No, You Can’t Think Outside of the Box

By Ryan Lau | @agorisms  

Try to think of a new color, one that you have never experienced before. It’s purple, but without all of the purple, or green, with a greater amount of intensity. Having trouble yet? Now, attempt the exercise again, but this time, describe it without using any other colors as a reference point to go from. Rather than speaking relatively, imagine the creation of a color outside of our spectrum, and describe it absolutely. You can’t, because you can’t think outside of the box.

Surely, the human brain is not capable of such a task. For that matter, it is also not able to even do so for a color within the existing spectrum. Try, for example, to describe the color green without merely echoing how your individual brain processes the light. Initially, some ideas may include “a cool color”, “the color of the trees in the forest”, or even “light waves that reflect a wavelength of about 550 nm”.

Alas, none of these descriptions are at all meaningful in saying what exactly the color green is. In order to determine what is and is not meaningful, it is best to introduce the situation of a blind man.  If he who cannot see on his own can understand a concept of sight, then that concept must be sound. As the blind man has no bias, he cannot have any pre-existing ideas as to what the color green is.

Suppose the man has a wife and daughter, and both have normal vision. The child goes to a movie with some friends and eagerly comes home after, telling her parents what she saw. The wife can see and the husband cannot, but neither of them has watched the movie. So, neither of them will receive a completely accurate recounting of it. However, by using sensory details, the daughter can convey information that both the wife and husband will understand.

For example, if the movie had a grotesque alien, the girl may say that it had slimy skin, eight legs, and large teeth. Though blind, the man’s other senses compensate, allowing for both he and the wife to get a rough idea of the creature. But what if the daughter only described the alien as green? Even if she called it the forest’s color or remarked about frequency, the blind man would have absolutely no idea what this strange, foreign concept was.

As a person without sight could not understand this aspect of it, then it is safe to say that the description of green is not objective. That is to say, the definition alone holds no absolute truth; the senses are also required in order to understand it. 

Could, on the other hand, the senses alone be a useful tool in determining what the building blocks of the world really are? Though an interesting thought, this appears to be even more difficult to maintain. By looking at forest leaves alone, a person would have no true concept of what makes them green.

What is to say that the way I perceive green is not that way someone else perceives red? Think outside of the box. When looking at a Christmas tree, it is entirely possible that someone may see what I believe to be red. I cannot disprove it, nor can anyone, as that would involve being in everyone else’s minds. The thought, in addition to impossible, is not even slightly appealing and would not be useful in this context.

Clearly, a sense of sight is necessary in order to understand things based on sight alone. The blind man’s assumptions on the movie, referring back, most likely came from information his other senses provided. But just as convincingly, the sense of sight alone is not adequate to bring about objective truth.

Now, a bit of a paradox begins to form. It is obvious that the sense of sight is absolutely necessary to understand the objective quality of sight. However, the sense of sight is also meaningless at determining any objectivity of sight. So, if both statements are true, how can we be sure of anything at all concerning the properties of sight? 

Ultimately, the answer boils down to a level of societal consistency. I, of course, have no idea how anybody else perceives the so-called “green” of a Christmas tree. In fact, there is mounting evidence to suggest different people are able to see and identify different colors. 

One study, done by Debi Roberson of the University of Essex, looks at this phenomenon. The Himba tribe in Namibia has multiple words for green, but not one distinguishing blue from green. So, when trying to pick out different shades of green, they excelled. But, they were often unable to determine the difference between the common green and cyan, even though the distinction is so obvious to native English speakers.

The northwest square is a different color, which the Himba saw immediately. Source: https://static01.nyt.com/images/2012/09/04/magazine/046thfl-green-color-ring/046thfl-green-color-ring-blog480.jpg

I do know, however, that the idea of green is commonly accepted among all. It matters not whether we all perceive colors as the same, and in fact, is entirely possible that we each view them wildly uniquely.

What does matter, in this situation, is that we can communicate the existence of color. The above study all but proves the notion that color is different from language to language. But even within a single language, there is no guarantee that, as I previously said, someone does not think a Christmas tree matches my perception of red.

Color, then, if not objectively verifiable, cannot have inherent objective truths to it. Its only use is for communication, and thus, is nothing more than a human construct. This is where the idea of thinking outside of the box comes into play.

Before the cavemen were able to write, were they able to see color? If so, how many were they able to perceive? The Himba tribe study would suggest that the answer to this is no. If a word for a color is necessary in order to see it, how could cavemen existing before language possibly understand it? But if they did not understand it, how could they have possibly come up with words for it? What came first, the color or the idea of color? Either situation proves humanity’s inability to think outside of the box. 

The less likely of the two situations is that cavemen were unable to see color before conceptualizing color. Of course, the study would support this hypothesis, if carried to a full extension. But, it would be impossible for a human to come up with a word for something that he or she could not perceive.

In the modern day, it is safe to assume that the five senses shape our perception of reality. It is impossible for any human being to think of a world in which another sense exists that we do not have the organ to detect, or that our organ is not yet advanced enough to detect. The proof of this lies in the human inability to imagine a new color that does not entail a combination of existing colors or a relative assessment in comparison to them.

So, it is safe to assume that the study has some limitations. Though it is fascinating how language shapes existing color perceptions, it cannot create new ones entirely. Given the scope of human knowledge now, compared to the times of the Neanderthals, it is highly unlikely that they were any more able to do so.

This, by process of elimination, implies that color itself predated the idea of color. So, an ancient human being, deductively, must have looked at his or her own perception of color and given it words. With those words, the ancient could begin showing others this new property, which they had already observed, but not named.

Time passes by. The words red, blue, green, and others fly across the globe, but when we use them today, what are we actually saying? Is there anything true about them, or we are just unable to think outside of the box?

We cannot possibly imagine another term for color, and if we did, we would not be able to explain it. Language has already set aside certain words that denote color, but they are all subjective. So, when seeing green, one is not seeing anything that has any intrinsic green properties, as green itself does not exist. Science tries to approximate it, but even then, it only uses someone else’s definition, someone else’s box. You can’t think outside of the box, because language is in the box. Without language, what is a coherent thought?

The box encompasses all things commonly accepted as human knowledge, given the pattern of perception and storytelling that is knowledge itself. Rather than physical, it is metaphorical, but nonetheless very real. It is a collection of natural occurrences that humans snared with language, conceptualizing them in ways that allow for their understanding. Color, of course, is in the box, as is language. Neither of those is anything more than social constructs used to further communications.

What else can we place into the box of possible thought? Measurements of time, for one. Though time objectively moves, there is nothing intrinsic to say that a second is really a second at all. We merely invent and use the measurements to better understand each other. Try to describe one second without mentioning any words that denote an interval or direction. That means, no “minute”, “year”, or even “forward”. All of them are constructs used to quantify things we cannot otherwise understand. You cannot think in any other terms because you cannot think outside of the box.

Numbers, too, fit into the box. Ask any schoolchild and they will tell you with absolute certainty that 1+1=2. But what is two, and what is one? Again, you cannot describe two without using another human construct for quantity. 3-1, two things, doubled one, the second number after zero. They all are in the box, and you cannot think outside of the box. We can add many more things to it, such as shape, size, and texture. Though they definitely all exist, we cannot describe the concepts without merely giving circular examples of them.

The logic behind the box is not unlike that of a Nigerian prince’s email, offering you his billion dollar fortune. All he asks is for your social security number so that he may complete the transaction. In it, the fake prince says that you can trust the email because he is a trustworthy prince. How do you know he is a trustworthy prince? Well, the email says so, so it has to be true. 

The same reasoning applies to anything in the box. The forest is green because green is found in the forest. Two is more than one because one is less than two. A second is a duration of time because one second goes by for one second to pass. All of these things are very real, but all are also very logically invalid. Each of these resides on a different concept. But in order for any of them to be objectively true, the concept can’t be its own catalyst.

