The children sit in a circle. Some are wearing mittens; others are waiting expectantly with little plastic shovels. The rules of the game state that a few of the children must do nothing but sit and watch as the action begins. On the leader’s “Go!” the children scramble for 100 pennies that have been scattered on the floor in the center of the circle.
The players with mittens are having a rough time picking up any pennies at all. The kids with shovels are scooping up some pretty good numbers, while the kids working with their bare hands experience modest success.
What’s going on here? Is this some new type of gambling game being played by our children in order to avoid real exercise? Are drugs involved? Is sex?
No … it’s a classroom exercise – an exercise quite possibly unfolding in a classroom in some government school near you. The official title is “Activity 2 Economic Justice: The Scramble for Wealth and Power.” It was created by professor David Shiman at the Center for World Education at the University of Vermont, and is distributed to our government school teachers by the Human Rights Resource Center at the University of Minnesota.
This “Scramble for Wealth and Power” is an exercise designed by Shiman to show your children how wealth and power is “distributed” in our society. Once the exercise is completed the children with shovels will have more pennies (the rules also allow the use of candy or peanuts), the kids wearing mittens will have less. The participants who were not allowed to scramble for pennies will have nothing. The pennies, of course, represent the world’s wealth.
After the scramble is completed, the students with many pennies are told that they may give some pennies to their classmates with less, if they want to. If they do decide to give away some pennies, they will be honored on a list of “donors.”
During the second part of this exercise students are asked to devise plans for a fair distribution of the pennies. They are asked to pass judgment on the other students who did or did not give away some pennies to others, and whether or not there should be a redistribution of wealth in America, and how to accomplish this redistribution.
Later, these kids are asked to write papers on such topics as “Can poor people really achieve human rights?” and “How do wealth and power affect one’s ability to enjoy human rights and human dignity.”
So, while you think your precious children are off at their local government school learning how to read, how to do basic mathematical computations, how to communicate effectively in the English language – plus a bit about science, health, our economic system and American and world history – your kids may instead be engaging in exercises created by leftist, anti-capitalist college professors designed to teach them that wealth is distributed, rather than earned, and that our economic system is based on something comparable to a mad scramble for pennies.
Here, I want you to read the entire instructions for this classroom exercise. Go through the entire exercise and see if you can find the word “earn” one single time. Read the exercise for yourself and see if you can find one reference to actually working to acquire wealth. Look for any reference to the benefits that can flow from good decision making.
Students, for instance, are given the opportunity to donate pennies to others, but the exercise does not give students with more pennies the option of actually hiring a student with less to actually perform some task or chore (clean out my book bag?) in exchange for a few pennies. No! Never! We can’t teach that in a government school! Why in the world would we want to teach school children that preparation, knowledge, training, hard work and good decision making are the keys to acquiring wealth?
These institutions are no longer schools. They are government indoctrination centers, owned and operated by government and staffed by government employees who have every reason to teach dependency on government and no reason to produce a generation of children who have learned how to depend on themselves.
The single most prevalent form of child abuse in this country is the act of sending a child to a government school. We worry incessantly about the separation of church and state. We would do well to devote half as much attention to the separation of government and education.