Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Wealth leads to education

Historically speaking, the vast majority of humans have been uneducated.  It was really only since the Industrial Revolution that countries became wealthy enough for the masses to become educated.  In a post inspired by his reading of an historical work on this topic by E. G. West, philosopher Stephen Hicks notes
The table shows that by 1851 the English and Welsh already had a higher percentage of children in primary school than the world total was over a century later. That’s an impressive accomplishment.

“What may be more remarkable to some,” West notes, “is that the British schooling was entirely voluntary and almost entirely fee-paying“[1, italics added]. That is, the British educated their children without compulsory attendance laws and almost without taxation.
And what makes a country wealthy?  The ideas commonly referred to as "classical liberalism": individualism, property rights, rule of law, and limited government.  Capitalism, properly understood.