I Illustrate The Pitfalls of American Education Using My 5 yr Old Daughter

Reggie Middleton's picture

Below are excerpts from Capital Account's interview with moi (click here for the entire, original interview) featuring my views on education, class struggle and the dumbing down of America. I used my 5 year old daughter as an example of someone who was labeled as unable to read at advanced kindergarten level, yet somehow can parse emails from PhDs, MBAs and other clients of BoomBustBlog. Even if you have seen this popular interview with Lauren Lyster already, this remix is well worth your time. The first 3 and a half minutes are quite telling. Take note of how my daughter actually tries to sound out the words she is reading versus using memorized bits and bites to form the words. In addition, take note of the zeal and pride that she has in tackling a tough problem (at least for her, and probably many kindegarteners) instead of giving up when confronted with a problem. I try my best to push creativity and knowledge of how the world works, vs memorization of propaganda and proficiency in following rules. As a matter of fact, I push all of my kids to actively seek to break the rules for their benefit and attempt to rewrite the rules to their advantage. If you don't like the way that sounds, you can assume that you and/or your children may be working for the 5 year old in this video that was labeled as unable to read by the NYC school system in September.

20120103_145351My two youngest children after an interview at CNBC wherein Daddy goes against the grain yet again by warning on the FIRE sector, a week before Wall Street jumps on board

My two youngest children, like my oldest (19 yrs) accompany their dad to work to see how the entrepeneur side looks. Notice, like their dad, the keep computers and tech in hand...My two youngest children, like my oldest (19 yrs) accompany their dad to work to see how the entrepreneur side looks. Notice, like their dad, the keep computers and tech in hand...

Watching Daddy spread his message in the CNBC studios. I regularly and happily pull my kids out of school so they can see what I do, how I do it, and how successful (or not) it may be. This is true education. My children (all three, 5, 11 & 19) are well versed in class struggle, geo political power struggles, economics and finance. They all know what Money is, and  no, they will not tell you it is to buy things!!!Watching Daddy spread his message in the CNBC studios. I regularly and happily pull my kids out of school so they can see what I do, how I do it, and how successful (or not) it may be. This is true education. My children (all three, 5, 11 & 19) are well versed in class struggle, geo-political power struggles, economics and finance. They all know what Money is, and no, they will not tell you it is to buy things!!! I would like to see an entier school filled with teachers of a mindset similar to mine, and I will have that - even if I have to start the school myself!!!!

The articles (recommeneded reading, of course) that led up to this are... 

How Inferior American Education Caused The Credit/Real Estate/Sovereign Debt Bubbles and Why It's Preventing True Recovery

 The Biggest Threat To The 2012 Economy Is??? Not What Wall Street Is Telling You...

The American Education System Exposed For What It Truly Is - A Worker Drone Factory For The Socio-Economic Elite!

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
arg's picture

Gabrielle pomegranate diet pills Giffords, who survived slim pomegranate a gunshot wound to the super slim head a year ago, said super slim diet pills Sunday she would step down super slim green lean body capsule from Congress this week, setting super slim pills off a political scramble in Arizona super slim pomegranate to fill her seat. In a super slim pomegranate diet pills video released on YouTube, the super slim pomegranate pills Democratic congresswoman said she would super slim pomegranate weight loss capsule resign because she had more work to do on her recovery.

JW n FL's picture



Great Job Reggie!

Great Looking Family!!

May God Bless and May God Love You and Yours!! for the Fantastic Work Product You provide to others!!

Bringing people out of the Darkness into the light is a Nobel Cause..

Even if you do outsource your number crunching instead of Buying American! LULZ!!

HungrySeagull's picture

They used to tell me "You have not reached your full potential" back in school.


What I did not say to them in response, "I am only satisfying the demands of necessary drugery and school work so I can GTFO and really start living life and learning."

Boy and how.


