Student - B.S. Mathematics,

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Finances should be focused on in junior high and high school.

I come from a lower class household and have been homeless on three separate occasions since childhood. When I graduated from high school I entered the military with absolutely no idea what interest was. I had no idea that the credit cards I racked up would leave me living paycheck to paycheck.

I propose that we mandate teaching kids how these things work. How to earn interest instead of paying it. We need to teach them how to build credit and avoid scams.

I know it's up to the parents, but the sad reality is that too many parents in the dark just as much as their children. An intervention is necessary. I learned too late in the game to get far ahead, but I know enough to teach my kids to never go through what I had to go through due to my own ignorance. Unfortunately, I know I'm not the only one.

This is my first post, and thank you for your eyes, hearts and minds.

  • Aug 30 2012: Yes. I think that since not every one decides to get a further education after high school, i think they should fund it a bit better. Our money management needs new managers.
  • Aug 30 2012: It should be in the focus, but it won't.

    Simple reason?

    The financial industry wants dumbed down people who they can sell their garbage products to, in a world where every young adult knows about the mechanics of the financial industry, know their rotten products, etc. who are they going to sell it to?

    Right, nobody.

    Imagine people knew what they were doing when they were told to sign up for dubious and extraordinary risky mortgages, loans, credits, CDOs, Credit Default Swaps, etc., they couldn't have sold it and its very likely the crisis would've never happened.

    But dumb and unknowing people, combined with greed, which was implemented in their brains through propaganda since they were kids lead to the crisis and it will happen again, just because people won't learn a thing.

    Recent example, the facebook bubble, how can a company with more or less zero real value except for a couple of server farms and millions of names and pictures be valued at over 100bn dollar? And then go straight down the toilet when it hit the open market? Because of greed and stupidity.

    We can cure stupidity, we can't cure greed though.

    While I agree that a certain level of greed IS good, because it advances mankind, it propels the thrive for a better life and so on, but too much greed leads us into disaster. Again. And again.
    • Aug 30 2012: Those were some excellent points, Lucas. I know there will always be someone trying to make a quick buck on the ignorant, but hopefully a broadening of base financial/economic knowledge will help minimize the impact they have on the whole. It's truly upsetting that lenders can get away with what they do, but without either regulation or education it'll continue to run rampant in our society.
      • Aug 31 2012: Regulation would be a starting point.

        But since people from Wall Street are in the highest positions of the government, like Henry Paulson and Tim Geithner, etc. it won't change and if, it would change for the worse.

        People learned the hard way that Wall Street was responsible for the crisis, yet, the elect people who are direct representatives of those exact people.

        To put this in perspective, it would be like if the people of the US would've elected Osama bin Laden head of homeland security.

        This is insanity, in my eyes.

        The only problem is, both parties in the US are filled with finance people, democrats and republicans alike and it won't change in the near future.

        One of the biggest cons of mankind was that the finance industry silently placed their representatives in the political parties and barely anyone noticed.

        Unless other parties in the US will rise that don't have this connection or to be more precise symbiosis, it won't change, no matter what we want.
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    Gail .

    • +1
    Aug 30 2012: I agree that basic skills such as that should be taught in math class. It would be a good way of developing cognitive thinking skills. But I would go further. I would suggest that every high school student be required to learn about various economic models that also exist in a class called "Comparative Economics". Most don't know that there are many possible methods of sustaining a culture.

    Welcome to TED.
    • Aug 30 2012: I agree completely. I'm very new to economics and find it upsetting that I knew none of this information until college (and this is just from one semester of macro). It doesn't have to be an in depth requirement for High Schoolers, but certainly enough to give them a sound breadth of the different models.