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"If your child only gets 'educated' at school, you are failing as a parent."
I make this statement on a very regular basis, and very often, I get push back. Its okay, I'm use to it. The truth is, most parents have zero clue as to just how inadequate today's 'education' is at preparing their children for the challenges of the 21st Century.
And it isn't their fault. Many parents have done well for themselves in a system that was designed to address the challenges that they faced when they matriculated. As such, they fail to realize that the paradigm has changed, but the approach has not.
The fact is, the concept of "work" is changing. But "education" is not.
And while I'm critical of education (or what passes for it these days), it isn't an indictment of the men and women who shed blood, sweat and tears in the classroom. For instructors, I have the utmost respect. I've spent time in the classroom; it isn't for the faint of heart. Rather, my disdain is for a system that is built to espouse 20th Century approaches to 21st Century issues.
But I can't force you to have the same perspective I do. I can only provide you with the facts and let you draw your own conclusion.
A study conducted on the knowledge of fundamental financial principles revealed that 65% of Americans ages 25 - 65 are financially illiterate.
According to the American Psychology Association's annual survey, Stress in America™: Paying With Our Health, money is the nation's number one stressor.
A majority of those surveyed, 64%, responded that money is a somewhat or significant source of stress.
Of those surveyed, 54% of Americans responded that they had "just enough" or "not enough" money each month to cover their expenses.
The median income of middle-class households has actually declined by 4% since 2000. And the median wealth is down 28%.
The share of income that now goes to upper-income households is now 49%, up from 29% in 1970.
The middle-class's share of the income pie is now 43%, down from 62% in 1970.
47% of Americans polled would be unable to come up with $400 in the case of an emergency
A 2014 USA Today analysis discovered that the American Dream would cost the average family of 4 approximately $130,000 a year. Median household income is less than half that at $51,000.
58% of employers think that there is room for improvement to ensure that college graduates gain the skills and knowledge needed upon entry into the workforce.
A mere 42% of employers surveyed believe that colleges and universities are doing a good job at preparing graduates for the workforce.
In 2015, only 37% of high school 12th graders tested as academically prepared for college-level math and reading
Americans currently owe $1.3 TRILLION in outstanding student loans. It is the second largest consumer debt, only surpassed by mortgages.
student loans can no longer be discharged in bankruptcy, except in rare cases.
one law after another has been enacted by Congress to make student debt the worst kind of debt for Americans—and the best kind for banks and debt collectors
Loans of less than $5,000 accounted for 35 percent of all defaults.
The CEA reports that “between 2008 and 2013, state revenues per full-time equivalent student at public colleges declined from $7,400 to $6,000.”
The share of college students attending for-profit schools tripled between 2000 and 2011
But the typical for-profit student is a 24-year-old from a first-generation family earning less than $40,000, who eventually drops out of school. The completion rates for two-year and four-year for-profit institutions is about 40 percent and 25 percent, respectively.
Loans of $10,000 account for two-thirds of all defaults
Adults with student debt under $5,000 are eight-times more likely to default than adults owing more than $40,000
The Middle Class is Shrinking Nationwide
70% of 2016 grads owing for their education (the average college debt is about $30,000)
just under a quarter of Americans aged 18 to 29 citing student debtas their No. 1 financial source of remorse
Corporate profits, although they’ve taken a hit in recent months, have nevertheless grown at a healthy clip while wages lag behind. Those profits have increasingly been used to pay high executive salaries, which has led to an explosion in the gap between CEO salaries and worker pay.
(Fortune 500 CEOs earned about 42 times as much on average as the typical worker in 1980. Today they earn 373 times as much.)
Americans work more hours than citizens of any Western European country
Household income figures are also distorted by the fact that an ever-increasing percentage of homes have moved from one-income to two-income families. In 1960, 72 percent of two-parent families with children under 18 had a single earner (typically the father). That figure fell to 37 percent by 2010, while the number of two-earner families rose to 60 percent. (Single-parent households face an even harder struggle, with a much greater risk of falling into poverty.)
Costs have risen dramatically for many large-dollar items that affect middle-class families, including college tuition and out-of-pocket costs under employer health care plans
the amount of money needed to maintain a four-person household in different parts of the country and found that it took between $49,114 and $106,493 per year. $44,083, the lower end of Pew’s middle-class income range, was not an adequate income anywhere in the country
Middle-wage hourly wages only rose 6 percent between 1979 and 2013, while low-wage workers’ wages fell by 5 percent
median wealth (assets minus debt) declined by 28 percent after the housing market crisis and subsequent Great Recession
the median income for middle-class households fell by nearly 5 percent between 2000 and 2014
57% of millennial graduates regret taking out as many loans as they did, and 36% even said they would not have gone to college if they knew how much it was going to cost them
Today, that number has swelled even further, with some 43 million Americans feeling the enduring gravity of $1.3 trillion in student loan debt
47 percent of respondents said that either they would cover the expense by borrowing or selling something, or they would not be able to come up with the $400 at all
Bartholomew J. Worthington III is an anti-establishmentarianist (yes, that's really a thing) with a disdain for the status quo. Author, Coach and Entrepreneurship Evangelist, he relishes spreading the Gospel of Business Ownership.
Connect with Bartholomew J. Worthington on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+.
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