The Coming Economic Crash – Part 2 – Primary and Secondary Education — 31 Comments

  1. Hello Jack,

    I have really enjoyed parts one and two of this series of articles you are writing.

    Regarding the move to home schooling, one of my daughters has friends that have children still in school. She was talking with one of them the other day, who will be homeschooling her children, not so much because she wants to, but because of her fear of Covid-19.

    I totally agree with you about the amount of time it really takes to get school work done. I have done some substitute teaching over the past few years (I’m not  licensed teacher, but anyone with a Bachelor’s degree and become a short term sub in Minnesota). My definition of the job duties was “sit down, be quiet, and get your work done.” Very little actual teaching done. The only change in job duties was when I was subbing in a shop class. My duty there was to make sure they left with all the body parts they had at the beginning of the “hour” LOL

    The time allotted for classes was 50 minutes. By the time you got them to their desks, took attendance, and told them the assignment, there was really only 35 to 40 minutes of time spent on the subject at hand. Of course, they had to pick up material at the end, and stand by the door for the last few minutes, waiting for the bell to ring. They only have six class periods during the day, which amounts, at most, to four hours of actual classwork, not accounting for recess or gym class.

    I am not one who believes they are underpaid. All you have to do is look at the vehicles a lot of them drive. Perhaps a lot less debt on their part would improve their lifestyle.

    Take care and keep on producing these wonderful articles.

  2. I’m wondering what school will look like for the kids left in the system.  Will the have the cream of the teachers? Smaller classes? Or will they be crammed into fewer buildings to reduce costs with even more administrators instead of teachers since their district tax base will shrink?  Will school property taxes disappear and be replaced fully by state funds? (One of BLM’s demands)  it’s going to be an interesting few years.

    As an aside: In LA they wondered why 25% of the kids weren’t even logging in to their online government program. They found most of those kids didn’t even have internet access, let alone a computer to do the work. I haven’t heard a peep about it since then though they mentioned a couple companies were thinking about setting up hotspots.  Those kids are way behind unless their parents were miracle workers (hard to homeschool without the internet or libraries)

    • Well in theory we’d should have better teachers but there are many mitigating issues.

      1. In any bureaucracy those that work the system do better than those good at their jobs.
      2. Teaching is in many ways a shitty job, when the best students leave it will be worse.
      3. The state given the opportunity could fuck up a wet dream. They took control of a legal whore house in Nevada and lost money selling sex and booze…….sooooooooo

  3. I was homeschooled just about my entire K-12 experience. I’m now 38, have been to graduate school, traveled the world, married and now raising my own kid.

    Homeschooling was a fantastic thing in my life as I was able to get a job and go to college much earlier than my peers. And I could absolutely get all my work done in 2-3 hours most days.

    For those families that are able/want to homeschool, I want to encourage them that they do not have to be a part of the public school system. They don’t have to have the school system dictate their curriculum. You really can be free to educate your child.

    I can absolutely understand being afraid to homeschool. I probably would be if I hadn’t experienced it first hand. I just want to encourage anyone who is feeling unsure but desires to homeschool. It really is a fabulous opportunity to create a learning environment of freedom. Don’t feel the need to recreate public school at home. Homeschooling provides so much more freedom.

    • Great comment thanks Lindsey! As to this, “I can absolutely understand being afraid to homeschool. I probably would be if I hadn’t experienced it first hand.”

      That is the test drive effect 55 million just had. May be it wasn’t perfect, may be it was still the state’s system but it was enough of a test drive to realize they need a new car and check out another “dealership”.

  4. Here in Japan we’ve had a similar test drive. My oldest’s university has been 100% online since April, the start of the Japanese school year. (NB: she’s studying to be a physical therapist.) Our youngest (a 9th grader) was on vacation for a while and then, to end the “test drive,” students started attending school in a staggered schedule based on student numbers.

    The private junior high/high school where I work went online right away and that included “face to face” meetings via Google Meet along with various online assignments. In mid-June we started holding regular classes with odd-numbered students attending on odd-numbered days and even-numbered students on even-numbered days.

    I suspect Japan will not be keen on home-schooling but where I suspect the test-drive will have an impact is adult education. Not only did my business English students enjoy their online classes, I did as well. No trains; no walks in the rain; no Tokyo region humidity. Heck, for that matter, no trousers: just shorts, a clean shirt, and a strategically placed web cam. This has always been available as a rather fringe opportunity as it’s more common to meet individual students in coffee shops for private lessons, but now?

    Also, for group classes, English schools will have to come up with some clever offers to keep students coming downtown for lessons.

    Regarding your first post, I also found my adult students liked their test-drive of working from home and weren’t looking forward to going back to five day work weeks.

    • The test drive is going to show up in more than half the mega trends.

