Entrepreneurship Can Save America

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This is the
third and final installment of my three part educational series
called “The Astounding Failure of the US Educational System”
(part
1
and part
2
). Far too many people equate the pursuit of advanced educational
degrees with intelligence and an increased likelihood of success.
I know this is conventional thinking, but I highly disagree with
this theorem. If the information you learn in higher education is
false, then what good is the pursuit of higher education? For example,
sailors knew that the earth was round long before the general public
became aware of this fact simply because they witnessed ships disappear
below the horizon when they were out at sea. Were those students
that learned the earth was flat in school more intelligent simply
because they possessed higher educational degrees than the sailors?
Some probably were but some probably were not. Direct experience
is much more valuable than academic experience in learning how the
world really works. Still, a lot of direct experience gained in
the corporate world is useless as well. For example, unless you
work in the upper echelons of Wall Street, Wall Street will never
tell you about the fraudulent practices that really control market
pricing behavior. Thus only a few key positions at Wall Street firms
are valuable for learning how things really work, positions that
will probably take many years to achieve if you can manage to break
the “old boys” network that determines who learns Wall
Street’s wealth secrets.

To contend
that someone that attends Oxford, Yale, Harvard, Princeton or the
University of Pennsylvania is more intelligent than someone that
did not attend these universities encapsulates society’s mistake
in how it perceives “intelligence”. Today society mistakenly
equates academic knowledge with intelligence. Even at an early age,
children are conditioned to mistake academic excellence with intelligence.
Teachers praise students that quickly spit back the right answers
while ignoring the brilliant student that rejects the rigidity of
traditional academia and that quietly may be a genius. In addition,
when young children seem disconnected from the academic process
and act up, instead of considering boredom or other possibilities
as the root cause, in the US and in particular, in Western societies,
we leap to conclude they must have Attention Deficit Disorder and
that the solution is to medicate them with Ritalin. According to
the UK Independent, in 2008, it was estimated that 10% of all children
in the US had been prescribed Ritalin. I have also read statistics
that in some US cities, 20% to 33% of children in some grades are
prescribed Ritalin. That’s an astounding percentage if they
are accurate estimates.

During my 13
years of primary, middle, and high school years, I can recall only
one child that was on medication for hyperactivity. One. Either
something is wrong with education today or something was wrong with
medicine back then. I tend to believe the former, not the latter,
is true. When I was young, I was the focus of a lot of praise from
adults because of my high level of academic aptitude. By the time
I was 15-years-old, I had already finished the most advanced Calculus
program my school had to offer. A couple of years later, I achieved
a perfect score on the math portion of the college-entrance examination
test, the SAT. As a result, I was the recipient many times of the
societal mistake of equating academic knowledge with intelligence.
Consequently, I was repeatedly praised for being “smart”.
But how smart could I have really been if none of the knowledge
in my brain gave me any understanding about the true history of
the world, insight into other cultures, or insight into the mechanisms
to accumulate wealth? I believe that most people would include in
their definition of a better quality of life, the aspect of wealth
accumulation and the possession of financial freedom. School provided
me with zero of the knowledge to achieve this. At this point in
my life, I had a lot of false academic intelligence but none of
the “important intelligence” that really mattered.

Yes, back then,
I believed, as does every other person that is unduly praised for
academic intelligence, that these accomplishments meant I was uniquely
more qualified for employment than nearly everyone else and that
I was smarter than most others. I couldn’t have been more wrong!
When I attended an Ivy League university, I discovered that nearly
everyone one of my fellow students believed that they were smarter
than everyone else. Only after I earned my two Master degrees and
gained much more experience in the real world did I learn that all
the complicated theories I learned in business school had practically
zero utility in the process of building wealth. When I started the
process of self-education about 15 years ago, I finally began to
learn not only how much I didn’t know, but also how much I
had learned in school that was downright erroneous, especially in
regard to the concepts of money and economics. The truly scary part
of this equation is that if I had chosen to rest on my academic
laurels instead of probing for the truth on my own, I would still
be among the sleeping subset of the population today that holds
advanced business degrees and possesses none of what I call “important
intelligence”.

There’s
a sense of arrogance that society instills in people that have achieved
advanced degrees at elite universities that then becomes a self-fulfilling
prophecy. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me “Where
did you go to school?” and then heard the reply, “Oh,
you must be smart!” when I answered that I attended an Ivy
League university, I’d have a big fat stash of cash from this
singular question. Society constantly reinforces the false beliefs
of higher intelligence upon those that attend elite institutions
of education, and in turn, people with advanced degrees start believing
in this empire of illusory intelligence. Consequently, when global
economic leaders like Paul Krugman and Ben Bernanke truly believe
that they know more than anyone else because of all the undeserved
praise society has heaped upon them during their academic careers,
society suffers tremendously from the propaganda they disseminate.
In fact, how often have any of you heard the all-too-quick-to-judge
response, “Oh, so you think you’re smarter than a Nobel
Prize winning economist?” when you’ve told a friend of yours
that Krugman’s theories and analysis are all wrong? My guess
is quite a few. This fundamental flaw in how society perceives intelligence
is exactly why millions of parents in America continue to send their
children to be indoctrinated in the business concepts taught in
the academic halls of America, just like cattle that stand on a
conveyer belt as they wait for their imminent slaughter.

