Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Socialism in our schools

This from the, "Take it for what it's worth" category.

Last week I visited my 5 year old son's school for his Easter party. Being in Oklahoma, it is still acceptable for a school to have an Easter party. As long as we only talk about Easter bunnies, and eggs, and candy. Don't bother with that historical Jesus event.

Anyway.

It came time for the egg hunt. They kids all grabbed their baskets and trooped outside. My son has inherited my non-competitive nature. He leisurely wandered around the playground, not bothering with the objective of finding and gathering eggs. That were obvious. It's not like it was hard to find them.

18 seconds later, all the eggs had been found. My son had 2. Out of 500. Luckily one of his friends was a merciful type and shared from his bounty.

But the point of the story is that when they got back to the room, the kids had to pool all of their eggs and then the eggs were redistributed equally to everyone.

And I scratched my head. And I looked around for the picture to Karl Marx. This was a practical lesson in socialism.

You say, "Oh, you're just overreacting. This is 5 year olds."

My wife said, "The teacher didn't want to deal with crying kids who didn't find as many eggs."

I say, "Look at the bigger picture."

What this taught the kids was that your hard work and effort is repaid by having to give up what you have earned so that everyone can have an equal portion. The kids were told that they couldn't open the eggs (they were all plastic with candy inside) and eat the goodies that they had found. They couldn't enjoy the benefits of their hard work. What they were being taught was that you must work for the greater whole.

My Mom was there also. She works with a state agency. Her observation is that it was teaching welfare. She felt that they were learning that if you don't find enough eggs, then someone else will provide you your fair share.

I am not a big fan of the rampant capitalism that has been the trademark of American business (mostly because I am not a big fan of the rampant consumerism that is a trademark of American lives). But I also understand the power of concrete teaching to younger children and youth. They learn through concrete experience. This was a lesson in socialism.

Our nation has been on a trend of reversing the free enterprise system and personal responsibility mindset for some time now. We are moving to a system where the people who work hard and produce capital have to pay over more and more to support state-run programs to take care of those who do not produce or who do not use the resources they have responsibly.

I know that this is a small, insignificant episode in the lives of a child. But it is also a glaring example of the fact that our nation is moving closer and closer to a socialized form of business.

That's why, this Sunday, our children will participate in a Capitalist Easter Egg Hunt following worship. And if my son only has 2 eggs at the end of the hunt, then he will have earned those 2 eggs.