  5. I think the #1 test drive is going to be ‘no commute’, IMO the #1 insanity of the suburban sprawl =)

    Really hard to give that one back!

  6. public schools do provide socialization.  do you think the reduced socialization of homeschool is an issue?

    • We’ve had kids in private school, homeschool and public school.

      They only go to parties, sporting events, friend’s houses, sleepovers and social gatherings when school hours are over.    😉

      If your kid doesn’t know anyone and has no extracurricular activities then I could understand being concerned with socialization but I can assure you there are many kids in public school that do and say things you probably don’t approve of. Not only have our kids met friends through extracurriculars, we’ve met more parents that way than through school.

    • Well, half of the ‘socialization’ I remember in public school was having to put up with bullies and other shitheads I couldn’t avoid because the school lumped me into the same classroom.

      Just sayin’….

      • “half of the ‘socialization’ I remember in public school was having to put up with bullies”

        well surely this prepared you for real life?  consider the snowflake leftists in their safe spaces who cannot deal with anyone answering back to them and who lose their minds when anyone contradicts them.

        • “well surely this prepared you for real life?  consider the snowflake leftists in their safe spaces who cannot deal with anyone answering back to them and who lose their minds when anyone contradicts them.”

          Now this unlike the other comment is for you, are you fucking retarded?

          First those snowflakes are the direct product of the system you are defending.

          Second do you deal with bullies as an adult at work?  No.  Do you deal with them with no recourse in your life, forced to interact with them against your will?

          See the problem when you try to defend something that is not dependable is eventually you start to sound like you need a cork on your fork, a helmet and non toxic crayons!

          You just defended by the states monopoly and bullies in one sentence. FFS

        • “First those snowflakes are the direct product of the system you are defending.”

          not quite.  they are the products of the hijacked system as it stands, certainly.  but most on the right who oppose public schools oppose them on principle, as such – in favor of themselves.

        • @gman

          Did it prepare me for real life? No, not so much.

          In the adult world I can generally choose to write such people off as assholes and avoid them or otherwise remove myself from the situation. In the adult world having douchebags trying to put me into a trash can is NOT a common occurrence (and if for some screwed-up reason it WAS, I can choose to frequent someplace else). In the adult world, if some asshole is truly harassing me non-stop there are a number of socially-acceptable, nonviolent measures to curb said behavior… in school the only “acceptable” measure a bullied kid has in that system is to tell a teacher which doesn’t change anything long-term, if at all. Because you’re still stuck in the same room with said asshole.

          You know what I REALLY learned from that aspect of school ‘socialization’? It’s that the teachers seldom see or punish the initial offending act… only the act of retaliation and standing up for oneself. There’s a lesson for ya… stand up for yourself and the system will punish you.

          Sure, I’ve toughened up a bit via going through general hardship & struggle, but the specific lessons in that artificial environment don’t translate well to the real world. You can easily get your fill of hardship & struggle in other areas of life to toughen you up without that nonsense.

          As for positive socialization growing up? For me, 90% of that was outside of school.

    • @gman you said, “public schools do provide socialization.  do you think the reduced socialization of homeschool is an issue?”

      Don’t take this wrong, it isn’t personal and society has been programmed to think this way.  Now strap it, it is gonna hurt, 2×4 to the face on the way.

      All I hear when I am told this is bUt mUh sOCiALiZAtiOn!

      Seriously what the fuck you want outsource the kids your child is around to the states monopoly as well.  You can’t like put them in some activity, post on fuckin nextdoor and say hey any other home schoolers out there want to work out some shit for our kids to do or say take them to a fuckin park once in a while?

      Do you really think shoving kids into a building with 400-1200 other kids they don’t know  is good “socialization”?  Do you fuckin really, do you?  I mean said like Sam Kinison in the 80s, “do you, oh oh oh, do you?!!!!”

      If you can feed your child when they are a baby and need constant care you can set up fuckin play dates.  If you can hold your child while they puke at 3am you can manage getting them on a soccer team or into a club or two.

      If fuckin is mind numbing how many parents say this “bUt mUh sOCiALiZAtiOn” then turn around and talk about the kids are are “mUh bAd InFLuenCeS” and all the shit wrong in the school.  The way schools are going you may as well send your high schooler of to a fuckin crack house for mUh sOCiALiZAtiOn.

      This is only a problem if parents want their parenting outsourced to the state.

      Again this is not directed really at you Gman, I hope you see that, it is directed at this mass delusional mind set that has been programmed into our society.

      Point out that you don’t need the state to teach kids and people defend the state as a baby sitter, kill that and people defend the state as a way for kids to form friendships.  It is fuckin stupid, it can only happen in a brain washed society so yea a 2×4 to the face Hacksaw Dugan style is needed for a wake up call.