Right Knowledge
V. Wrong Knowledge (aka Smart Knowledge V. Dumb Knowledge)

A high-school
dropout can certainly be more intelligent than someone that has
earned an MBA from a prestigious university. This is a fact although
anyone that has attained an MBA from a prestigious university would
likely vehemently oppose this view. I’m sure that after I attained
my double Masters, that somewhere in America, there was a teenager
beginning the process of self-education that had accumulated a small
amount of “smart knowledge” that was much more valuable
than the voluminous “dumb knowledge” that was rattling
around in my brain. Were I to try to explain the concepts that have
given me the vision to make the very accurate series of economic
predictions that I
discussed in Part 2 of this series
, I am very confident that,
on average, a high school teenager would begin to grasp and fully
understand these concepts much more quickly than a Harvard PhD in
economics. Is this because a teenager is more likely to be more
intelligent than a Harvard PhD? In my view, with regard to economic
reality, yes. Society would say that the Harvard PhD is much more
intelligent than the teenager because of his advanced degree and
much greater accumulation of knowledge. However, I would argue that
the teenager’s ignorance of the “wrong" or "dumb"
knowledge graduate business programs confers upon students grants
him a much greater advantage in being able to grasp the concepts
I use to make my financial and economic predictions. The teenager’s
mind, in a lot of ways, would be much more free than the Harvard
PhD’s because it has not been hard-wired with false concepts
and made rigid with arrogance. So the teenager possesses two advantages
in the intelligence battle. One, the absence of “dumb knowledge”.
And two, the ability to learn new concepts foreign to him or her
at a quicker pace due to the absence of “dumb knowledge”.

As I stated
in Part
1 of this series
, the information the institutional academic
system teaches you is not the reality of how this world operates,
whether the information being transmitted to the student is history,
business, or the banking system. Just as the Rothschild banking
cabal has stripped their name from many of the large global organizations
they control in order to hide their ownership network across varied
economic sectors from the public, the men that founded the modern
academic system have hidden the real secrets to building wealth
from all university curricula. If you were one of the elite families
that controlled the business curricula at many of the world’s
most prestigious academic institutions (via donations of huge sums
of money to these schools), would you not ensure that the secrets
to your accumulation of wealth were never taught? Just as monetary
stability is not a goal of Central Banks, teaching concepts to help
young adults achieve wealth is not a goal of MBA programs. If it
were, then every MBA program would offer at least a dozen courses
that help students understand the fraud that is pervasive in capital
markets. Instead, students across the world are taught concepts
about free markets and supply-demand dynamics that do not exist
in the real world. The difference between the concepts business
schools teach and the reality of capital markets is as marked as
the difference between the mark-to-market accounting values and
the mark-to-fantasy accounting values of many global banks’ real
estate portfolios today.

Thus, it is
not the QUANTITY of knowledge nor the amount of money we pay for
this knowledge, but the QUALITY and UTILITY of knowledge that grants
someone true intelligence. A person that holds 1/100th the business
knowledge of his colleague can truly be more intelligent than his
colleague if he holds a greater quantity of “smart knowledge”
than his colleague. For example, someone that studies the financial
literacy concepts of compound interest, budgeting, and retirement
contributions accumulates a great deal of the wrong type of knowledge.
On the other hand, someone that studies Austrian economics, the
deceit of government statistics, the mechanisms of Central Banks,
and the money trails among Central Banks, corporations, and governments
accumulates the right type of knowledge. If one believes an official
government statistic of 5% inflation is honest when real inflation
in one’s country amounts to 13%, then one may make the mistake of
following financial literacy knowledge and doubling one’s IRA
contributions if he believes he can attain 8% returns every year.
Thus someone that studies financial literacy concepts and makes
this choice will end up believing he is doubling his wealth if he
achieves 8% returns every year when in reality he will be accelerating
his wealth destruction.

As I stated
in Part
2 of this series
, attaining an MBA definitely filled my head
with much more information. But none of this information ever taught
me how to make money. If there were a correlation between prestigious
MBA programs and the secrets to wealth, then every Harvard, Princeton
and Wharton MBA should be a multi-millionaire within several years
of graduation.

Your Education
Process is Incomplete if You Have Never Educated Yourself Outside
of the Traditional Academic System

Earlier, I
stated that I believe that intelligence is definitely identified
by the capacity to learn more quickly than others. However if one
pursues the wrong type of knowledge, then this ability becomes self-defeating
as the accumulation of more and more knowledge only makes this person
become more and more stupid. So how does one accumulate the right
type of knowledge? When it comes to business knowledge, it is impossible
to gather this knowledge within the realm of institutional academics
so one must engage in the process of self-education. When I first
started the process of self-education after completing my double
Masters, it took me a full year before I finally was able to completely
shed my belief patterns of the many lies I had learned in business
school. When I realized that I had been duped by the institutional
academic system and that the academic system had taken so much of
my hard earned money and only provided me with wrong knowledge in
return, it was very difficult to accept this rude awakening. “How
could I have been so dumb to waste my hard-earned money on this
useless information?” I thought.

