No – it is a bad idea

The Australian Primary Principals Association says it is a good idea, but the devil is in the detail.

What is a good idea? Teaching economics to primary school kids.

It is a terrible idea, but why don’t people come out and say that?

School Education Minister Peter Garrett says an early start is vital because students need to be financially literate and have a basic understanding of how the economy works.

As it turns out primary school kids already learn a lot about how the economy works. The school program where this happens is called ‘the tuck shop’. It is here that kids learn about buying behaviour, preference management subject to a budget constraint, and money handling.

To be sure that isn’t indoctrinating kids about the evils of capitalism but it is probably more important.

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113 Responses to No – it is a bad idea

  1. C.L.

    School Education Minister Peter Garrett says an early start is vital because students need to be financially literate and have a basic understanding of how the economy works.

    See also Wayne Swan, Julia Gillard, federal cabinet…

  2. Gab

    “so that” typo. should be “say that”. Or “say so”.

    [Thanks. Sinc]

  3. tgs

    Terrible idea.

    I look back on both my tertiary (BEcon) and secondary education in economics and both were by and large pretty bad.

    Secondary was by far the worse. It was taught by teachers with both little or no tertiary education in economics and no experience as an economic practitioner. The content was at its most ‘technical’ Y = C + I + G + NX and at other times an incoherent mish-mash of unrelated and irrelevant topics (although the highlight of this was the excursion to the local brewery). This was at one of the most prestigious private schools in Brisbane.

    Tertiary was also pretty bad, punctuated with the odd ‘diamond in the rough’ lecturer who was both enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the content. The majority of the content came from a Keynesian perspective and with the exception of a few academics few other viewpoints were presented. This was at a so-called prestigious Go8 university.

    I suspect that the quality of teaching at the primary level would be even poorer and that this initiative would likely detract from the quality of education in essential areas (reading, writing, arithmatic, etc).

    I would support this at a secondary level if the quality of teaching was adequate. I won’t be holding my breath for the standard of teaching to improve anytime soon, however.

  4. Myrrdin Seren

    To be sure that isn’t indoctrinating kids about the evils of capitalism….

    I wouldn’t be so sure about even that, Doomlord, once the Pedagogy Crowd over at The Conversation gets their mitts on the curriculum for this puppy.

  5. Sinclair Davidson

    Myrrdin Seren – the tuck shop isn’t indoctrination, any actual classroom subject will be.

  6. H B Bear

    If Lurch thinks it is a good idea – it isn’t.

  7. .

    This is an awful idea and it shows how little Garrett knows about education, let alone economics.

  8. wreckage

    Literacy numeracy and basic science teaching in this country are still sub-standard, and still turning out illiterate kids, and they’re f***ing about with something as contentious as economic theory?

  9. Lizzie

    I recently had the priviledge to visit this school. Of course an idea like this could only work in a close community country school.

    http://blogs.flinders.edu.au/flinders-news/tag/mypolonga-primary-school/

  10. thefrollickingmole

    My business wouldnt exist with a competent school system..

    If 12 years isnt enough to teach kids about hire/purchase, pay day or other interest attached loans then why would economics fare any better??

  11. Carfax

    The pity is that the teaching of basic skills in Maths and English in Australia ,arguably , has fallen to the poorest standard in the English speaking, western jurisdictions. Now we are contemplating introducing a subject that assumes some basic skills which will not be present in the repertoire of most pupils and many of their teachers.
    Not to worry.
    At least the pupils, and their teachers will be operating in a very ‘creative’ environment.
    Can it be worse that the travesty that constitutes the teaching of Climate ‘Science’ in our schools?

  12. boy on a bike

    Stand by for a few dozen tuck shops burning down.

  13. candy

    “Literacy numeracy and basic science teaching in this country are still sub-standard, and still turning out illiterate kids”

    Also geography, lots of kids don’t know the capitals of the Australian states or where England is for example, simple stuff like that.

  14. I reckon Stephen Kates should design a primary school course to teach Say’s Law.

    You probably need to start then to understand it. I definitely started way too late.

  15. ilibcc

    This government recommending economic literacy for school chldren is beyond parody.

    School children across Australia already have a literal, physical economic lesson shoehorned into their schoolyards, and as they grow and mature and their turbo-built halls and COLAs fall apart, each child will come to understand more fully the consequences of poor economic management.

  16. dd

    Macroeconomic theory is irrelevant at a practical level to most people. It’s important for banks, policymakers, and large economic players but for the vast majority of workers, it has no impact. Finance does, but that’s not the same thing at all, other than money being involved. Courses on this will be as divorced from life experience as latin and astronomy. Not that there’s anything wrong with either… but let’s not pretend that teaching such things will improve the life of our citizenry.

    Add it to the list of useless things taught to children to make them into ‘better people.’

  17. Tel

    As long as Bob Murphy writes their textbooks, I’m all for it. Maybe we should start a charitable foundation getting Murphy into schools, seems like a worthy cause.

  18. Tel

    It’s important for banks, policymakers, and large economic players but for the vast majority of workers, it has no impact.

    Other than those workers who intend to vote of course.

  19. dd

    I reckon Stephen Kates should design a primary school course to teach Say’s Law.

    You probably need to start then to understand it.

    Oh? Let me explain it in two sentences.
    The foundation of economic success is production.
    In the beginning there was poverty and subsistence, and then people started making things.

  20. dd

    Other than those workers who intend to vote of course.

    Nope.
    That’s buying into the idea that running a country is too complicated to put decisions into the hands of the citizenry. This solution is ‘let’s educate them so that every voter is a mini-technocrat.’ That’s a fucking expensive way to do democracy.

    Economics is complicated, but anything is complicated when you get deep into it. But political decisions don’t get made -and should never get made – from first principles, devoid of context or history.

  21. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    It is here that kids learn about buying behaviour, preference management subject to a budget constraint, and money handling.

    They also learn about the consequences of blowing the budget and the perils of borrowing more than you can pay back. Plus how to rip off the unwary and lose a good reputation. Plus combining together to make a major purchase, with the extensive negotiation skills required to bring the project to fruition. Dismay at the imposition of nannying is realised when your choice is restricted and you have to buy rotten old apples for your health’s sake. Some will discover charity then, and give away their apples, while others will just be charitable with highly desired goods, with the intention of making the playground handball team, or just because they’re feeling like it that day, or they may even take genuine pity on those who have no money or have foolishly lost it or spent it. Criminality may also emerge, and when found out, be swiftly punished by ostracism or a trial by ordeal or, an unfavoured response, appeal to a higher power, which will then be a lesson in what happens to snitches.

    Fewer and fewer schools have tuckshops these days. A great loss.

  22. Stand by for a few dozen tuck shops burning down

    Boab, you’re way ahead of us! Very funny.

  23. Tel

    This solution is ‘let’s educate them so that every voter is a mini-technocrat.’ That’s a fucking expensive way to do democracy.

    I suggest that the idea of giving people a vote and the NOT allowing them access to the necessary information with which to exercise their vote is going to be a lot more expensive. It is greatly in my interests to educate my neighbour, simply because I’m going to have to live next to the guy.

    That said, we all have a different idea in mind about what “education” is a euphemism for.

  24. Economics is one of the main planks of the home schooling we do to counterbalance the crap they learn at school. And when my boys cottoned on to the significant price differences between tuck shop and the shop over the road for the same items we had a great session on comparative advantage and third line forcing.
    I was working at the ACCC once and asked when they were going to do something about it and they just went “heh heh…”

  25. Ellen of Tasmania

    Fridays, for 21 cents, I used to get a pie with sauce, a cream bun and a ‘Sunny Boy’. Tuckshops can certainly teach you something about inflation too.

    Here’s some then-and-now photos of Detroit’s Cass Tech High School. Labor economics at work.

  26. Grey

    I was working at the ACCC once and asked when they were going to do something about it and they just went “heh heh…”

    Oh, so you want the ACCC to start setting the prices in tuck shops? How is that libertarian?

    Primary school students get taught lots of stuff that flows in one ear and out the other. A bit of very basic economics isn’t going turn them into a horde of mindlessly conformist bankers or traders.

    Although I do appreciate the concern here that we might be stifling their creativity and humanity at an early age.

  27. Oh, so you want the ACCC to start setting the prices in tuck shops?

    No.

    How is that libertarian?

    It isn’t and I’m not one.
    Thanks for reading.

  28. Jannie

    Think Gramsci and ‘educational psychologists’. Lock up your children, the commies are coming for them.

  29. Token

    Primary school students get taught lots of stuff that flows in one ear and out the other.

    Young children have a habit of copying what people do and ignoring what they say.

  30. dd

    I suggest that the idea of giving people a vote and the NOT allowing them access to the necessary information with which to exercise their vote is going to be a lot more expensive. It is greatly in my interests to educate my neighbour, simply because I’m going to have to live next to the guy.

    You’re right in that in general an educated populace makes for a better democracy; but voting alone can’t be enough rationale for years of learning. It has to be useful in its own right. Economics is both too abstract and too policitised. And there would undoubtedly be a socialist slant to the curriculum for sure.

    Therefore, I guess Barry O’Farrell will be all over this by Friday.

    I’d also quibble with your comment about “not allowing them access to the necessary information.” Everyone has access to the necessary information. If people want that information, then they can get it. If they aren’t interested, then fine, and they should have the right to not participate in the ballot either.

    The plan to force education in particular down the throats of those who don’t want it just so that the state can force them to vote is simply part of the endless chain of unintended consequences from compulsory voting.