I had to tone it down for my classmates because my parents home schooled me before there was even a term and I ended up knowing half the shit that they did not and earned a beating or two. As you can tell.

I did make a Math teacher lose it when I handed in the home work due the next day just as the bell rang for end of class the same day it was assigned.

Setarcos's picture

So you are barely literate.  What else are you trying to demonstrate?  And what, exactly, do you do for a living, having failed Maths, English and whatever else.

Sure:  I have known and liked many thick people who have done OK in modest ways.  BUT:

I have never liked thickos who brag about failing school ... btw I failed myself.

A Maths teacher once said that he had met worse maths students than myself, but he could not remember when.

About ten years later - because I happened to become motivated - I got A+ passes in GCE Maths and Physics.

Only cretins blame "the system" for their failures and brag about them.

Yes I CAN tell that your parents beat you up ... that is nothing to be proud of.  It was because of beatings that I failed school - and why you did too, along with a myriad others.

Best not to air your dirty washing in public, before having sorted it out ... but maybe you are still too young to know any better?

StychoKiller's picture

Reading comprehension is not yer strong suit...

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

Just some general thoughts not necessarily related to the article, based on being a dad of 3 as well:

1.  Let your kids play, and play often, completely unstructured.  It's amazing what they can create when you shut the TV/electronic devices off just get out of the way.

2.  Praise can be just as damaging as criticism.  Also, failure can be just as valuable as success (if not more so).  The trick is to guide them on accepting and learning from failure, not compromising your moral compass in pursuit of success, and most of all, what information to accept or reject regarding how they view themselves.  

3.  To the extent possible and reasonable, be there for dinner and make sure they're eating foods that aren't poisonous.  Talk to them as often as you can, particularly when they're at an age when they actually like the attention and are receptive to your wisdom.  

4.  Turn off (completely off) your phone when you're not at work.  Whatever it is, it's not nearly as important as your family and your personal sanity.  

5.  Step away from the computer and TV whenever possible and reasonable during their waking hours.

6.  A sane parent that "doesn't do much" is way, way superior to an insane parent that does way, way too much.  If you need to chill on the computer while your kids watch Spongebob because your week was crazy, do it.  It is a vastly better situation for you to be relaxed than to fly off the handle about something that doesn't really matter long-run.  

CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Why would anyone let their kids watch Sponge Bob? There's decades worth of quality childrens' entertainment available on DVD.

Setarcos's picture

I concur.

I somehow doubt that Reggie - nor many others - will understand your observations/words of wisdom.

You are a very lucky man if you have a wife who is in accord with you ... in which case your children are doubly blessed.

My ex could never understand why "one word" from myself always stopped a mounting 'situation' of verbal assaults between her and our daughter.

It was very simple - but beyond the grasp of my ex and many others like her - i.e. generally you say little or nothing, but when you do speak you mean it ... and a simple "NO" is usually sufficient.

Stuck on Zero's picture

"...recommeneded reading????"

Man.  What education system did the site manager come from?

My Days Are Getting Fewer's picture



thank you.  I have passed this article on to my daughter, who has my 5-year old grandson in kindergarden.

Look, you have to learn the basic rules - you can't understand your bank statement if you believe that 2+2 = 3.

When I was in law school, I had a brilliant professor.  Like most courses, we learned the rules and principles by reading the decisions of appellate courts.  This professor dug very deep into the rulings and drivers behind the decisions:

First, there was the straightforward application of the rules of law to the facts of the case.  That would produce a logical and rational result.

Next, there was interest analysis: who would gain and lose economically from the decision.  Think like the plaintiff owners of polluted land vs the oil company.

Lastly, there was the social policy analysis: What hidden political agenda did the judge have when writing the decision: Was he a socialist? capitalist?  What political party appointed him to the bench?

This professor forced us to grind out an analysis on all three levels.  Please bear in mind that you can only pass the NY Bar Exam by using the traditional law to the facts method.  So, most law students didn't give a rat's ass about these in depth discussions.  They were just collecting grades and preparing to pass the bar exam, in order to try to strike it rich as lawyer. 