So, what lies beyond the box? We cannot know, because we cannot think outside of the box. But in so many ways, we likewise cannot think inside of the box. So, in a sense, we cannot wrap our heads around the things that lie inside of the box, and we cannot comprehend things that fall outside of it. 

Is this a contradiction? It would appear that this very logic falls within the same category of circular reasoning as many things in the box. Does the box exist at all? If we cannot understand the things inside or outside of it, where can the line fall?

The exact location appears nearly impossible to ascertain. Though individuals can have limitations, they are always in flux. Some evidence suggests that we did not see the color blue until recently. Does this mean that there are other things which we have the capacity to perceive, but simply do not? Surely I cannot rule this idea out, and thus, these things too would fall in the box. If more is in the box than we can see, then we cannot possibly see the edge of the box. 

Where would such a box come from? What kind of limitations exist on the human capacity to know and perceive? The origins of a box may lead back to a Creator, or a scientific guideline, or perhaps some fusion. Maybe all of these possibilities are moot, and are only products of the box.

Being unable to think fully inside or outside of the box, I cannot begin to fathom where it may have come from. With certainty, though, I can state its existence. But in order to investigate its origin, I must first know what it is. And to know what it is, I must know of the boundary between in and out of the box.

The line must exist, for without it, there is no distinction. Without distinction, there is nothing. But with distinction, there is only circular reasoning, which leads itself down a road free of knowledge. The box must exist, but for it to exist, it must have a place to fall. But, without knowledge of the inside or outside, how can such a place exist? Perhaps, if I was able to think outside of the box, it would be more imaginable. Perhaps not. In a world of circular reasoning, the prospect of an answer appears as dark and unclear as is the box itself, turned over on top of humanity.

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President Trump, We Can’t Just “Print More Money”

By Dane Larsen | @therealdanelars

Donald Trump, as reported in Bob Woodward’s new book “Fear: Trump in the White House”, told Gary Cohn, the Director of the National Economic Council, to just “run the presses– print more money” when addressing the insurmountable US Federal Debt. Donald Trump, the same man who ran a campaign to the White House that pledged to “eliminate the [$19 trillion national] debt over a period of eight years”, thinks we can print our way out of this mess.

Bob Woodward, an investigative journalist and Editor at the Washington Post since back in the Nixon days of 1971, wrote a full book exposure of the Trump White House in comparison to the other administrations he’s seen in his tenure at WaPo. In the book, Woodward describes a back-and-forth between the National Economic Council and Trump that is truly telling of how out of the loop President Trump is. While the book dates the quotes and conversations back to 2015 and 2016 during his campaign, it is hard to believe the stances on this economic issue have changed in the slightest. With the signing of reckless spending bills and omnibus budgets that only increase the forecast of US government expenditures, it is clear that President Trump is all talk and no walk on the subject of the current economic crisis that is the National debt.

Whether or not it was already known that Trump’s words bleed insincerity when it comes to spending cuts or a balanced US checkbook, it is evident now that the current POTUS has no viable long-term solution for the issue, which could cause the worst depression yet. His “solution” if it could be considered as such, of printing more money to offset the effects of the ever-growing now $21 trillion national debt is not just infeasible, but is admittedly extremely popular in Washington D.C. and the White House itself, with past Presidencies.

We see in the Obama administration, the idea of printing more money caught wildfire throughout the EU and G-20 with direction by former President Obama himself. In fact, there was a specific occasion during a G-20 meeting where Obama and Biden called on Angela Merkel of Germany to start “pulling their weight in the global effort of economic stability” by “printing” more money. As much of an oxymoron as that sounds to even the most amateur economist, it is a legitimate belief that has spiraled many countries to insurmountable debt.

The Basis of Economics

The principles of economics rest on responsibility with the money you own. It would be foolish for the average person to go out and buy a $350 Xbox One when after my checkbook is cleared, I only have $150 to spend. Why do we not ask this much culpability from our Federal Government?