  31. dd

    I was working at the ACCC once and asked when they were going to do something about it and they just went “heh heh…”

    You think the ACCC should be policing tuck shops. Wow. You weren’t kidding when you said you’re not a libertarian.

  32. stackja

    My parents must have taught me economics without me knowing it. Never knew “Y = C + I + G + NX” But do know 4+4=8. Not 4+4=10 which is what Canberra seems to think.

  33. John H.

    Oh don’t worry, this govt is giving everyone a lesson in how not to understand economics. Kids don’t need to learn economics as a whole but some little bits here and there, from the parents, will do them the world of good. You could probably teach the average kid more about financial management by taking them shopping with you and explaining your purchases and debts, paying your bills etc, than cramming the curriculum with more subjects.

    Not sure you can teach primary school children to think the way economics demands. Not sure those young brains are equipped to handle complex models and theories. We can teach kids about financial management but not economics. If you make economics “basic” you will probably pave the way for future problems in understanding less than basic economics.

  34. brc

    Financial skills should be taught, economics no.

    Calculating interest, understanding insurance, understanding risk. These are all concepts that could be taught alongside mathematics.

    But seriously, most of the people that I went to school with couldn’t parse even a basic micro economics textbook. That’s nothing against them, but they just were not interested.

  35. Sinclair Davidson

    The ACCC is not a libertarian organisation they have a duty to enforce the law of the land, even if it is being broken at tuck shops. It would be a better use of their time than their usual efforts to sabotage the actual economy.

  36. Token

    I was working at the ACCC once and asked when they were going to do something about it and they just went “heh heh…”

    I took this to be a joke.

    My parents must have taught me economics without me knowing it.

    Any child raised in a family where the family budget is discussed gets a better education than any school could provide.

    Even better are homes where the children realise they can help control costs and increase the revenue by their actions.

    What insane person would delegate teaching of the market and finance to a profession where the majority value security over risk and reward?

  37. dd

    I took this to be a joke.

    Sure, except that when queried on it, he replied that he’s not a libertarian, a comment which I took at face value.

  38. dd

    The ACCC is not a libertarian organisation they have a duty to enforce the law of the land, even if it is being broken at tuck shops.

    except that the ACCC doesn’t really ‘enforce the law’ as such, in the sense of enforcing clear rules that all must adhere to… it seems that their job is to to go around deciding breaches of the law on a case-by-case basis.

  39. Sinclair Davidson

    dd – In the first best world they would simply be shut down.

  40. School Education Minister Peter Garrett says an early start is vital because students need to be financially literate and have a basic understanding of how the economy works.

    So we have an old rock star who used to sing anti-American propaganda to catchy tunes complaining about Wayne Swan’s education.

    And the socialist troll offers no excuse for 60+ years of socialised primary schooling…

    Primary school students get taught lots of stuff that flows in one ear and out the other. A bit of very basic economics isn’t going turn them into a horde of mindlessly conformist bankers or traders.

    Just mindlessly conformist ALPBC viewers and Trade Union Party voters…

  41. boy on a bike

    Biggest problem is that the kiddies will be taught “green” economics. Namely:

    - wind farms are profitable
    - propping up solar energy is not a subsidy
    - not paying fuel excise is in fact a subsidy
    - mining coal subtracts from GDP
    - yoghurt weaving has a strong multiplier effect on gross national hapiness
    - socialism offers a superior economic system

    Feel free to add your own items to the curriculum.

  42. wreckage

    No Sinc, in the best possible world they would be burnt down.

  43. Max

    I am getting my kids to watch Friedmans “Free to Choose” on youtube.

  44. wreckage

    BOAB, exactly. They will be taught the simply incorrect definition of externality, too, wherein externality = anything about that industry that I don’t like.

  45. dd

    students need to be financially literate and have a basic understanding of how the economy works.

    Please note that these are two completely different things.
    Financial literacy is not the same thing as “how the economy works.”

  46. Who the hell said I wanted the ACCC to interfere with tuck shop pricing? I want the shop over the road to interfere with the tuck shop pricing by being allowed to compete with them. They can’t because children aren’t allowed to leave the school grounds. Schools therefore act in concert with the companies that operate tuck shops to grind money out of parents. The situation isn’t transparent and it probably adds up to a lot. I thought it would be an interesting problem to set before the ACCC.
    I’m not a Libertarian because I looked it up once on Wikipedia and there is a complete smorgasbord of definitions. It is a mishmash, and suspect many people on this blog think they are all talking about the same thing when they use the word, and are wrong.

  47. papachango

    Rather than economic theory, if it was basic finacial literacy (such elementary concepts as don’t spend more than you earn, plan your expenses, try to save some money for a rainy day etc), it might be a good idea.

    However, seeing as the current lot can’t even get the basics right, and there’s no way I’d trust them not to turn it into an anti-capitalist indoctrination, then how about Nooooo!