I graduated from law school 40 years ago.  I never forgot this professor.  I built a one-man international law firm.  And, I ascribe part of my success to his teachings.  I was able to deal with people from foreign lands, who had a different approach to business and law and politics.

One dimentional thinking won't cut it.  If you have to work for someone, you have to understand how that person thinks and what interests that person has, etc.  Starting early in life to broaden a child's understanding of how things are and work wlll help that child imensely. 

Boxed Merlot's picture

This professor dug very deep into the rulings and drivers behind the decisions:...

I am a product of the US public school system, for better or worse. I was also exposed to a great deal of biblical teaching and continue to find a great deal of enjoyment listening to it being read throughout the day while commuting. I have come to believe the judiciary is the most culpable of all branches of the government in allowing justice to be so thoroughly abused. Your brilliant professor's procedure for analyzing infractions seems reasonable enough.

My understanding of the role of a judge is that of discovering the truth. In ancient days, the threat of standing before a magistrate was enough for some to admit guilt, for others further inquiry was necessary. For more difficult determinations, various rituals designed to invoke the sacred trust and weighty responsibility of honorable conduct was called on.

It is only after an objective and impartial discernment of the truth of a case was arrived at, that an appropriate course of action of restitution would / could be prescribed.  The ultimate goal of this activity is a restoration of relationships, not “advantage”.


There was a reason Solomon oversaw one of the greatest periods of human achievement and prosperity.  A high regard for the judiciary was at the core.  Imo.


My Days Are Getting Fewer's picture

You are correct - the judge job of the judge is supposed to find the truth. And the statute of Justicia shows a woman with a blindfold holding the scales of justice in her hand.  That is the myth and lore behind the judging business.  


Please remember, judges are people too.  They want to get promoted, possibily roll from the public sector to high paying jobs as private lawyers, etc.  Meaning that judges are not immune from outside influence and prejudice.  It is for that reason that I always insisted on trial by jury. The collective prejudice of 5 or 12 persons is much less than that of one person.

amish-nerd's picture

It's not about the kids it's all about "them", to keep perpetuating the education 'career path' and ultimately the answer is, those that can, do, those that can't, teach.  

The complete quote ends with;,,,, Those that can't teach, teach teachers!

surfsup's picture

Its a pleasure to Verify your Virulent Views with Vociferious Verification that perhaps our Vaunted Venacular needs some Venting of Vexation to Vibrantly Voice our Validation of the Veneer which so Hauntingly pervades the Vicistitudes and Vehement Void at present -- for the uplift of the Vast and Voluminous Masses...  

I present to you John Talylor Gatto...

Go Forth and Multiply -->


Setarcos's picture

Good on ya Reggie, but your idealism can BADLY backfire.

I did similar to you - in my own way - with my own daughter, who regarded me as the best thing since sliced bread (if not god), until her mother stepped in and claimed ownership ... which it is very easy to do for mothers, relative to their daughters, because they are of the same gender.

I was fairly successful, in my own way, and included my daughter in that success - like you do yours - to the extent that she used to say,  "I am just like you dad."  And,  "You are my private psychologist dad.  The only person in the world I can talk with about everything."

I knew that that was all wrong at the time (some twenty + years ago) - well no female, for better or worse, can ever be "just like" a male of our species.  But I did not know how to refute her for two reasons, i.e. she was too young  AND she would never be able to develop "male logic".  Emotion rules OK ... as all men know, who have ever encountered "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned".

Your close relationship with your daughter is very likely to backfire - unless your wife is a very unusual woman who fully supports your career and frequent absences from home.

You might be one of the lucky ones - though I do not know of any - but considering that is YOU who has introduced VERY personal matters into your subject matter, I feel justified in warning you that you are on VERY dangerous personal grounds.