It all started back in the days of Woodrow Wilson, and the creation of the Federal Reserve as an entity itself in 1917. The overarching power of a central bank to be the authority on all things money related can be a powerful responsibility, and in most times, a detriment to the economy it attaches itself to. Before the creation of the Federal Reserve, only $20 billion in debt had accumulated in the years after the Civil War. When adjusted to inflation, this comes out to around $51.7 billion, just barely 25 percent of what the US National Debt is today. Since then, we’ve seen the ability to print money used as a weapon to over tax citizens, and justify wars overseas where the US frankly should not be involved in at all.

In the case of George W. Bush, the National Debt was increased 101%, tacking on $5.849 trillion to pay for the (ongoing) War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq. Military expenses rose to all-time highs, and when the US taxpayers couldn’t chip in the yearly $600-800 billion necessary to fund it, Bush and the Federal Reserve created the money out of thin air to respond to the 9/11 attacks over a span of 8 years that hasn’t stopped since. When will we be done with this intervention? The question has yet to be answered, and President Trump hasn’t made progress in that regard either.

Bad economic habits and fiscal irresponsibility is prevalent across the board, no matter party denomination. President Obama raised the debt 74% in his tenure in the White House, adding $8.588 trillion from fiscal years 2008-2016. Whereas Bush picked his poison with military spending, Obama focused more on tax cuts, unemployment benefits, and public works projects to recklessly spend more money than the US Government could even think about obtaining. That’s not to say that Obama didn’t have his fair share of military spending checks sent to the Department of Defense consisting of artificially printed money, because the War on Terror persisted throughout his Presidency as well. These bad values will lead us to the next depression at the expense of the taxpayer and common folk, while the people who got us in this mess leave untouched.

Hyperinflation

Hyperinflation is defined as the monetary inflation that occurs at a high. uncontrollable rate. When the economy sees an influx of money in circulation, prices rise as the natural tendency of the free market sets out to do. When the government steps in to pay for it’s mistakes or overspending by printing money out of thin air is where the problems really start to occur. As Kimberly Amadeo of The Balance describes: “Instead of tightening the money supply to stop inflation, the government keeps printing more. With too much currency sloshing around, prices skyrocket. Once consumers realize what is happening, they expect continued inflation. They buy more now to avoid paying a higher price later. That excessive demand aggravates inflation. It’s even worse if they stockpile goods and create shortages.”

The economy will crash in the event of Trump printing more money to stabilize the National Debt, and it won’t be a small recession. We will see the closing of businesses as the value of the US dollar declines, leading to lower imports and exports, and a shortage of goods in the US market. With all of this leading to a disaster, we beg the question: Why aren’t we holding these government workers to higher standards? After all, they clearly aren’t looking out for our best interests. On his campaign trail, Trump vowed to be the change in the government bureaucracy that is Washington D.C., but he clearly can’t live up to that.


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Quick Thoughts on the Kavanaugh Allegations

By Glenn Verasco | Thailand

I would like to share a few thoughts about the sexual assault allegations that Christene Blasey Ford is making against SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh. This is meant to be an analysis, not a summary, so I do not overtly describe the details of the allegation. But basically, she accused him of sexual assault against her when the two were teenagers. The bullet points below sum up an analysis of the situation.

Sexual Assault

  • Being 17 and drunk does not excuse sexual assault.
  • What constitutes sexual assault is not well-defined or well-understood. The lines between playing around, making a sexual advance towards someone, having a momentary slip in judgment, and earnestly attempting to force someone into a sexual encounter can be blurry. It is even blurrier for teenagers and was certainly even blurrier for teenagers of yesteryear.
  • As a socially liberal individual, I do not believe that government or public oversight of teenage sexual interaction is a good idea. Sex and human relationships are generally too complicated for third parties to be able to fully comprehend, so authorities should only be consulted in extreme circumstances. Otherwise, young people, as well as adults, should be free to take risks amongst each other.

The Law

  • As the alleged incident between Kavanaugh and Ford took place 35 years ago, we are long past the statute of limitations. This issue is about conduct and character, not the law.
  • Although our legal system places the burden of proof on the accuser and presumes non-guilt until guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt, this is irrelevant in the court of public opinion or SCOTUS nominations.
  • Believing someone is innocent until proven guilty is a value that I happen to share, but outside a court of law, it is a personal view, not a legal one. Reasonable people can disagree here.

