Educational Editorial: Common sense & economics

By Dr. Bill Bosher, NBC12 Educational Specialist

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Virginia's public schools probably teach more about economics than any state in the country.  We teach the concepts of economics…but do we teach the common sense of economics?

During the Super Bowl, