We’ve heard it all before. The mountainous debt, constant partying, and falling academic quality offered by many universities across the nation have begun to call the value of an undergraduate degree into question. Yet, more and more students head into college. Why are we, the nation’s youth, so prepared to cast ourselves into tens of thousands of dollars in debt for an increasingly devalued, but increasingly expensive, piece of paper? The answer is one part psychological and one part cultural – but all parts social.
As the school year ends, many high schoolers prepare for their transition into college life. American high schools have encouraged the idea of going to college as the only option. Around 65.9% of high school students enroll in college after high school, though this large push for Americans to go to college is actually counterproductive. In reality, most Americans have no reason to be going to a traditional University or College.
Griffen Smith | United States
Green grass lawns and Victorian styled buildings have been a staple of higher education for the past 300 years. These institutions give out degrees and diplomas, which are the surest way to increase a person’s salary for life. Furthermore, College is also what most middle-class Americans consider the metamorphic period in which a person truly finds their own individuality, which is why enrollment nationwide has increased from 1900 to 2010. However, though there is some need in having a college education, there are fewer people actually enrolling in higher education. The National Student Clearing House Research Center in May of 2018 found that student population has decreased for the past 7 years, and have hurt The Midwest and Northeast the most. Further estimates explain that the need for highly skilled laborers will go up, even as college participation will continue to drop. Researches are often split on reasons for the decrease, but there are a few critical reasons college is less desirable.
By TJ Roberts | United States
On May 8th, 2018, the Trump Administration announced their desire to repeal multiple child labor laws. While this is a cause for celebration, he should take it a step further. Trump should aim for the repeal of ALL child labor laws. Government overreach shows itself when it forbids a child from engaging in voluntary trade, or specifically telling them how they can work, for whom they can work, and for how long they can work.
While the masses hold child labor laws as sacred, one of our oldest and most valuable laws, child labor laws are comparatively new. The federal ban on child labor emerged from the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act (the same act that brought about the disastrous minimum wage), a Depression-era regulation that artificially lowered the unemployment rate, by banning certain classes from working! In a time when people needed work the most, the government made it harder to work and prolonged the depression.
This legislation, however, had little impact in the long haul. By 1930, only 6.4% of minor children between the age of 10-15 actually had jobs, so the 1938 law did nothing more than give the government more control of your life. As a nation, America has been wealthy enough to not need child labor by a considerable margin for years. Otherwise, this law is not only useless, but inherently immoral.
And what of nations/localities that are so poor that they need child labor? Child labor laws won’t stop people from sending their children to work if they absolutely need the money to survive. Child labor laws just make it worse for people as children resort to black market activities (such as prostitution or gang activity). Child labor laws make people more desperate to survive, disproportionately hurting poor communities the most.
In addition, suppose you are a parent. Would you send your 8 year-old child to a sweatshop for an additional $200 per month? I most certainly wouldn’t. I most certainly hope you wouldn’t. There are opportunities that are much better for children, especially as they become more tech-savvy. If a parent would do that, that is a cultural issue, not a political issue.
Child Labor is consensual. A willing child worker applied for a job, and a willing employer hired the child. With this in mind, both parties must believe that this exchange is mutually beneficial. To tell a minor child that they cannot work is to claim that you have the right to violate the property rights of both employer and worker.
This is just another example of the need for freedom of choice. Child labor laws restrict the ability of you to choose what you do with your time. In fact, the government forces children to partake in labor for them through government schools. Horace Mann, the father of the American education system, made it very clear that government schools are not to make good people, but obedient citizens. It is a form of indoctrination that the State compels upon children. It is forced labor, although not “hard” labor.
America is seeing the results of this now. Employers overwhelmingly claim that college grads are unprepared for the workplace, and its no surprise. Government schools force you to consume much of your time focusing on obedience and not innovation. Where critical thinking and soft skills are essential to the workplace, government “education” miserably fails to prepare an individual for a career.
Government-mandated labor, however, has even more dire consequences: the loss of entrepreneurship. Since children have no legal ability to join the labor force, they are encouraged to follow orders, not think for themselves. Kids have been at the forefront of innovation historically, but that has been changing as young people have been forcefully adopted by the State, ripped away from their families that actually want what is best for them. Experience in the workplace is good for people. Child labor laws, however, are disastrous. They are a breach of fundamental liberties.
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By. Joshua D. Glawson | United States
This is a list of libertarian and Liberty-friendly organizations. It is in no specific order of hierarchy, and each of them plays an amazing role in fighting for Liberty in the US and the world. Each of these organizations is not for profit, and they could each use your generous donations to help more students and people learn about Liberty giving Liberty itself a better fighting chance for a freer future. Along with these amazing organizations, 71Republic also accepts donations to help continue our work promoting Liberty.
The first of many organizations, FEE, The Foundation for Economic Education, has produced some of the greatest libertarian work around, from some of the greatest minds in the Liberty Movement. Two of their books are among my most recommended for students of Liberty- Clichés of Socialism, and Excuse Me, Professor: Challenging the Myths of Progressivism. Additionally, the short work, ‘I, Pencil,’ available in print and video format is a fantastic and simplistic way of introducing people into the concepts of economics, division of labor, and Justice.
If you sign up for their email list, they often have free events for students around the US that include some of the best thinkers and teachers. Lawrence W. Reed, not to be confused with their founder Leonard E. Read, is one of the nicest and most interesting scholars to have the opportunity to hear or read. You will learn some of the best rebuttals to the most common misconceptions about Liberty along with libertarian approaches to history, economics, and government. FEE also provides books, magazines, pamphlets, and other merch for students, while they also sell some on their website. Personally, I have learned more from FEE than most other organizations, and every moment was enjoyable. FEE is definitely in my top 5 organizations.
Independent Institute is a fantastic organization that encompasses a list of some of the greatest professors and scholars from around the US advocating the idea of Liberty. If I were to declare another organization that will teach you more than you could have ever imagined about Liberty, this would have to be in the top 5, easily. This organization also throws free events around the US for students. I recall staying at UC Berkeley for a few days learning economics, principles, history, and understanding the growing problems in the world from a libertarian perspective, all covered by this organization. Sign up for their email list to stay informed of their work, magazine, and events.
YAL was my first introduction to the Liberty movement and will always be dear to my heart. They help college students to start libertarian clubs on campuses, while also providing materials and other resources to learn and teach others. Some of the best events are also thrown by YAL which include speakers such as Ron Paul, David Friedman, and many others. They also provide many of these events at little to no cost for students, with only a one-time $10 initiation fee- totally worth it. Just watch out, I have noticed once Trump became president, they have collected many Trumpers with MAGA hats thumping their war rhetoric at events these days with no repudiation from the organization. Nevertheless, this is still a great organization, and they do a fantastic job getting students into the Liberty movement. I have made some dear friends and met some of my biggest Liberty idols from this organization. I highly recommend registering, and starting or joining a club on your campus (top right of their home page).
SFL is a great organization that helps other organizations such as YAL and others get the materials and funding they need in order to push the Liberty movement further. In fact, when I first sat down with YAL, I also spoke with a person representing SFL, and they shared how they empower students while helping students get the books, pamphlets, and other materials to have successful libertarian clubs on campuses. They do hold some events, but tend to be more exclusive for student leaders of Liberty-friendly clubs on campuses, such as YAL. I had the pleasure of attending one of their intimate events that had, maybe, 15 students, and the phenomenal law professor and scholar from Chapman University, Tom W. Bell, in Marina Del Rey with all expenses paid by the organization. That was one of my more memorable events I have attended, and I learned so much while making some great friends. Whether or not you have a libertarian club on campus, I still recommend signing up for their email list to stay in touch with this organization (bottom of their home page).
If I were to put another Liberty-friendly organization in my top 5, the Ayn Rand Institute would have to be in there. Contradictory to what most people think of when they think of Ayn Rand, this is the most generous Liberty organization I have come across to date. They provide literature from Ayn Rand and other Objectivist thinkers, including the work of Yaron Brook, Onkar Ghate, and others. This is another organization of a mixed bag of political ideologies, but consistent in the pursuit of Liberty. First and foremost, this organization focuses on the philosophy of Ayn Rand, and out of her philosophy comes a political ideology. If political philosophy of an Aristotelian origin interests you like it does for me, I highly recommend signing up to be on this organization’s email list. They also throw an event that covers college students’ flight, hotel, and materials in Atlanta every year, and it is always one of the greatest experiences of learning and making friends from around the world. When the conference days are over, it is perfect timing to hang out with the scholars, in a more relaxed setting such as a mixer, debating and discussing ideas and politics. Plus, if you are a student and really want to add some works of Ayn Rand to your growing library, this organization is happy to help out with that.
This is more of an Objectivist organization from the Nathaniel Branden line of thinking, making it a little less dogmatic than that of ARI, and more relaxed in discussion. Currently headed by Jennifer Grossman, this organization does a great job at teaching basic principles of debating against the growing State and those that wish to oppress people through Communist and Socialist ideologies. They have been making some amazing videos for those interested in learning more about Ayn Rand and her philosophy. Be sure to sign up for their email updates.