The Sniff Test

  • Christene Blasey Ford is probably telling the truth, at least in part. There is some documented history of Ford discussing the matter in the past, and it is hard to imagine that she or anyone else would make up a story like this completely out of thin air.
  • Remembering the exact details of an event from 35 years ago is impossible for both Kavanaugh and Ford. Our brains remember certain details of our history, and our imaginations fill in the rest. This makes it difficult to accept either party’s version of the story without substantial evidence or witness testimony.
  • Emotion can also cloud our judgment as what we feel we experienced may not mirror what we actually experienced.
  • Ford’s lawyer Debra Katz defended Al Franken when he was accused of sexual misconduct, saying, “He did not do this as a member of the U.S. Senate.” This is obviously true, but, unlike Kavanaugh, Franken was an adult when his misconduct took place. Katz appears to be a partisan lawyer, not an impartial defender of the Constitution or human rights.
  • Ford is on the left-wing of the political spectrum, and thus, certainly has a political bias against a textualist judge like Kavanaugh.
  • Neither Katz’s nor Ford’s partisanship has any bearing on the accuracy of Ford’s story, but it does make them less credible.
  • Kavanaugh and Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s friend also accused of assault, deny the allegations wholesale.
  • By all accounts, the alleged incident between Kavanaugh and Ford is in no way representative of Kavanaugh as a person. However, one’s generally saintly behavior does not negate one’s sins.

Politics

  • Senator Dianne Feinstein knew of Ford’s allegations before Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearing but chose not to question him about it in any way. Feinstein is obviously using Ford’s story as a political weapon, which is shameful.
  • Regardless of how true Ford’s allegations are, Feinstein clearly timed the release of her name and story as a way to derail Kavanaugh’s nomination in the 11th hour. The Senate vote to confirm him is scheduled to finish within a week.
  • Democratic Senators have been against Kavanaugh’s confirmation since long before his confirmation hearings and put on an embarrassing and hysterical display of partisanship during them. This includes attempting to smear Kavanaugh’s assistant as a white nationalist for momentarily resting her hand in the “a-okay” position, which some in the media falsely describe as a racist dog whistle.
  • Senate Republicans can afford to delay the vote for at least another month without any risk of losing the Senate or their ability to confirm justices without any Democrat support in November’s midterms (though Senate Judiciary Committee rules may come into play here).
  • Up until Democrats blocked Ronald Reagan’s nomination of Robert Bork, there was little partisanship in these proceedings. Before Bork, the average SCOTUS nominee received 87% Senate approval and 49% were confirmed unanimously. Since Bork, partisanship in voting has dramatically increased, especially from Democrats.
  • Trump’s first SCOTUS nominee, Neil Gorsuch, had no allegations of misconduct of any kind. Yet, the Senate confirmed him by a slim margin of 54-45, and only three Democrats voted in his favor. Justice Alito received only four votes from Democrats in 2005. This shows that many Democrats are clearly in it for the politics, rather than justice or character.
  • Republicans have certainly become much more partisan too, refusing to even hold confirmation hearings for President Obama’s last SCOTUS nominee Merrick Garland, arguing that it is tradition to deny a lame duck president’s nominations until after ensuing elections.
  • It can be argued that 11th-hour sexual assault allegations to derail SCOTUS nominations sets a terrible precedent, but with as much partisanship as we are seeing now, the precedent has already been set.

Summary

  • The allegations against Kavanaugh should not be categorically denied, but should certainly not be believed at face value. Both Republicans and Democrats are playing politics, and it is unclear to me that Kavanaugh’s alleged discretions are so damning that he should be denied an opportunity to serve on the Supreme Court. If Republicans have a way to investigate the situation and still have time to nominate Kavanaugh before midterms, they should do so. However, it would be hard to blame them for proceeding as planned as there is nothing they can do to satisfy the Democrats short of leaving Justice Kennedy’s seat vacant until a left-wing justice is nominated.
  • President Trump could have avoided this mess by nominating Amy Coney Barrett instead of Kavanaugh. Besides being a far better judge, nominating a woman would have taken the #MeToo card out of Democrats’ hands.

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“Not Real Socialism” Is An Excuse for Bad Economics

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

When looking at the empirical evidence for economic systems, socialism/communism seems to be in dead last. Time and time again, socialist governments have met economic demise. The Soviet Union collapsed after starving massive amounts of people. Communist regimes throughout history have been notorious for massacring enemies of the socialist order. In the present, the Venezuelan state has hyperinflated the currency and is causing widespread economic degradation in their country. North Korea is held as the earth’s boogeyman of unfreedom.

But when confronted with this historical evidence, a proponent of any of the many forms of socialism will claim that it was “not real socialism.” They explain that if one small adjustment had been made to the economic-political order, we would have seen the worker’s utopia by now. Yet we have not. The twentieth century taught us that statism is a failure. Yet we have not heeded this lesson. Hoppe explains:

To this day, socialists claim that “true” socialism has not been refuted by the empirical evidence, and everything would have turned out well and unparalleled prosperity would have resulted, if only Trotsky’s, or Bucharin’s, or better still their very own brand of socialism, rather than Stalin’s, had been implemented.

At this early point, a leftist reader may make the claim that I am not using the terms “socialism” and “communism” correctly. When I use these words, I refer to a system where property is not owned privately. It is either owned by the state, the community, the workers, or any other body that is not private individuals/firms. If you as the reader brand yourself a socialist yet still believe in private property rights, I have no problem with your version of socialism. This is not the case of most socialists, though. They believe property should be owned by one of the aforementioned groups, rather than private individuals.

The Austro-libertarian critique of socialism is not purely based off of empiricism. It is a two-pronged critique, consisting of the Misesian problem of economic calculation and the Hayekian problem of knowledge. Both of these apply to any socialist/communist system that moves away from private property rights. They are not specific to any historical instance of communism or socialism. They merely apply to the economic theories behind such a system.

This puts pressure onto those that posit that socialism “is good and theory and bad in practice.” Its theory is where the Austro-libertarian critique is aimed. A similar empty statement is that “it would be good if it worked.” Well obviously – if socialism brought ultimate economic prosperity it would be good. But one of the conditions for socialism cannot be its success, yet this seems to have been tacked on to the definition. With such a definition, every failed socialistic regime can easily be brushed off as “not real socialism.” But the argument based on this definition is ultimately bankrupt for a socialist engaging in such an argument is merely playing with a bit of rhetorical trickery.

The Misesian side of the Austrian critique of socialism focuses on that issue of calculation. In the market, firms are required to create products that consumers are demanding. They can tell if they are by measuring the relationship between the total earnings and the costs. If costs exceed earnings, there is a loss, and the firm knows that it is not serving consumer demand. If earnings exceed costs, there is profit, and the firm will continue its present profitable action.

When the state is providing a good or service, it does not know if it is serving consumers. Because the state takes taxes and then produces, it does not need to worry about being profitable. Its earnings are secure because of its coercive nature. Thus, any bureaucracy faces an issue of unknown allocation. This includes any socialist agency that the state runs. The more processes of productions that are nationalized, the more resources are misallocated. Hoppe continues:

In distinct contrast, socialism means to have no economy, no economizing, at all, because under these conditions monetary calculation and cost-accounting is impossible by definition. If no private property in the factors of production exists, then no prices for any production factor exist; hence, it is impossible to determine whether or not they are employed economically.

On the Hayekian side sits the problem of knowledge. Hayek detailed that centrally planned economies are bound to fail because the central planner cannot know what to produce. They cannot hold in their head the needs of every individual. They cannot look out for the best interests of everyone all the time. It is only sensible that such a centrally planned economy should be delegated to subsidiary authorities. But when it comes to the workings of individual firms, who knows better for the firm than the individual in charge of the firm.

