There is nothing to be gained by baiting the Russian bear.

No, Putin isn’t perfect, not by any means. But we’ve got serious problems here in the good old U S of A. Wealth inequality is the worst it’s ever been. I’m not sure that Trump can pull a Teddy Roosevelt and break up the great combines. Perhaps all his election has done is buy us some time.

I humbly suggest that we tend to our own knitting and in the words of Pat Buchanan, “come home” and leave Russia to itself.


  1. Michael Bauman says

    George the three factors you name are certainly significant but you alluded to two more which are, IMO, equally important-debt and the growth of large corporations to a place of economic and political dominance.

    Debt is slavery pure and simple no matter what pretty words are used as lipstick, it is ugly. Consumer debt especially. An economy based on debt as ours is becomes a slave economy. Slave economies always destroy families and attack God.

    The multi-national corporations have done a great deal to destroy the local, the particular and the comunnities in which the virtues you describe can be nurtured.

    Also as regards public education it has always been a tool of indoctrination. If you read the writings of Horace Mann in particular you will easily see the intent. He is very open. He imported and championed the Prussian educational model with the precise intent of wresting control of children from Christian parents and making then good little minions of the State. Horace was was mad at the Christian God. Horace lost his beloved brother despite all kinds of prayer to save him. Thus God and people’s false devotion to Him needed to be eradicated. The State, particularly a Prussian style state, was the best replacement.

    Historical tipping points are capricious things that are often mental constructs but I would move it back about a hundred years to 1848.
    Since that time there has been wave after wave of manical, demonic ideas and practices unleashed on the world that have decimated lives and cultures all over the world. Two other important dates AD 1054 and AD 1517.

    The real battle is between a classical Christian sacramental revelation and the modern nihilist understanding. The Orthodox Church even in our attenuated seemingly feeble present is the only antidote.

    All political-economy today is throughly grounded in the modern nihilist iconoclastic revolt against God and His Incarnational, sacramental order. That is why the attempted revival of Symphonia in Russia is problematic. It reeks of the Church uniting with a whore.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Or perhaps the Church redeeming the whore? There’s always that possibility.

      • Michael Bauman says

        History teaches that it is usually the Church or at least her leaders who get corrupted. Then martyrdom redeems and cleanses. But miracles do happen.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Michael, you’re absolutely right about the Federal Reserve and debt slavery. The reason I didn’t write about the Fed is because I wanted to flesh out the three things that I noted in my own lifetime. As for debt slavery, I just touched on it briefly in passing when I mentioned credit cards.

  2. Michael Bauman says

    Along these same lines I have been hearing a lot lately about the new Silk Road China is building. It is both sucking up large amounts of natural resources and allowing China to plant Chinese colonies along the way.

    Combined with the purchase of large amounts of farmland in Africa which is then managed and farmed by Chinese we may be looking in the wrong places altogether for our most dangerous enemy. North Korea too could be part of a Chinese attempt at world hegemony.

    “What to do, trouble everywhere, life is such an awful mess.”

    • George Michalopulos says

      Michael, from what I understand, pretty much all of Eastern Africa is now a giant Chinese colony.

  3. George,

    Not rich by any means is so true, and yet life was good, we never lacked a thing. Unexceptional indeed, nothing expected, except perhaps a job for those who seeked work. Now of course the blue collar worker, both black and white has been replaced by cheap labor south of the border. Our politicians educated from our south of border friends as well. Politicians spending multi millions of their own money, in elections for political positions that pay a 200-400 thousand per year. Then stay in power by payoffs of the rich, and votes from the poor. Meanwhile deals made in their best interest, keeping themselves in office and rich, instead of the best interest of our nation. Presidents left and right, ignoring the middle class, except at election time with songs of patriotism, that no one buys anymore. Squeezed and pulled every direction, and finally spit upon by Obama, and Clinton, forgetting those who made America great. The silent majority finally snapped, and thus we now have Trump! Is he the solution? Probably not, but given the alternative, the right choice. Pray for wisdom on Trump’s part in this new experiment of the outsider.

