I failed my economics course.
I was told that it was going to be “an easy A” grade. It was anything but easy. I openly disagreed with the professor on the first day and he told me that my ideas were “antiquated” and that I should “not question everything” but listen to him. I had zero knowledge of economics and to be fair, I was way out of my league in debating and questioning him. The guy humiliated me due to my lack of knowledge, but I just didn’t like hearing him tell me that the government should regulate the market. That was day one. I was told by the professor two weeks later that I had no business in his course and should opt out before failing miserably.
I have never taken another economics course and I was ashamed of the grade years later. It isn’t enjoyable when you are working in the finance sector as a salesman and having to admit you failed your economics course. I have studied economics over the last several years and I have realized that my instincts were rooted in an understanding of Ludwig von Mises. I never really paid much attention to him or his views on Austrian Economics. I knew of the man, but I never understood the magnitude of his views. I am pleased to know that I wasn’t crazy and that my ideas have merit. What I have come to realize is that economics is important and should be taught. How it is being taught in many places is what concerns me.
What we are seeing in financial education is a breakdown in teaching contradicting ideas and allowing critical thinking to guide us in coming to conclusions that allow us to better ourselves and our society. My instinct was to dialogue with my professor, but that wasn’t allowed in the academic setting that I was in. I was not allowed to explore my instincts and see if they had any validity. I was instead subject to being indoctrinated with one sole understanding of economics. That understanding is Keynesian Economics and my professor wasn’t happy unless I wrote papers that affirmed the Keynesian ideals.
I think that’s the reason that I hated academia so much and why I never finished my formal education. I could not thrive in a setting where I could not freely learn by exploring contrary ideas to see if they had any merit. I love education and I love to study. I do not like indoctrination though.
I believe that what we are being taught in economics and most financial circles is just wrong. That’s my opinion and I hold to that belief. People might disagree and I think that is healthy.
Having different ideas is a good thing. What is detrimental is having only one idea being taught and not allowing other ideas to be introduced.
We are now seeing the detriment of one view of economics and finance being pushed on western society. My old professor stated that “government regulation is good!” He also stated that “Central Banks saved our financial system” in the early 1900s. I think that can be refuted and we are now seeing firsthand why. There is nothing good about lockdowns in my opinion. We are now seeing the consequences of governments regulating who can be open and who must close. We can see the consequences of the Federal Reserve, which is a central bank having complete control to increase the money supply even when the economy was being forced to shrink by businesses remaining closed. We are truly seeing the consequences of having one idea being taught.
It is hard when you have been indoctrinated to see until it is too late how wrong you were to blindly accept what you were being taught. I think a good education is allowing people the freedom to learn through failure and exploration of ideas. This is how I came to my full understanding of free market economics. I never realized how important the teaching of Mises was until 2016 when I started to question my understanding of finances and central banking.
I started reading and studying. I began to read Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Lew Rockwell, Ron Paul, Jeff Deist, Tho Bishop, Doug Casey, and Nick Giambruno. These men helped me to explore other ideas in both economics and finance. My eyes started to open and I began to think about my dialogues with my old professor. I started to not regret my questions or comments. I started to wish that I had asked more questions and shared more of my thoughts. I actually began to take pride in that F grade.
I am not suggesting people fail courses, but I am happy that I wasn’t shy as a 20-something man to share my “antiquated ideas” with a room full of peers and my professor. What I have come to realize is that we desperately need financial education. We need to reteach economics and finance to the masses. Is it too late to help people see how only teaching one idea can be detrimental to our society?
We need to teach differing ideas of central banking and we need to teach other ideas of how capitalism can work with an Austrian understanding.
I came alive in March of 2020 when my state locked down. I walked downtown in my community and saw the consequences of indoctrination. I both grieved and got angry, but I eventually began to dream of a world with contrary ideas being taught. I dreamed of a world where antiquated ideas could be shared. That’s the day I decided to change everything. I walked away from my consulting work and I shifted my focus to starting a financial education business.
The world is full of ideas! We need to let those ideas out. We need to allow people to freely explore what they believe in and I believe when this happens the best ideas can win out. We must fight to decentralize financial and economic education and allow for more ideas to be explored. We must not give up on sharing contrary ideas and allowing questions to be asked.
We so desperately need a world where people question everything.