Email Newsletter Archive

School Makes Me…

Will you do a quick experiment with me? I want you to see something. Go to google.com and type “school makes me” and see what suggestions (the most commonly searched terms) drop down. Do those predictions break your heart? They break mine. If you weren’t able to follow along, here’s what you missed: School makes me sad School makes me cry School makes me so tired School makes me feel bad School makes me angry School makes me tired School makes me feel dumb Perhaps some will dismiss these results  as an example of a “snowflake” generation who can’t handle hard work or “hurt feelings.” Maybe some would remark that they didn’t like school either, but they turned out fine. I’ve seen both of those responses before when I’ve talked about what we are continuing to learn about the effect of compulsory education on young people. But these results, when

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The Parable of the Broken Window

I want to share a parable with you. I wish I could claim it as my own, but it was written long before I was born by a man who taught me a whole lot about liberty and economics. In 1850, Frédéric Bastiat penned his Broken Window Fallacy in which he pointed out the flaw in thinking that disaster, war, or violent upheaval could lead to economic growth or prosperity—something that some people today still try to argue! He wrote: Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son has happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation – “It is an ill

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To Tech or Not to Tech?

Every now and then I get asked questions about parenting. It makes sense since I write kids books and I feature my own kids in our ads, but I generally stay away from talking too much about how to raise kids. In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a pretty big believer in the individual—and that extends to my belief that there isn’t anyone more qualified to know what’s best for your family than you are. With that said, I thought I’d share a little bit of my thoughts on kids and tech since it seems like a question that people ask a lot. In the grand scheme of things, we are still relatively new to the whole tech/parenting thing. Sure, when I was a kid, we had some video games, and even then there were arguments and different schools of thought regarding what the effects of Nintendo or Sega would

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Let’s Stop Asking Presidential Hopefuls to Create Jobs

“Beginning with you, Secretary Clinton, why are you a better choice than your opponent to create the kinds of jobs that will put more money into the pockets of American workers?” This question, asked in one of the 2016 presidential debates, has been asked in various forms and posed to various candidates for as long as I can remember and it has always caused me immediate and severe frustration. I’m not a big sports fan… but if ever there would be a time that someone might walk into my house and find me yelling at the TV, it would be in the moments after this question was asked of a politician. The only answer that would satisfy me would sound something like, “I plan to cut literally every piece of red tape that gets in the way of people providing for themselves and their families in the ways that they

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Lessons on Selfishness from a Calliope Player and an Albanian Immigrant

“But the clowns don’t understand supply and demand,” Atlas added. “They demand rewards without supplying hard work. That’s selfish!” This line from The Tuttle Twins and the Search for Atlas comes just moments before Ethan and Emily have their big “ah ha!” moment and come to a realization that’s been evading them since the beginning of the story. “The twins hadn’t considered that it was actually the clowns who were being selfish, rather than Atlas.” You see, in classic socialist style, the lazy and entitled clowns had spent the better part of the story trying to get everyone to think that Atlas was selfish for expecting merit-based reward, and attempting to “prove” his selfishness by pointing to the fact that he left the circus when the ringmaster decided that everyone should get the same reward—regardless of how much work they contributed or how much value they brought to the circus

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The Family That Plays Together

Have you heard about the recent studies on children and mental health? It’s pretty disheartening stuff, but unfortunately it isn’t really a surprise. Ten years ago, Dr Peter Gray began writing about the decline in the mental health of children and teens and its correlation to an increase in hours spent in school and a decrease in free time and play. In a 2010 piece for Psychology Today, he observed: “We would like to think of history as progress, but if progress is measured in the mental health and happiness of young people, then we have been going backward at least since the early 1950s. “My hypothesis is that the generational increases in Externality, extrinsic goals, anxiety, and depression are all caused largely by the decline, over that same period, in opportunities for free play and the increased time and weight given to schooling. “By depriving children of opportunities to

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