  48. I agree it is a bad idea, given every other thing about education nowadays.

  49. Tel

    They will be taught the simply incorrect definition of externality, too, wherein externality = anything about that industry that I don’t like.

    Sorry but that is the correct definition of externality, they should be taught the truth IMHO.

  50. Leigh Lowe

    Agreed.
    “Financial Literacy” and the “study of Economics” are two very different things.
    I agree absolutely that the basics of finance should be taught, but probably from early-mid high school, not primary school.
    As brc suggests, this should include the time value of money, insurances, risk vs return, budgeting, taxation basics etc.
    I talk to many otherwise capable and intelligent people who have great difficulty understanding issues like time value of money, not only in accumulating savings/debt but particularly how a capital sum will service retirement.

    I agree with Sinc that the Primary School financial education should be experiential ( ie the tuck shop model), but with one proviso.
    That is, that it addresses the earning side of the transaction as well as the consumption side.
    There is nothing like earning (and wasting) your first dollar to make an impression on a young mind,

  51. Andrew

    Well I guess those primary school kids would have more knowledge about the economy than Wayne Swan does after those classes.

  52. Andrew

    Better to teach the kids how to spell, read, write and do basic arithmetic before worrying about teaching economics and finance to students.

    At my primary school, we played a game called Earn and Learn. We were mini community and there were businesses, banks and the government all involved. The game was quite beneficial and fun for students but the students in general did not understand the financial concepts. I personally think it is too young for students to be worrying about finances and economics.

  53. papachango

    I’m not a Libertarian because I looked it up once on Wikipedia and there is a complete smorgasbord of definitions.

    There may be a smorgasbord of definitions on Wikipedia, because every dodgy leftwing group (and a few rightwing ones) want to use the term.

    However the definition is really pretty simple. You believe in small government, individual liberty and free markets.

    You can agry bargy about exactly how small the government should be but you need to consitently support the above on each prinicple.

    This tends to knock out a lot of the lefties who are all ‘libertarian’ about gay rights and drug laws but are happy to ban guns and capitalism. It also knocks out a few conservatives who are fine with economic freedom but want to ban voluntary euthansia or recreational drugs.

  54. Allan

    Does Garrett’s comments infer he, Swan, Julia, Penny etc should go back to primary school rather than secondary school or university?

    Seeing the latest methods taught in maths in primary school, heaven knows what how they would be taught economics.

  55. OK. (Why do you have to “be” a thing?) It’s hard enough just making sense. My definition is for as little imposition as possible by third parties between the individual on one hand, and all the risks and rewards available to them by virtue of being alive on the other. I think that covers your list.

  56. jules

    They should concentrate on teaching economics (or temperance) to MPs!

  57. Splatacrobat

    It would be cheaper just to pre load Sim City or Tropico 4 to the free laptops they are still giving out to schools.

    I gave Tropico 4 to my 10 year old and he learnt real quick the following lessons:
    1. keep taxes low and you will encourage investment and opportunities
    2. keep welfare and moochers at bay. They do nothing to add to common wealth.
    3. Adequately rescource essential services (hospitals, police, and fire) and the rest is easy.

    Or in John Howard’s words “relaxed and comfortable”

  58. papachango

    OK. (Why do you have to “be” a thing?)

    You don’t, which is why I avoid the leftwing / rightwing labels. But it helps to have a broad school of thought you can identify with as it shows you stand for something.

    Libertarianism does it for me, though I might disagree with some libertarians on some matters. e.g. banning the burqa seems distinctly un-libertarian to me (the government telling you what you can and cannot wear), but other libertarians argue that there will be a net increase in liberty by banning it, as it is itself a symbol of opression.

  59. Grey

    ? I want the shop over the road to interfere with the tuck shop pricing by being allowed to compete with them. They can’t because children aren’t allowed to leave the school grounds.

    I guess that depends on how much you value saving 50 cents on a pie and how much you value that occasional squashed youngster.

    Surely you should be looking at increasing competition in the tuck shop contracting market rather than suggesting a process of Darwinian selection during playtime? Of course, it might cut down on childhood obesity as the less you ate the more likely you would be to survive or move fast enough to avoid the cars.

  60. wreckage

    a few conservatives who are fine with economic freedom but want to ban voluntary euthansia or recreational drugs

    Even there there’s a fair bit of blur. Which is why I describe myself a libertarian-leaning. I find some of the premises very persuasive.

  61. JohnA

    Based on the flawed theory that age differences are no barriers to learning – so primary children whose brain function is still in the “concrete” range, are taught stuff in the “abstract” range. No wonder they don’t “get it”.

  62. Lloyd

    The best primary school education on economics for me came from English classes.

    “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

    Even allowing for the archaic currency, it was sage advice.

    Bless you, Mr Dickens.

  63. ilibcc

    The rot set in when children were encouraged to have an instant ‘opinion’ on everything.

    “What’s your opinion, Johnny?” The precise opposite should have obtained; as in, “You really must try not to express an opinion until you are much wiser, Johnny!”

