Public Schools: American Exceptionalism at its Finest

In a 2014 article entitled The Nobel World by James B. Rogers, published over at, the author points out that, even though western nations are bankrupt and collapsing and eastern nations have seen phenomenal economic growth over the last few decades, the Nobel prize for economics continues to be awarded to economists in the economically failing western nations.

From the article:

“But 40 years later, the world is experiencing a historic shift from West to East. The great economic successes since 1969 are certainly not the United States or Europe. In this span, the US went from the largest creditor nation in the world to not just the largest debtor nation in the world, but the largest debtor nation in the history of the world. That U-turn may deserve a prize, but one that brings embarrassment rather than prominence.

Today, most major international creditor nations are found in Asia – economies like China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Yet, of the 67 recipients who have received the economics prize, 52 are affiliated with US institutions and 14 have European affiliations. One was from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. So despite the huge economic growth of Asia during a period of relative and absolute decline in Europe and America, no economist from an Asian institution has been lauded. Not a single one.

Singapore has been the greatest economic success of the past four decades, but former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew and Dr Goh Keng Swee, a former deputy prime minister who died in May,have never been acknowledged by Stockholm. And Dr Goh even held a degree from the London School of Economics.

China has also experienced huge economic success during this time, yet neither Deng Xiaoping nor any of his economists were ever awarded the prize.”

I must agree; it is indeed farcical.

And this dubious practice dovetails nicely with a recent study of US students in which it was discovered that—while scoring dismally low in academic performance as compared to students of other developed nations (25th in math and 21st in science)—they nevertheless topped the charts in…confidence.

From the documentary film Waiting For Superman:

“Since the 1970s, US schools have failed to keep pace with the rest of the world. Among 30 developed countries, we rank 25th in math and 21st in science. The top 5 percent of our students, our very best, rank 23rd out of 29 developed countries. In almost every category we’ve fallen behind—except one.”

So what is that one category, in which US students placed first among all developed nations? Why, confidence, of course!

“The same study looked at math skills, and found in these eight countries [shown in the video], the U.S.A. ranked last; but when researchers asked the students how they felt they had done—”Did I get good marks in mathematics?”—kids from the U.S.A. ranked number one in confidence.”

Here’s the clip:

And this isn’t the only citation of such confident ignorance on display with American students; in the documentary film Before The Music Dies, when asked what he’s learned from his students, the saxophonist, composer, and teacher Branford Marsalis laments the combination of ignorance and arrogance of his students:

“What I’ve learned from my students, is that students today are completely full of shit. That is what I’ve learned from my students…is that—much like the generation before them—the only thing they are really interested in is you telling them how right they are, and how good they are. That is the same mentality that basically forces Harvard to give out Bs to people who don’t deserve then, out of the fear that they’ll go to other schools that will give them Bs, and those schools will make the money.

We live in a country that seems to be just in this massive state of delusion, where the idea of what you are is more important than you actually being that—and it actually works as long as everybody’s winking at the same time. And then if one person stops winking, you just beat the crap out of that person, and then they either start winking or they go somewhere else. But it’s like yeah, my students, just—all they want to hear is how good they are, and how talented they are. And they’re not really—most of them aren’t really willing to work to the degree to live up to that.”

Here’s the clip:

So our students aren’t learning shit in (at least public) schools, other than how great they are (and, I suppose, how great the government is). And obviously, this is a good development—since, you know, arrogant idiots so much fun to be around.

Of course, we can always look on the bright side: I suppose many of them could be destined for a lucrative career in politics!

But truly, these are all apt examples of American Exceptionalism at it’s finest.


Rand Eastwood

Rand Eastwood is an author and blogger residing in beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada. Certified in nutrition and ancestral health, he is a healthy lifestyle advocate. He describes himself as an individualist, consensualist, sophophile and syncretist. Much of his fiction is included in his collection Rolling The Bones, and he currently has an extensive novel under development, working title Primeval. To follow his work, you can subscribe to this blog, connect with him via his social links (right sidebar), and follow him on Amazon.

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