      • “Don’t take this wrong, it isn’t personal and society has been programmed to think this way.  Now strap it, it is gonna hurt, 2×4 to the face on the way.”


        “Do you really think shoving kids into a building with 400-1200 other kids they don’t know  is good ‘socialization’?”

        yes.  placing children with other children enables them to learn about how to interact with other people.

        I’ve been on various right-wing sites for ten years now, and I’ve noticed something.  there are some – on the blogs, perhaps many – on the right who speak against government, who excoriate police, who hate public schools, who disdain political parties, who deride voting,  and so on.  they use the language of republican liberty and call themselves “freedom lovers” and “individualists” but it’s slightly off, as if they’re skirting the real subject.  in talking with them it becomes clear that they don’t reject these things because of any problems (there certainly are problems) but rather simply reject them out of hand.  and in questioning them it becomes clear that what they reject is not government or police or public schools or parties or voting – rather what they reject is other people, and they berate those things because they involve other people.  they have no problem with government as such – they certainly know for themselves what the law is or should be – and they have no problem with police powers as such – they certainly are ready to enforce their version of the law as they see fit – and so on.  what they object to is anyone else participating in that.  they speak the language of republican liberty, but it’s all about they themselves alone.  I’ve become convinced that that’s how they see pretty much everything – they themselves alone.  they’re not “freedom lovers”, rather they’re loners.  there’s degrees of course, but the baseline attitude is clear.

        so I ask about socialization.  the answers are as expected.  to the “individualist” socialization simply is an imposition, or an irrelevancy, or a trick – for some it is outright enslaving oppression – and they reject it.  the answer regarding bullies is worth considering.  some students will remember all their friends, some will remember school functions and getting involved, some will remember the parties and dances, some will remember their sports teams, some will remember their clubs or debate teams, some will remember the theater productions (my school had a full-size full-outfit theater).  and some remember mostly bullies.  this appears to be more a reflection on each student’s attitude, rather than simply a reflection on the opportunities or problems that confronted them.

        “This is only a problem if parents want their parenting outsourced to the state.”

        it’s not that parenting is out-sourced to the state.  it’s that trained teachers drawing on centuries of experience and history can accomplish more than any individual family, and that participating in a school is an introduction into participating in their town or city.  now for a “loner” that last sentence makes no sense whatsoever, because for the “loner” they themselves are the relevant world and anything outside of that is oppressive or null.  there’s degrees of course – some reject all school contact, others will make limited use of it – but the baseline attitude is clear.

        • You can take this personally, you are not worth further discussion at this point, you speak like a man with a paper asshole.  Please wear your helmet and please don’t become a parent.

        • @gman-

          “yes.  placing children with other children enables them to learn about how to interact with other people.”

          So there’s zero other good places for kids to interact with other people? The church, the park, the playground, community activities, family friends, summer vacation outings…

          My criticism of school here is about freedom of association (I have other criticisms but for the sake of focus I’m shelving those for now). But somehow you’re conflating that with a general hatred of people as well as associating it all with some vague, oversimplified right-left political filter of yours. It’s almost like you’re continuing a previous argument of yours and dragging us into it.

          You’re also ignoring the fact that kids and adults have been engaging in socialization for millennia without the benefit of modern public schooling. I acknowledge each child’s experience is different and that even I got some benefits from it, but just because there is a potential benefit to said schools doesn’t mean it’s the only way or the best way to do so for a given person. The entirety of the experience matters… if the drawbacks are outpacing the benefits, especially as compared to an alternative system, why stick with it? Is the quest to find a better system and the ability to ‘opt out’ really that threatening?

          If the benefits of the conventional school system are as compelling as you say, then the public school system has nothing to worry about. I’m willing to sit back and let its past, current, and future performance speak for itself…

        • “please don’t become a parent”

          too late.  I’ve already participated with the larger society in that regard.

          it’s worth nothing that many “loners” on the right have few or no children at all.  this is fully consistent with their ideals.

        • “So there’s zero other good places for kids to interact with other people?”

          I didn’t say that.  it’s your internal narrative that drives such a reaction.

          “The church, the park, the playground, community activities, family friends, summer vacation outings…”

          absolutely, all good, all great, all necessary.  and so is the school, because the people there are part of your community whether you wish it or no and you must learn to live with them whether you wish it or no.

          (now this presumes a properly functioning school and not merely a propaganda outlet for a single political faction which has captured it.  such should be avoided of course.  but there are those on the “right” who oppose both, equally, without distinction, because for them there is none – I’m addressing those who are puzzled by this failure to distinguish and explaining why it is so.)

        • There are times when a man sounds so stupid in his arguments that you are conflicted.

          Part of you has empathy for him, you want him to just stop before anyone listening writes him off as a drooling retard in need of adult supervision.