    The addiction to opinionism instead of simply experiencing wisdom breeds the kind of knowledge-free but brashly adamant society we are today.

  64. rebel with cause

    No. 1 thing for kids to learn – why would a business hire anyone? Answer: because they think the business will be able to make more money as a result. No. 2 thing to learn – why would a business fire someone? Answer: because they are losing them money.

    The number of people in the community who think that businesses hire and fire simply for the amusement of owners and managers astounds me. This thinking leads to support for policies that put all sorts of restrictions on the capacity or organisations to hire, fire and manage their staff in the best possible way.

    Best way for kids to learn these things? Get a part-time job with a well run small business. Not school!

  65. Nuke Gray

    Definitions change over time. At one time, Anarchist meant communist, because they thought that everyone should live in communes.
    Libertarian has the broad meaning of small government, but some people take this to mean that we should live in communes (small in size, not small in scope).

  66. dianeh

    brc has has it right. No economics in primary school. It should be personal finance. Teach the kids how to open a bank account. Value for money, how to shop (ie you can only buy what you can afford), for upper primary it can include how interest works, credit cards, the value of saving up for things. The lessons can include the practical, setting up a shop, role playing etc. Primary school should provide the basics, using the other literacy and numeracy skills learned. Personal finance should not be a separate subject but one that is integrated through the other subject.

    In high school it could be expanded to include things such as credit cards, compound interest, mobile phone plans, welfare payments, job skills, how to apply for a job, vocational employment, paying bills,budgeting etc. Teach them lots, vary it and touch on economic theory, so all children can see how having a job, saving etc, lets you get things you otherwise will never have. If done properly, the kids will learn how to control their own finances, and also the effect of govt policy (taxes for eg) have on their lives/finances/job prospects).

  67. Grey

    “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

    Works for me.

  68. Infidel Tiger

    The worst financial lesson kids get these days is an allowance that they don’t have to work for.

    It’s a precursor to the welfare state.

  69. Lloyd

    If done properly, the kids will learn how to control their own finances, and also the effect of govt policy (taxes for eg) have on their lives/finances/job prospects).

    Precisely why Mr Garrett’s dubious proposal will never get up, or if it does will be screwed up in its execution. Labor governments are all about exercising control. It anathema to them to teach self control or reveal how government policy is likely to affect the ordinary citizen.

  70. Lloyd

    My first lesson on the inequities of life was when I started working. My allowance was eliminated and my income garnished by my parents in lieu of an actual rent. Fine, you might say but my non working older brother’s allowance was simultaneously increased to give him parity with my now reduced income.
    I did the only sensible thing. I left home.

  71. Alfonso

    So, the teachers of the black armband version of Australian History are going to get a go at economic indoctrination of young minds as well.
    I see it now…..
    A chanting 10 year old cheer squad for Keynes…..
    I’m guessing Hayek will be banned by the Teachers Union.

  72. Burquas? Let people wear what they want.
    Drugs? Let people take what they want.
    Gay marriage? Let people marry who they want.
    Churches? Let them refuse to marry who they want.
    Abortion? It’s murder, but the sentence should be in proportion to the fact that it was just a fucking embryo.
    Taxation? Theft.
    Voting? Only after national service and passing history, geography and economics tests.
    Scrap Fairwork. Enforce contract law.
    Immigration? Let em all in. Break the law in first five years? Back you go. Still unemployed after five years? Back you go. Must then pass those tests and become a citizen and burn old passport.
    What does that make me?

  73. Grey

    Probably needs a bit of fine tuning..

    Well yes, I am surprised a libertarian would see the state had any business regulating relationships at all.
    Especially since without any taxes there will be no one to run the bureau of births, deaths and marriages – or whatever it is called.

  74. Tel

    Taxation? Theft.

    No way. Taxation is a basic protection money — stand over and extortion, but not theft.

    Theft implies someone slipped in a took it while you were not looking. Inflation is theft.

  75. Alfonso

    Correct, IT.
    I started doing the family retail business banking… cheques, cash and change requirements… at 9 years old, I never confused cash flow with profit from that day.
    You think it might have been planned education. It was.

  76. JC

    No way. Taxation is a basic protection money — stand over and extortion, but not theft.

    Huh

    Extortion is not theft? Dude!

  77. Megan

    I guess that depends on how much you value saving 50 cents on a pie and how much you value that occasional squashed youngster.

    In the more than 40 years that the local milkbar provided lunches for my primary school there was not one case of squashed or even very nearly squashed child. There were however several thousands of pies sold as well as sandwiches, cakes, soft drinks, icypoles and lollies. And it helped several families of milkbar owners move on to bigger and better things. Perhaps you could provide an example of a child injured while buying their lunch at the local shop.