If you want to learn the absolute most about libertarianism, Liberty, economics, history, ideas, philosophy, debating, and much more, no one does more than the Cato Institute. This is most definitely in my top 5 Liberty organizations, and my Amazon Smile account is set up to donate to them. They host several prolific websites and podcasts that are an absolute must to check out, such as libertarianism.org and the podcast Free Thoughts, along with others. This organization is not only a political think tank that has helped with policymaking and research for all major US political parties and politicians, but they also encompass the largest list of scholars and writers for the Liberty movement. If in the Washington D.C. area, I highly recommend finding out when their next event is to attend, one of great interest is when they host debates between conservatives and libertarians. For professors and other scholarly types, they also have lectures on their website on a large range of topics. Sign up for their newsletter to stay in touch.
This organization is the leading organization for anarcho-capitalists and other various forms of anarchy, i.e. without a government- not chaotic. They push for Liberty beyond most others, and host some of the greatest thought provoking events around the US. The Mises Institute is an organization based on the philosophy and writing of Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard. Sign up for their email list to see if there is an event near you to check out. You can also sometimes find Mises events on Meetup.com in various areas around the country.
Based on the work of one of the original grandfathers of the Liberty movement and thought, Frederic Bastiat, if anything I highly recommend his book The Law and his essay “That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen.” This organization has some events in which they push for Liberty and peace. Subscribe to their email list to stay informed.
If you are looking to go to grad school while also pushing for Liberty as a career choice, this organization may be able to help with that, as they present funding for grad students that are accepted and win their awards for advocating Liberty. They also have an amazing online education course for those that wish to learn more about libertarianism through their program called “Learn Liberty.” I highly recommend their videos and lessons. The organization is based out of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Their biggest influencer of political philosophy is surely F.A. Hayek who wrote one of the best Liberty books of all time, The Road to Serfdom. Sign up for this organization’s email list to stay informed.
The FIRE is another amazing organization that not only pushes Liberty, but they also defend students and staff at college campuses around the US for First Amendment rights such as freedom of speech, which is their biggest focus. They defend any student no matter their political ideology, as long as they agree to defend them, and they do it at no upfront out-of-pocket cost for the student or staff. The work this organization has done for Liberty goes beyond just the world of college campuses, but also into the legal sphere where they maintain the concepts of Liberty in the legal system, which are constantly under attack from both the political left and right. Another fun detail is their ranking of freedom on your campus. If you are having any troubles on your campus, or your club wants a lawyer to come speak about Constitutional rights on your campus, I highly recommend contacting this organization and signing up for their email lists. They also provide school clubs with US Constitutions to pass around campus at no cost to you.
Reason Foundation is a great organization that pushes Liberty, especially through magazine format and online videos. I am a subscriber to their print magazine, Reason Magazine, and I thoroughly enjoy every issue. They occasionally host events at their headquarters in Los Angeles, CA, with speakers from various fields. Not only do I highly recommend signing up for their emails, but I sincerely believe every libertarian and Liberty-friendly student should subscribe to Reason Magazine for the best and most interesting libertarian news available.
Have you been to a libertarian event or booth and seen the “World’s Smallest Political Quiz?” Well, this is the organization responsible for this easy way of determining where someone stands on the political map. Such a great organization that helps students as well as those that table, aka booth, for Liberty. Stay informed by signing up to their email list.
14) Liberty Fund
This organization is one of the greatest contributors to not only the Liberty movement, but also to the scholarly world by printing books of many classic and hard to find works. At the SFL event I attended, they provided 10 books of our choosing at no additional cost, and they always have great deals for select books on their website. If you are looking to find lists of libertarian works, books on economics, books on history, or books on history, this is the place to check out and support. Sign up for their email list for deals and events.
15) Free The People
If you are looking for some fun work in the Liberty movement, Matt and Terry Kibbe run this organization and do an excellent job at making more youth-friendly content for Liberty. They have produced some amazing stickers and posters, along with other libertarian swag. I look forward to seeing more from this organization. Be sure to sign up for their emails to see what they do next.
The man, the myth, the legend himself, Dr. Ron Paul, is who got me into libertarianism. I am forever grateful to this man and his work. I had the honor of meeting him once through a YAL event, and it took everything I had not to shake his hand off because I was soo thrilled to meet him. His organization, the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, has great video content advocating for Liberty and peace around the world. I cannot speak highly enough of Ron Paul and his organization, as he pushes his age in his 80s, he continues to do more for Liberty than most of us young men could ever even imagine. Be sure to sign up for his emails and stay motivated by his ongoing work.
If you are running into issues that potentially conflict with your Constitutional rights, I suggest reaching out to Pacific Legal for advice in getting legal advice. This organization will help you beyond just your dealings on campus, but also in the ordinary world of dealing with the legal system. They fight for Liberty and help to maintain our Natural Rights in the system that is forever working against these foundational and prelegal principles. While, notably, also winning 10 of their 12 Supreme Court cases. Be sure to sign up for their emails in order to not forget this key organization for Liberty (bottom of main page).
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