I will be reporting at the World Knowledge Forum in Seoul for the next threes days, and I'm not sure I'll be able to respond entirely during this period . I was selected among 30 candidates to be a reporter for my company. The WKF is affiliated with the upcoming G20 Summit in Busan, South Korea. I will be writing articles on talks given by Tony Blair, Deven Sharma, Oliver Williamson, and others. This event will also include discussions by Fareed Zakaria, Richard Branson, Donald Trump, Paul Krugman, and so forth. I also have an editor, a press pass, and will be published in an online English newspaper in South Korea.
But let's return to why education is critical to maintaining a healthy and robust democratic society. That's what a few of these readers don't get (Nando, by the way, I am not speaking about you). There is much at stake when the discourse begins to shift toward this sentiment. In economic downturns, it is often the case that people become less generous and they are threatened by the idea of allowing access to lower income individuals, immigrants, and so forth. This anti-higher education attitude stinks of that problem. When economies are bad, people are not open to the idea of a society that enables others to succeed. Generosity shrinks, and that means that a democratic society finds itself in peril.
However, there are candidates like Rick Staggenborg (who is running for U.S. Senate in Oregon) and Jim Holbert (who is also running as a Progressive Democrat for U.S. House of Representatives in Kentucky's 5th District) who do not hold these, what I assert, dangerous feelings. Instead, they continue to insist on the importance of educating people, and of providing them with access to things that are difficult to obtain because of their socioeconomic background.
Recently, Jim Holbert weighed in on the discussion we're having about education. He eloquently stated:
"Educated people are those who have learned that they must be involved in the society in which they live, and this is why education is the hope of the people of a democratic society.
America's enlightenment-born striving toward equality is only an eddy running contrary to the powerful current of history, which has always held that ordinary people are nothing more than a herd to pay taxes and bear arms for a ruling elite.
It remains to be seen which vision will triumph, and if the American experiment is to win out, then an educated and involved population will be the means to that victory."
Stay tuned for a lengthier essay about the necessity of educating a majority of the populace, or at least offering them access to good and affordable education.