    I’m so old I walked home and back every single day of my primary school career, together with my four younger siblings, for a home cooked lunch. And this was in busy North Fitzroy. My little sister cut her finger on a galvanised iron fence on the walk once so I guess the government should have kept a lock on the school gate until home time.

  78. Andrew Reynolds

    Teach them accounting – the most micro of economics. If they get that right then they have all they need to understand how idiotic Keynesianism is.

  79. Megan

    And like Alfonso I helped with the family business from the age of ten. The existing school system is not exactly churning out children with good literacy or numeracy skills currently. Not to mention the dismal result of years of second language programs. What makes them think they’ll be any better at creating the economically literate child?

  80. Grey

    In the more than 40 years that the local milkbar provided lunches for my primary school there was not one case of squashed or even very nearly squashed child.

    I guess its a case for the individual primary school and parent to make a decision here.

    I am sure the individual parent can instruct the school to allow their child out of the school during playtime. Just write a snarky letter about the exploitative nature of the tuck shop run by the Parents and Citizens Association mafia.

  81. Ha ha, I’m loving all your responses.

    Then again I’ve had a few.

  82. Alice

    I think its a very abd idea because economics is completely dismal and the more you know, the more dismal it makes you
    The rason for this is that despite the most honourable of economics some greedy bastards will always twist it their way and some corrupt bastards will push wrong policies and some sold out bastards will attempt to use economics to hijack the hearts and minds of decent hardworking people.

    No way should economics be taught to primary school students especially when so much of it is pure voodoo.
    Garret is a fool. If he is calling for primary school kids to be taught economics he only just learnt it himself and doesnt know how dark it can be.

    Let the kids play before we start teaching them pure lies.

  83. Alice

    Andy says ”

    Teach them accounting – the most micro of economics.”

    Far more useful as well.

    Ill ignore Andy’s blatnatly partisan second comment. But his first was actually practical.

  84. Alice

    Ooh honey honey

    says

    “What does that make me?”
    It makes you sensible except for the “enforce contract law”, which will make us all poor and stupid.
    No need for all these casual contracts rolled over to suit employees. It shouldnt be all their way. Bring back part time and permanent jobs and let employees have some dignity and be able to make decent life choices (like having kids, building houses, taking out loans they can repay) etc. Employees are hamstrung with continual casual contracts and the economy is slowed because of it.

    In Sweden if they off you three contracts after that they must offer a part time or permanent position. Thats how it should be unless you all want to earn a casual rate like they do in the states (which is stuffed)

    Dont agree only on that one.

  85. Leigh Lowe

    Reading comments by Alice and Grey has convinced me that Primary Education should focus on the basics.

  86. Alice

    Snide bitch Leigh Lowe.

    Is that your one line for tonight? Dont let thinking tire you out.

  87. one old bruce

    Perusing the NSW HSC Business Studies Syllabus, including:

    ‘Analys(ing) the responsibilities of business to internal and external stakeholders’. Don’t you just love this stuff?

    http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/syllabus_hsc/pdf_doc/business-studies-st6-syl-from2012.pdf

  88. .

    In Sweden if they off you three contracts after that they must offer a part time or permanent position. Thats how it should be unless you all want to earn a casual rate like they do in the states (which is stuffed)

    Sweden has a hidden unemployment rate of 25%, as admitted by a union boss.

    Yes, it should be like that?

    If they get that right then they have all they need to understand how idiotic Keynesianism is.

    This is not partisan, it is fact. You’re a dope that just wants the Government to spend with no focus or rationality.

    Indeed. The Government ought not to implement this idea, because the kids might be taught by a numpty such as yourself.

  89. John Comnenus

    Because Peter ‘pink batts’ Garrett has so much to teach children about economics.

  90. Alice

    Worse still Dot – they could be taught BS economics by someone like you that doesnt ultimately work (based as it is on false assumptions) and wont be analysed for its effects afterwards (thats economic history – and we all know anyone who studies economic history is ” a dangerous communist ” right????

    And they night also be taught that if they do enough maths studying human behavious, we are all looking forward to the utopia of some econ egos bright mathematically modelled future Dot style?

    Are you saying you agree with Garret on this Dot?

  91. Alice

    Once again Dot

    You invent the ideas I should have but dont and therefre they ae your ideas soi please dont include me in your inventions

    “You’re a dope that just wants the Government to spend with no focus or rationality.”

    Of course the government should spend with focus, productively and efficiently. Have you not noticed that where they are spending (ie bailouts) is a huge part of the problem?

    I thought we had already agreed on that one Dot so dont go reverting to the stock standard anti lefty tirade with me. Not impressed.

  92. .

    You are illiterate and want to emulate a country with a U6 equivalent unemployment rate of 25%, Alice.

    What you say is irrelevant.

  93. Alice

    Losing your temper and getting shorter Dot. Just dont make stuff up and then say its me that thinks what you made up.

  94. .

    ???

    I’m quite calm Alice.

