Some kids win the lottery at birth; far too many don't - and most people have a hard time catching up over the rest of their lives. Children raised in disadvantaged environments are not only much less likely to succeed in school or in society, but they are also much less likely to be healthy adults. .
The cognitive skills prized by the American educational establishment and measured by achievement tests are only part of what is required for success in life. Character skills are equally important determinants of wages, education, health and many other significant aspects of flourishing lives. .
For a variety of reasons, I have always felt myself an outsider. I don't know how to classify myself in economics. I am a loner. I do not like groupthink, which, if anything, has become more important in economics. In addition, a lot of the values I hold are not the mainstream values in the profession. .
I remember that, one day, I was visiting one training center in the 1990s that was teaching people how to fix Volkswagen engines from the 1960s, which were no longer sold. So you were training people on a skill that had zero value. The reason is that they hadn't received any new equipment in 20 years. .
There's no question that we have great value on the sanctity of the family, and there are a lot of competing visions about exactly how we teach a set of values and we teach skills to our children, especially in the early years when they're really forming their personalities, their personas, really. .
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