          The other part of you is like keep going man, just keep going.

          This one of those times.

        • @gman-

          “Internal narrative”… nice try in your attempt to turn it back on to me, sport.  You don’t interact on a regular, daily basis with EVERY member of your community (no matter how obnoxious)… do you? I highly doubt it. And you already implied that school is essential to socialization, especially with YOUR words that explicitly STATED homeschool somehow amounts to REDUCED SOCIALIZATION.

          And even while you NOW admit to all the other available avenues for socialization, you still cling to the narrative that public school is somehow still necessary. You also completely ignore the point behind the concept of freedom of association and how it relates to the adult world, where the current school system does not.

          You are stuck in a reality bubble of your own making, and I’m starting to see why Jack so quickly wrote you off…. you are operating on a belief, not facts or information. Is exploring the possibility that the current school system is not the best we can do so awful to you? Is the mere implication that we can do better than the current system such an awful thing?

        • @gman – Yeah,  that’s what our kids need, to get shoved into a school building with 400 – 1200 other kids to get that “good socialization”…. no, thank you.  I don’t want my child to learn:
          How to cheat, smoke, lie, steal, get pregnant, do drugs, bully, cuss, and many other peer-pressured characteristics I prefer my child not learn… I wonder how the crap PEOPLE EVER LEARNED TO SOCIALIZE BEFORE GOV’T SCHOOLS WERE INVENTED? HMMMM?

  7. I can confirm homeschooling work can be completed in much shorter time frames.

    I moved my family to the UK in 2003 to open a business there.  My oldest daughter was about to be a freshman in HS and my younger was a grade or two earlier.  They were both devastated we were moving as it was only 6 weeks from when I made the decision to get on a plane with 10 suitcases containing everything we “owned.”  We moved there in the middle of a school year and realized the system there is vastly different where one “school year” spanned two years!

    So, we found an American-based online home school system.  A teacher would come online and oversee work to be done (short sessions only so often)  My daughters did all their work from home.  They found they could knock out all their work in a couple of hours a day.

    For us, living in a new country, this was perfect… they could do several days work in a day – we could take off to Wales for a couple of days if we wanted and rent a camper on the beach… or drive to Scottland if we wanted.  We didn’t have to “get permission” from the school for missing school days.  They were much happier and as far as I can tell they weren’t “ruined.”

    We did move back in time for my oldest to serve out her last year as a Senior in HS in a private school… she had a strong and different opinion from many of her school mates.  She and her younger sister went on to attend Belmont University in Nashville.  Both are married adults.

    Homeschool Rules.

  8. So here’s a (partial?) list of CDC school reopening recommendations I saw on ZH:

    1) Strict social distancing tactics

    2) All-day mask wearing for most students and teachers

    3) Staggered attendance

    4) Daily health checks

    5) No gym or cafeteria use

    6) Restricted playground access and limited toy-sharing, and

    7) Tight controls on visitors to school buildings, including parents.


    If this becomes the standard, public schools will no longer be kinda like prison… they will be WORSE than prison! I’m not convinced yet the virus poses a significant danger to children, but given the remaining unknowns I’m open to that possibility. But if that’s the case and such measures are necessary for school and child safety, the simplest, most rational solution is to just keep the damn things closed. The mental gymnastics required to justify all this is bordering on insanity.

  9. I’m actually glad to see this trend accelerated, as far as the other options available are concerned. My son is only a little over a year old, but I have been staunchly opposed to sending him to public school since the topic first came up in our household. We’ve been happy to hear about the other education options out there from your show, with new ones constantly showing up. We were excited to see what else would materialize in the years to come anyway, all the while positioning ourselves to be able to do homeschooling if that were the best fit.

    Then COVID… I already felt good about what our options would be when he reaches “school age,” but now I feel even better. No, I’m not happy about the coming economic shift that comes with it, but I understand and believe that it is coming and is in fact necessary. But we’ve been working towards a “better life if times get tough” anyway, right? Thanks Jack.


  10. I was already considering homeschooling before COVID-19. My children were tired of the constant bullying by kids whose parents were into the whole thug culture. Teachers had little control of classrooms and seemed more into social engineering than teaching the three r,s.  The fact that every winter my kids brought home colds and flu because parents use the school as a babysitting place for their sick kids also figured into my decision. The courses offered online appear to be a step up to me.

  11. Socialization?  My experience in that in public schools?  I still suffer the effects of it.  I became the biggest introvert you can imagine dealing with all the a$$hole kids and teachers.  I wouldn’t pee all day at school because of it.  I will never go to a school reunion.  I was glad to get out of there and move on to college where I could get lost in the crowd.

    My grandson does better at home in his studies than he did in the school building.  So don’t say school is about socialization.  You can get that just getting out in world and actually meeting people not crammed in some class room by force.