    You’re a illiterate, uneducated fuckwit with a false career and literally no idea.

    Everything you say here is basically as worthless as used sanitary wipes.

  95. Tiny Dancer

    Alice. Back to the bong. Fair enough your checking the drying plants but FFS don’t leave the bong.

  96. Grey

    Dot – are you unhappy?

  97. Alice

    Dot

    You want to just concentrate on unemployment??? ie one stat and call me an idiot? (not underemployment, not youth unemployment, not the size of the budget deficit – hmmm I thought you might be interested in budget stats at least Dot?).

    Dont quote one stat at me and go off half cocked crowing oh “you are an idioy.” You know damn well it takes much more than one stat to compare economies.

    Swedens poorest income quintile earned 9.1% of aggregate income. Australia’s poorest quintile earns just 5.9 percent of aggregate income according to these stats, so even though they may not have a job they are not crawling the streets on $35 a day like Macklin and labor (and the libs) would have the poorest do here.

    Now the budget deficit in Australia? 2011
    Budget: revenues: $473.2 billion
    expenditures: $521.8 billion (2011 est.)
    (take latter away from former etc)

    Budget deficit in Sweden?
    Budget: revenues: $277.6 billion
    expenditures: $277.1 billion (2011 est.)

    Well goodness me Dot? Even though they have slightly higher unemployment than us here (and not much higher and we have our own problems with hidden unemployment – especially attending unis)

    Who would have thunk this??? Sweden appears to have a balanced budget almost as well as the lowest quintile being a lot better off with almost double the share of national income than us nasty mean tigharses have here.

    Look at the stats yourself Dot.
    Then compare to Australia.

    http://www.indexmundi.com/sweden/

    Tiny breath in deeply and hold it until you pass out. Do us all a favour..

  98. .

    Swedens poorest income quintile earned 9.1% of aggregate income. Australia’s poorest quintile earns just 5.9 percent of aggregate income according to these stats, so even though they may not have a job they are not crawling the streets on $35 a day like Macklin and labor (and the libs) would have the poorest do here.

    Wow, you are talking out of your arse.

    Sweden has a TWENTY FIVE PER CENT unemployment rate when hidden unemployment is considered.

    You then go onto ramble about how the bottowm 20% with jobs earn more of GDP share (not actual incomes) compared to the bottom 20% in Australia who also have jobs.

    You fucking nincompoop. Um yeah, we want to be more like Sweden…

    Fuckhead.

    People like you are why we ought to have very harsh aptitude tests for everything. Yet you have the temerity to start making judgment calls on pedagogy.

  99. Leigh Lowe

    Ill ignore Andy’s blatnatly partisan second comment

    ……. Huh Alice?

    Just dont make stuff up and then say its me that thinks what you made up.

    …… they are all English words, Alice. See if you can arrange them into a sentence, there’s a good girl.

    And they night also be taught that if they do enough maths studying human behavious, we are all looking forward to the utopia of some econ egos bright mathematically modelled future Dot style?

    . ……. someone knicked the punctuation keys off your keyboard Alice?

    I think its a very abd idea because economics is completely dismal and the more you know, the more dismal it makes you
    The rason for this is ……..

    I think my point that perhaps the basics passed you by in Primary School is well made

  100. papachango

    What does that make me?

    It makes you pretty consistently libertarian. This bit in particular is an excellent indicator of your libertarian tendencies:

    Gay marriage? Let people marry who they want.
    Churches? Let them refuse to marry who they want.

    Normally this particular debate is between those who would ban gay marriage (or homosexuality itself)on one side, and those who would force the Catholic Church to conduct lesbian weddings on the other.

    Though ‘taxation = theft’ has a slightly anarcho-capitalist leaning to it. A moderately libertarian view allows taxation for the purpose of funding the essential duties of government, but anything above that is indeed theft. The concept of imposing tax to try and change behavior like Roxon does is abhorrent.

    The ‘burn old passport’ bit is rather nationalistic – nothing wrong with dual citizenship provided you don’t break Australian law while you’re here.

  101. Grey

    People like you are why we ought to have very harsh aptitude tests for everything. Yet you have the temerity to start making judgment calls on pedagogy.

    You mean like the ability to read simple graphs?

    I just took the total employment figures of both countries and divided it by the total population – a rough and ready measure

    Sweden’s total employment was 49.9%
    Australia’s total employment was 50.4%
    Of course all kinds of things like different age structures, comparability of criteria etc, could come in here. But all in all, you would have to conclude that Sweden’s total hidden unemployment could only be 1 or 2 % more than Australia’s at most (and it could be less – depending on the unknown factors)

  102. .

    You mean like the ability to read simple graphs?

    You dishonestly misread a graph and lied about the results.

    Not me.

    I just took the total employment figures of both countries and divided it by the total population – a rough and ready measure

    No. It is a BULLSHIT measure.