What if your wife is jealous of your personal success and good relations with your daughter?   My ex was, therefore she destroyed me ... as has happened to many men.  You next?

What prompted you to write this piece?  Domestic problems?

RingToneDeaf's picture

Public school = child abuse

Home schoolers rule

Been there, done that, love the way the kids turned out.

Gully Foyle's picture

While we all want our children to be intellectual giants the fact is many are dumb as a box of rocks. No amount of home schooling will elevate your child beyond that status.

Then you have those kids who just want to do the bare minimum of educational and job related work. Nothing is going to change the lazy bastards.

That leaves us with a relatively small minority of kids actually worth the effort to educate.

Face facts people maybe your kid is really only cut out to be a check out guy at some supermarket. Don't be upset with him or her. It's the best evolution gave them from the gene pool.

The REAL problem is this bullshit taught that EVERYONE is equal and can acheive ANYTHING. That puts a lot of pressure on parents and children.

Really who wants to admit their kid is stupid? No one.

Quite a few of us should start accepting the reality of who exactly our kids are and love them for that, instead of trying to make them something they aren't.

Dennis Leary caught on


Denis Leary is not a sensitive man. His new book, Why We Suck, seems bound to offend people, the New York Post reports, particularly autistic people. Leary asserts that autism is booming because parents “want an explanation for why their dumb-ass kids can’t compete academically,” so they run to psychologists. “I don’t give a [bleep] what these crackerjack whack jobs tell you,” Leary writes, “yer kid is NOT autistic. He’s just stupid.”

CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

You cite Denis Leary and you accuse others of being as dumb as a box of rocks?

surfsup's picture

It is a Pleasure to Validate your Vivacious Views with Verified Venacular wholy Vivid and Virulent as we View our Vaunted Vexation among Vaules which seemingly Vary.    For our Very Villification and Victory of mind in these matters we must be Violently Vociferous...

The right Link -- at the Right Time and Right Space...

Go forth and Multipy -->



lunaticfringe's picture

Reg...I recently wrote a piece about this with some lightly different spin...http://thecivillibertarian.blogspot.com/2012/01/what-elite-know.html

Bob's picture

Great story, Reg . . . nice to see some paternal swagger around here! 

Sounds like you were sweating something unnecessarily in the case of your daughter's reading, though.  Doing it at age five is not a normal milestone.  Kids develop at different rates and "reading readiness," which would appear to be largely a matter of neurological maturation, is nothing to even start getting worried about until age 7.  Kids who are going to be exceptional readers later may be utterly incapable of reading before 7 . . . regardless of the quality of instruction.  To imagine that you (or anyone) can force it is akin to pushing your kid to walk before they're ready. 

Sure, continuing exposure to the elements of the task may ensure that the developing capacity for reading is caught at the earliest moment, but that's a far cry from proving that it was the "instruction" that caused it. 

Most people who have a notable faculty for reading find it virtually effortless to learn for a reason.  Those who were pushed into it early may have a very different memory of the experience, however. 

CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

When I was in Kindergarten in '68 and '69 they didn't even try to teach us how to read. We had a half day filled with finger painting, show and tell and nap time.

barroter's picture

Same with my kindergarten in '69, finger paiting, cutting contruction paper, and learning how not to pee  yourself till bathroom break.


Bob's picture

Same in 1960.  No wonder we cain't reed fer shite . . . damn socialist public schools!

gaoptimize's picture

Hi Mr. Middleton,

    Your pride and joy in your childrens' accomplishments and investment in and hope for their future is the cure for the dystopia presented by Mark Styn in his book "After America".  It warms my heart and gives me hope for the future.  All the best to you and them.

centerline's picture

Below is something I wrote to someone else privately after dealing with some of the disgusting parent behavior I see all the time. It does not reach into any real economic issues because my audience here is still mostly resistant to that reality as well. Just "surface" level stuff in hopes to spark a few synapses and continue the conversation further. Unfortunately, the conversation did not continue. Sharing here for ZH'ers to laugh, cry, junk, whatever...