    What do you have to lose? My favorite line during the election. A good portion of our black citizens living in either self contained prison ghettos, or the real deal with bars, and gun towers. Black population control, by abortion, drugs, imprisonment and violent crime, and yet they continue to elect the same Democratic leaders.

    No going back George, all we can do know is learn from the past and apply a slight twist to the new reality. We know what does not work. So let’s stop the same old methods expecting new results. Let’s reverse the frog pot, perhaps no one will notice. Begin with expecting our schools to educate, not indoctrinate. Teach our children what they need to learn to make a good living, regardless if they go on to college or not. Keep importing 3rd world children into our schools and that will never happen. Immigration must be controlled to better our nation not the alternative.

    On a personal note, one of the many reasons I left California, is that I knew my children would never get a good education in California’s public schools, and living in California would not afford me the financial opportunity to send my children to a private school. Moving to another state gave me both options for my children. Thankfully I have been blessed financially and made the sacrifice to pay for private schools. Many thought me a fool spending the money on private schools, stating that all that money could have been seed
    money for a start up business. Perhaps, but I have no worries, that they might go astray with some of the shit that goes on in public schools, not to mention their career options double. Yet some are not as blessed as I, and must hope for the best, in schools with limited resources. Our schools must accommodate the influx of illegal 3rd world children, and their parents who might not speak English, and have social needs, brought upon from poverty they bring from their native nation into our
    nation. Not to mention the free medical given to illegals, costs that trickle down to the already squeezed middle class. The new squeeze, not so affordable medical care, the new taxation brought upon by our friend Obama, and now simply accepted by Republicans. Slavery comes in many forms.

    In regards to Putin, not there yet, the jury is still out on him.That said I only wish the best for Russia, and the Orthodox Church in Russia! May her Growth never end!

    • George Michalopulos says

      Dino, I too was criticized for privately educating my two sons. We did without vacations, fine dining, etc. Kept cars way longer than we should have in a couple of instances. Things like that. Not complaining mind you, Tulsa Public Schools were not an option unless you wanted for your children to experience The Blackboard Jungle.

      Sorry, all you Rich, White Liberals: a parent has only one chance to raise a child. You go ahead and send your kids to Lily-white Unitarian School where they can learn about the evils of Jefferson and I’ll send mine to St Joe of Kokomo where they can learn about Jesus. For me it’s a no-brainer.

      Back then (late 80s-early 00s) homeschooling was not an option for us or so I thought. Truth be told, I hadn’t even heard of it until the late 90s. Having said that, I don’t regret one penny that we spent on St Katherine of Alexandria, Monte Cassino, Cascia Hall or Bishop Kelley. The students were solid, so were their families and the faculty (of course).

      The only downside was all the Masses we attended, not because we aren’t Catholic but it was all Novo Ordo, Protestant feel-good, if you know what I mean. Always looking at my watch, wondering when this was going to end. (This was before smartphones.)

      Please forgive the rant but the bile I feel for do-gooder Liberals is especially high this morning.

      • George,
        Catholic school as well. Only attended one mass though, my son was asked to speak at the Bishops arrival, so I supported my son. Yet another parallel in our lives George. Say what you want about Greeks, but the love we have for children, especially our own has no equal. I even read a American travel guide once that had a section pertaining to Greeks attitudes towards children. Basicly stating that Greeks love children and are very patient and will bend backwards for their own and strangers children no matter how naughty they might get.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Copy that, Dino. I’m sure you remember your parents talking about the Pedomasoma and what a tragedy that was for the Greeks during their civil war.

  4. P. Antonio Arganda says

    The weeping icon at the Greek church outside of Chicago was painted by a deacon named Michalopulos. A relative?

    • George Michalopulos says

      No! The only Michalopuloses I know whom I’m related in America live close to me. What’s his first name?

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      It is the Weeping Icon of St. John the Baptist at The Assumption of the Theotokos off Bell Road in Homer Glen, IL. My wife and I went there to anoint our Children. Beautiful Church and Beautiful Icon. A true miracle at work.