As Morpheus
states in the Matrix, “We never free a mind once it’s
reached a certain age. It’s dangerous.” Likewise, once
a person has been conditioned through advanced business courses,
it’s extremely difficult to teach such a person the reality
of how the business matrix really operates. In this sense, the higher
education system provides the perfect system to perpetuate lies,
specifically with regard to monetary and business constructs. We,
as humans, have a need to validate the price we pay for items with
the value we gain from it. Thus the more we pay for education, the
more valuable we believe it to be, and the more rigid our belief
system will likely become. This is precisely why many alumni will
defend the business constructs they have been taught in school with
the same level of vigor as if they were defending the honor of their
children. I can recall arguing with a colleague of mine about the
Reserve Ratio Requirement of banks in the fractional reserve US
banking system. He adamantly and repeatedly insisted that it was
10% until I finally extended my hand and said, “I will bet
you $10,000 right now that the majority of the largest banks in
America keep nowhere close to 10% of deposits as reserves, and I
can prove it.” His reply? He finally surrendered his position
and stated, "Well, that’s what we learned in business school."

You Don’t
Need Higher Education For Access or For Success in Life

If the attainment
of advanced academic degrees does not necessarily produce higher
levels of intelligence or even grant one the skill set needed to
thrive and succeed in life, are advanced degrees really necessary?
When considering specialized degrees such as those in law, medicine,
engineering, architecture et al, advanced academic degrees will
serve one well. However, the attainment of a specialized advanced
degree still does not make one automatically more intelligent than
one that has not attained this degree. Furthermore, when considering
an MBA, this advanced degree is absolutely not necessary to succeed
in life. In considering an MBA, many young adults will conclude
that they need to pursue this advanced degree for the access it
will provide them. They believe that networking with the sons and
daughters of powerful politicians and businessmen is reason enough
to spend lots of money to attend a prestigious graduate program.
Furthermore, they believe that corporations will not hire them unless
they have an advanced degree. All of these beliefs are misguided.

Attending a
prestigious university certainly does provide access. That is unquestionable.
When I first graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and desired
a job in health care, I wrote a fellow alumnus that was on the board
of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. Upon receiving my letter,
the board member contacted me and suggested that I contact the CEO
of a health care corporation that was a personal friend of his.
Just like that, I was hired and had a new job. However, the more
important question to entertain is whether I could have received
the same access had I not attended the University of Pennsylvania?
The answer is yes.

One can join
business or trade organizations that immediately provide access
to multi-millionaires and/or movers and shakers in the industry.
Many of these organizations may have hefty dues that can run in
the range of $5,000 to $10,000 for admission. Even so, these dues
are still a tiny fraction of the cost of attending a prestigious
4-year university. Consider that a four-year undergraduate Harvard
University education (tuition, room & board, fees) presently
costs upward of $200,000. Because I have joined some of these organizations
with expensive dues in the past, I can assure you that the access
provided by these organizations is on par with the level of access
provided by many prestigious universities. Furthermore, many times
the access provided by professional clubs and networks may even
be more specific and more suited towards one’s needs than the access
provided by a prestigious university.

Education
is Big Business – Don’t Confuse Needing a Diploma to Succeed
in the Corporate World With Needing a Diploma to Succeed in Life

But what about
the belief that you need an advanced degree to get ahead in life?
This too is a false belief that is a by-product of the educational
system. Education is big business and it is the job of university
deans all over the world to scare young adults into believing that
they will be jobless and homeless without securing that precious
piece of paper called a diploma. While it is true that a young adult
may need an advanced degree to get ahead in the CORPORATE WORLD,
a young adult definitely does not need an advanced degree to get
ahead in LIFE.

Many of us
whom were educated in the Western world will never consider the
pathway of entrepreneurship because of the conditioning we receive
throughout our academic careers to pursue a corporate life. This
is a huge mistake. Western universities may offer a class in entrepreneurship,
but most certainly do not promote the entrepreneurial pathway with
the same vigor that they promote the corporate pathway. Furthermore,
most universities do not match the monetary and resource contributions
dedicated to the promotion of the corporate pathway in their promotion
of the entrepreneurial pathway. Think of the enormous resources
that every Western university deploys towards pushing their graduates
into the corporate world – the act of bringing corporate recruiters
to campus, the provision of free sessions with interviewing counselors
to sharpen interviewing techniques and skills, the provision of
internships to steer students toward that perfect corporate job
after graduation, etc. Now think of the resources, or lack thereof,
that universities dedicate towards the promotion of entrepreneurialism.

Read
the rest of the article

October
30, 2010

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