Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Auto Industry CEO's Could Learn From America's Homeschoolers

Various CEO's in our national financial drama are coming to government with hat in hand and getting "strings attached" bailout money.

When strings are attached you lose your autonomy. Many of us homeschoolers know this - which is why the majority of us do not want, or seek, government money or resources in the form of tax breaks and scholarship money (etc.) and other programs, on the Federal, State and even local level. Most Homeschoolers do not think that what they do in their homes with their own children should be controlled by the State or by the Teachers Unions or by anyone else but the parents in charge of those children! (Read more about Sovereign Parental Instruction)

Homeschooling parents would rather make some sacrifices (and many do) than make concessions and succumb to be controlled by others. They also know that without government intervention, they and their children are free to educate children as they see fit utilizing flexibility and creativity in the process. Do some make mistakes? Sure, but the lesson is quickly learned and changes are made.

People, and businesses, should be allowed to make mistakes and correct those mistakes. The process usually allows for a better result. In the end, if the business cannot correct a mistake they can go out of business, or be bought up by someone else who can do a better job.

A homeschooling parent who cannot homeschool successfully will recognize there are problems and may work to correct them in a variety of ways. Most times it is to change the curriculum or learning approach. Sometimes it means networking with parents who have had similar problems to try to find a solution. Sometimes it means just sitting down with the kids and having a good heart to heart talk and trying to reach a mutually agreeable solution to the problems being faced. There is "in-house" problem solving that has to happen.

Sometimes homeschool families opt to put the child in a different education environment/model altogether. Sometimes that means placing the child in government schools, and sometimes that means enrolling them in a private program of study. I suppose it could be argued that if a parent places their child in the government school system then that is a type of "government bailout", because in the end they are abrogating their control and trading their autonomy so the State can deal with their child's education. They willingly accept the strings that are attached. Many times this is just the "easier" thing to do, especially if family circumstances change. My purpose is not to necessarily argue whether that is good or bad - but just to illustrate that when you do give up autonomy, you do have to accept the strings attached.

That is a lesson that could be applied to Detroit and Wall Street and any other industry looking for government "help" in the form of money. No one is "too big to fail". In fact there really is no "failure" - what there is is a restructuring. Perhaps Detroit has been put into such a bad situation by Government regulations and standards along with Union contract demands that they now have no choice but to accept government money with strings attached. Perhaps they have no means, or desire, to do more "in-house' problem solving. However, in reality - they will still have to restructure and now they will be doing it to someone else's directives. These companies in Detroit and Wall Street will ultimately have to change the way they do business - with or without bailout money if they want to succeed , otherwise we are just throwing good money after bad.

The plain fact is that government money has strings attached - it always has and always will because taxpayer funding means accountability. ALWAYS.

A homeschooling family's accountability regarding educating their children should be to themselves, just as the other aspects of their lives are. Educating our young has always been a parent's responsibility, just as clothing and feeding them is. It behooves parents to nurture and grow self-sufficient well-rounded children who will emerge as independent adults who can function on their own with a set core of values. THEIR VALUES, Not the State's Values.

I might also add that states which have more regulation regarding home education do not do any better than states that have little or no regulation. It just makes it more difficult, and adds cumbersome bureaucracy to homeschooling, and in fact is designed to discourage the practice. It really all boils down to control.

Can a Car Czar say what is best for Detroit? No. No more than the Education Secretary in Washington can say what is best for YOUR CHILD.

What a "Car Czar" sets up is control of a process by someone other than the person in charge of the process. What it sets up is loss of self-determination.

I don't care if you are head of a business or head of a household, the person in charge should be the one who has control. It isn't government's job to run companies or dictate how a child should be educated. When we abrogate our rights and give up control, then we become mere puppets in someone else's play.

We have seen what happens when government takes over business, and what happens when government controls education. (Read your history books!)

Neither is a pretty sight - nor is is good for America.

The CEO's of this country have obviously forgotten what their job description says as well as forgotten what the role of government is. They could take a lesson from autonomous homeschoolers, and others, who would rather fail and restructure their efforts, than to take government handouts with controlling strings attached.