• Society is moving at a frantic pace. The divide between haves and have-nots is widening. Times are getting tougher.

• Parents want their kids to succeed, not fail. So they push them harder and harder.

• As more and more people do the same, the bar is raised each time and demands increase. Pressure is increased all around. (This is also why bullying, suicides, drug use and other social issues are increasing so dramatically).

• Colleges are taking full advantage of this situation. Combined with government backstopped loans, they are creating the next great debt bubble – making billions of dollars of profit. And in the process, millions of people are being ruined forever in the process. College is a business… remember that.

• Likewise, because so many people are pushing in the same direction, college degrees in many areas of study are becoming somewhat worthless… and jobs are harder to find too. Nice.

• This does not say that college is not worth it. It clearly is. But, it is not a panacea. It is only one part of the equation. And the equation is different for different kids.

• But, fear is a powerful thing. It drives parents to do anything for their kids. In fact, it makes them do things that actually hurt their kids (hyper-parenting). It causes them to hyper-focus only on isolated parts of the equation… failing to see the forest for the trees… creating even larger problems.

• And society reinforces this in a similar manner as it reinforces other social norms – including those that are clearly destructive.

This will all backfire horribly. It is a recipe for disaster.

This is all no different from the housing bubble. My point is that if you know something is wrong… it is wrong. It was wrong for houses to appreciate at such a rapid pace. It was wrong to have real estate agents knocking on your door asking if you wanted to sell your home. It was wrong for everyone to be making easy money flipping homes. It was OBVIOSULY wrong.

I submit the obvious that it is wrong to expect a child to build a ridiculous resume and choose a career path too early. It is obviously wrong for parents to obsess so much over success in only one area of a child’s development as if it is the “key” to riches… forgetting that an emotionally broken child will not succeed no matter what. It is obviously wrong how everyone pushes their kids through the same crowded path. It is obviously wrong how the schools attempt to push kids through the same crowded path. It is obvious that society has created an educational “meat-grinder” and those who cannot think critically are pushing their kids through it as hard as they can. Is it not obvious that the pressure is wrong? And harmful? Yet most participate.

Things that are wrong inevitably break. Change inevitably comes.

Likewise, the systems and parenting approaches in place now are based on pushing kids in a way that was consistent with the world we came from. That world is already gone and it is not coming back. The world of tomorrow will be different.

The way to get through the mess is the recognize that it is in fact a mess… and be creative and flexible enough to find the right path through it while protecting other areas of child development. Rigidity, fear, ignorance, and other negatives are the killers. They drive people to make rash and uneducated decisions. They create abnormal and unnecessary pressure.

barroter's picture

I agree with much of what you have written here.

I have seen parents who never seem to give up "parenting." I overhear stories of parents handing out downpayments on homes, cars and whatnot to their 25 year old "kids."

As far as colleges go, I see them advertising to just about anyone.  Ignorant/stupid kids are encouraged to enroll in whatever college will accept them and after a few semester in, they fail since they cannot keep their GPA above the minimum.  No matter, the college managed to squeeze some $$ out of a some who would've never applied to college in the first place.  One young girl I knew was heavilly encouraged to take on much debt for a degree in Computer Administration, despite the fact the girl was NOT in any way qualified to do college work.  As you can guess, she dropped out and now owes $18,000 for nothing.

"Emotionally broken kids..."  There are a ton of them out there.  Some have wonderful minds but cannot achieve what they could have done had the injury not happened.  Psychological injuries constantly sap up your energy and focus.  I think most can consider life a success if they can just manage to keep their financial, social and private lives from tipping over like a canoe. 


ptolemy_newit's picture

who in there right mind would shpow their family off to all the crazies in the world.  espciallly when you have adesire to make enemies??

very cute cant wait to meet them at night, where is it you live?  Oh yea!