    What matters is an equivalent of U6 unemployment in the US, fuckhead. You think the prevalence of Australian retirees justifies the high Swedish unemployment rate?

    You’re a janitor?

    It would be a challenging job for you.

  103. .

    But all in all, you would have to conclude that Sweden’s total hidden unemployment could only be 1 or 2 % more than Australia’s at most (and it could be less – depending on the unknown factors)

    No.

    Fucking lies.

    Sweden’s total unemployment rate is roughly double ours.

    We do NOT want to be like Sweden. If Alice thinks her casual contracts make it hard to buy a home, she should try losing her job.

  104. Crossie

    Not sure you can teach primary school children to think the way economics demands. Not sure those young brains are equipped to handle complex models and theories. We can teach kids about financial management but not economics. If you make economics “basic” you will probably pave the way for future problems in understanding less than basic economics.

    About the same time kids stop believing in Santa they work out how the world and the economy works. They know where the money comes from (their parents), how to campaign to get more of it and how to spend it. The only people who are ignorant and/or naive are their teachers.

  105. .

    You mean like the ability to read simple graphs?

    You’re full of shit again Grey.

    The 1981 Act wasn’t even effective in the implementation of tax cuts until 1982.

    From there on in, taxes boomed.

    Of course they did. Workers paying 28% are going to be more willing to work harder than those paying 50%. As will firms be more likely to reinvest and no become expatriates.

    You couldn’t even understand why you were dishonest because you are so fucking clueless.

  106. Crossie

    But all in all, you would have to conclude that Sweden’s total hidden unemployment could only be 1 or 2 % more than Australia’s at most (and it could be less – depending on the unknown factors)

    No.

    Fucking lies.

    Sweden’s total unemployment rate is roughly double ours.

    I don’t know whether the stats are correct or not however, I do have relatives in Sweden and their comments on their economy is that they are gaining more and more ‘unemployables’ as the immigrant communities grow.

    In Sweden everybody is left of most Australians, including my relatives, but even they are getting fed up being taken advantage of and they are starting to despair of being able to integrate the current wave of immigrants as they did those from the 1960s. Clue: the current immigrants are almost all muslim which also must not be publicly acknowledged.

  107. .

    Crossie

    You cannot compare employment ratios and U6 equivalents.

    It is dishonest to do so. It also is nonsense, as shown below.

    Our U6 (“official” ["U3" in the US classification] plus all hidden unemployment) measure is around 11%, Sweden’s is around 25%.

    The officially derived employment to population ratio in Sweden is actually higher than ours.

    Their labour stats are lies – very bad lies. Before the GFC, they had official (“U3) unemployment of around 5%.

    Grey is talking out if his wizard arse.

    http://mises.org/daily/2259

    If we look beneath the aggregate production figures, we can see deep structural problems. The number of people employed is now 6% lower than in 1990, a weaker development than in any other western economy. By contrast, even with the weak job growth in recent years (by American standards), employment in the United States is 20% higher than in 1990.

    And the number of people employed in Sweden is actually lower than in 1980, too. You have to go back to the mid-1970s to find employment numbers lower than the current ones. While total employment has been roughly unchanged since 1975, it masks a significant decline in male employment. And if you look only at the private sector, employment is now at a level lower than in 1950.

    The headline unemployment rate in Sweden is only 5–5.5%, but this number is extremely misleading as it only includes a small number of the people who the government pays not to work. Many unemployed are sent to so-called “labor market political activities” — activities whose only purpose is to reduce the official unemployment rate.

    If we ignore this ruse, unemployment is 8%. And if you also include the enormous number of early retirees and people who live off sickness benefits, the real unemployment rate is more like 25%. The number of early retirees is 540,000, more than double the number of officially unemployed. Among non-Western immigrants, the real unemployment rate is higher than 50%.

    Yet Alice says, and Grey backs up the idea, that we “need to be more like Sweden”.

    Then they rubbish the idea of economics in school because someone without their unhinged, left wing ideas might teach children that these prosperity destroying ideas, are actually bullshit.

  108. Tiny Dancer

    Alice, grey, whatever. I have seriously misjudged you. Clearly you love the something stronger than the bong.

  109. Gerry

    I learnt economics in primary school back in the 60s – I learnt where metals were dug up, where sheep and cattle grazed, where wheat was grown …..where ships were built …..none of that basic understanding of the nation’s producers is taught these days tho …..

  110. Up The Workers!

    If Education Minister Peter (The Bollard Who Walks) Garrett thinks “people need to have a basic understanding of how an economy works”, perhaps his efforts might be more effective if he enrolled Wayne Swan in a primary school arithmetic class?

    I wonder if Peter (“How can he sleep while his batts are burning?”) Garrett can appreciate the irony of his being “Minister for Education” in a Party so pathologically unintelligent that they STILL cannot spell their own Party name correctly, after 100 years of trying?

    “Labor”!
    All it needs is “U”!

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