  5. The cashless system( the beast ) has indeed finally raised it ‘head in India. Their government has enacted a mandate to all 1.3 billion of it’s people to enroll in it, if they want to buy or sell anything in India. Of course, this fits the exact description of the material effects of the mark of the beast. The big scary clown hasn’t shown up yet, but it is just a matter of little time before China, Indonesia, Japan ect. get in lockstep with the mark. I have been searching the Internet for what exactly they have planned in the West. What I found out is stunning. It is not new in it’s intent or it’s method, but it does add a devious twist, which is mind boggling in it’s corruption. The near utterly played out fiat oil dollar will fall, and there is no stopping it. They have come up with a way to do as they always do,( never let a crisis go to waste) to enact a massive transference of real wealth from the peoples of world to all the usual suspects. The SDR will be made the new world currency, but in a totally cashless world momentary system. The bankers will own all the electrons, of which their is a near infinite number. Cashless money is all fiat.It is a Ponzie scheme the electron are hat will never fall, until the universe runs out of electrons.The electrons are required to buy or sell any tangible asset. in effect controlling all wealth in the whole world and Gold silver and precious things of Egypt. if they turn your chip off, it’s a death sentence. Unless the Christ intervenes to keep you alive for His purposes, only. No serving two master anymore, at all.

    • Will Harrington says

      Russia could always spurn DeBeers and create a new currency backed by diamonds. This would be a good thing.

  6. As the Holy Scripture states, he will be a raiser of taxes, as each time you use money, you will be taxed, by being forced by necessity to borrow the money from the system to by a pack of chewing gum. It you buy a house and have the funds in your account, you will still have to borrow the money to buy it from the bank and be taxed, even if you pay it off immediately. Master Card and Visa are hooking into it right now, and no doubt the payday advance corps are drooling.

  7. Michael Bauman says

    My late wife and I home schooled our son on my income (not high). He received a good education but it also revealed cracks in our marriage that made it difficult for him especially being an only child. But it was either that or public school.

    He has an uncompromising spirit, born talking and would have been under the constant threat of Ritalin and/or expulsion had he been in public schools.

    He refuses higher education because of the debt it creates, it’s absence or any utility as he sees it and the fact that his one foray into it was treated with him having to defend his faith frequently. His English Comp teacher created these debates which she thought were going to be straw man exercises but only succeeded in bringing out his fire. He, as spokesman for the believers in his class, defeated the unbelievers.

    Two things one of the students in his contingent was afraid to show her Bible in the class and two, he was able to argue the other side better than they could.

    So education in this country is a minefield. Some are able to negotiate it better than others. But it is always corrosive or at least antagonistic the faith.

    Even private and Catholic education is getting that way. The Catholic schools in my town accepted Common Core. Reason, money.

    Come Lord Jesus.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Michael, I purposely didn’t mention other obstacles involved in education so I thank you for bringing up two:

      1. forced medication (e.g. Ritalin, Adderall, etc.) and

      2. the speciousness of most post-secondary education.

      Now, please I hope y’all understand that I have nothing against drugs per se. They have a place, even the amphetamines. Even toxins like Botulina have good medical benefits (Botox but also now in the treatment of migraines) but we’ve long overdone it. I just think that they’re overused. We had no problems with ADHD because we were given the carrot and the stick. The carrot was two recesses per school day and the stick was “the board of education” (i.e. the paddle).

      As for most college today, the education is specious at best and anti-Christian at worst (as your son can attest). Most young men who do not go to college have a significant leg up on their compatriots who do. My cousin for example was an apprentice auto mechanic to his dad and by the time we reached twenty-seven (he and I are a month apart), he’d already bought his father’s shop and was well on his way to making a significant income. I know this is going to come out wrong, but I’ve never been able to catch up with him economically. I’m not moaning here, just stating a fact. Even if I’ve surpassed him (doubtful) the fact is that he’s his own boss. Something I’ve never experienced.

      Anyway, most young men who are not STEM oriented would be much better off if they ignored the must-go-to-college mantra and learned a technical trade. More to follow.