Taint Boil's picture



Seriously WTF

I don’t believe in censorship and everyone should be able to be heard but you are getting seriously close to that line. Children need to be protected at any cost until they are old enough to defend themselves or old enough to debate.

I hope and assume you are being sarcastic.

centerline's picture

The real tragedy is that most people are so caught up in the rat race and so fearful about the future success or failure of thier children.  They fail to see how the public school system is failing their children in so many ways.  And how THEY are failing their children in so many ways.  They dont fully realize how THEY must advocate for thier children and completely lack any courage to go against the grain.

Rather, they reluctantly accept what they are given as a path and push thier kids through the proverbial meat grinder.  It is shameful to say the least.

virgilcaine's picture

Almost impossible to escape from the socialist morass with corruption, ineptitude and over regulation at every turn. But i applaud those who give it a try anyway.  In this K-wave winter season that's upon us.

DrewJackson's picture

Reggie the family man!  Keep spreading the truth!

virgilcaine's picture

It's great to be an investor, problem is there's nothing to invest in. Except pm's on a buy and hold basis. Everything else is overpriced garbage.

mick_richfield's picture

problem is there's nothing to invest in

There is !

An investor looks forward, sees more clearly than others, and deploys resources appropriately.

Right now, the best investments are not what you are accustomed to.  The best investments are the means of raising and marketing food locally.  The means of surviving serious interruptions in our Just In Time Civilization.

And the means of rescuing our children's education from the collapsing state.  Didn't you see the picture Reggie posted?  Can't you smell the first hints of a new world, coming after a long winter?

Remember!  The Chinese word for massive, epochal paradigm shift is the same as their word for holy crap buddy, we gonna get rich or we gonna get dead!


economics1996's picture

For those thinking of homeschooling here is a good web site that will get you started.


Oleander's picture

I homeschool my son in MAss.  Very easy approval and only need to submit a simple progress report in June to comply.  The flexability is great and the year round learning means no cramming to pass a standardized test every year. 

AnAnonymous's picture

One pic...

CNBC global headquarters...

Tells a lot where the globalists come from and live.

tonyw's picture

Reggie, this reminds me what i do with my kids, well done for helping your kids learn to read and think - the foundation for future success.

Zero Govt's picture

"I try my best to push creativity and knowledge of how the world works, vs memorization of propaganda and proficiency in following rules.."

Good On You Reggie

Rules are made by arseholes (politicians) to guide the brainless who can't think for themselves on how they think you should behave. Coming from easily the most incompetent, rotten and bankrupt career in history, that's a bit rich to say the least

Fuk the State (and State education)

economics1996's picture

We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the class room
Teachers leave those kids alone


yellowsub's picture

You guys need to look at your city's or town's public records.

In my small town suburb of NJ just 30 minutes from NYC, we have over 80 teachers making $80-$100k... 

This isn't including pensions and their premium medical insurance plan that they don't pay a dime into...

What I don't understand is why the education I learned 20 years ago and is still the same cirriculum being taught is now harder for our children to learn and requires teachers to get Master's degrees?  I understand if some teachers AP classes but this also includes teachers teaching electives like shop and art and in elementary and middle school grade levels.

Is it that hard for teacher's to grasp these subjects they need further education in something so elementary?!



therearetoomanyidiots's picture

Read any of Thomas Sowell's exposes (pretend there's an accent mark there) of the education establishment.  

For instance: 


It's not about the kids it's all about "them", to keep perpetuating the education 'career path' and ultimately the answer is, those that can, do, those that can't, teach.  

Caveat:  There are good teachers out there.   But the majority of the system is f**ked.  

AnAnonymous's picture

You pretend not to understand Smithian economics, dont you?

Take a look at the environment. The environment through concentration of wealth has grown more expensive to live in.

Making exactly the same job costs more because of that...

Welcome to the US world order.

CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

I sincerely hope that your guardians strap a helmet on your noggin before they let you out of the house.