It does not matter if you define socialism as something different than what the historical instances have been. As long as you advocate for a system based upon the removal of private property rights and favor state/community ownership, there will inevitably be negative results. The state or commune cannot effectively allocate resources and satisfy the needs and wants of everyone. Socialism is ultimately a failure based simply off of its core characteristics.


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Liberal Bias at Schools: Where does it Come From?

By T. Fair | United States

Schools across America, and perhaps other countries, are questionably left-leaning in their educators, staff and even curriculum. It may differ based on area, but statistically, the majority of educators are Democrats. One source, Verdant Labs, cites the Federal Election Commission in a breakdown of teachers’ political party affiliations. However, it only lists how many are Democrats compared to how many are Republicans.

As for the type of school, there are 74 democratic pre-school teachers for every 26 Republican pre-school teachers, 85 Democrats to 15 Republicans in elementary school, and 87 Democrats to 13 Republicans in high school. 

The least democratic type of teacher was a music teacher. But still, Democrats outnumber by a rate of 69 to 31. Health educators were most strongly Democrat, with 99 to every one Republican. Math and science split the difference, at 85 to 15 and 87 to 13, respectively. Clearly, our educators lean left.

Does this mean that education itself is biased? Before delving deeper into all of the stories across the nation of specific schools having a strong left-wing bias, I interviewed a number of teachers and staff members about the issue.

A California principal and vice principal agreed that there is political bias on school campuses. When I asked them which side they thought the bias was on, for the most part, they both answered that they thought in general, it was pretty balanced, and that it depended on the area. I then asked them what they thought brought out a political bias in educators, and they both responded with an answer along the same lines:

“It’s because we teach who we are. Teachers are still human, and with a job where you’re constantly talking to other people, it’s kind of hard not to bring out yourself a bit, and what your own personal views are.” Although this wasn’t exactly what I was getting at, this was useful information all the same

Next, I asked a school librarian.  She also agreed there were forms of political bias on campuses around America, having the idea that it was dominantly left. However, she had a different take on the reasons for this. When questioned, she stated that teachers need to be open-minded, and people on the left are a lot more open-minded, typically.

Another woman I interviewed, who actually claimed to be registered as an independent who had libertarian leanings, immediately responded that there was a strong left-wing bias, especially in some classrooms she’s been around. This included her school of employment as well as a nationwide trend.

So, we’ve heard the opinions of teachers from asking them directly. What else could be the cause? I strongly agree with the statement “we teach who we are”, but what makes the teachers who they are exactly?

One argument I’ve both heard frequently and thought about and agreed with myself is that people on the left are typically more interested in trying to help others, and not as interested in pay. Teaching is a job that is both “dedicated to helping others” and does not always pay well. As the left is less focused on the free market, this could be a possible factor. The average public school teacher salary for the 2017-2018 school year was $60,483, according to the National Education Association. This is slightly below the 2017 Median household income at $61,372.

Another possible argument is that Democrats are more interested in paying schools more. A poll from Education Next states that only 33% of Republicans wish to increase spending on public schools, while 58% of Democrats wish to increase spending. The Democratic Party platform itself says “Democrats want every child – no matter their zip code – to have access to a quality public K-12 education.” This indicates that Democrats are strongly in favor of the public schools that these teachers are working at. Republicans, though, often support the government having less influence on education.

It simply would make sense that a school that is run by the government would advocate for more government. This is not to say that Republicans legitimately advocate for a smaller or better government. Despite this, Democrats generally give greater support for public schools. One passage of an article by The College Fix sums this view up well:

It’s no surprise that a system that is state-funded and state-run advocates for a bigger government. The public school system is a microcosm of the socialist system, one that is bureaucratic, wasteful, and does not serve its original and intended purpose. Education is the cornerstone of Western society, a place where our youth are taught to think broadly and to develop their own unique worldview. Instead, we are often taught what to believe instead of how to think.

Whether you’re a student that’s with the left or not, it is important to keep an open and free-thinking mind. Nobody should blindly support a popular idea, whether it is left, right, or anything else.


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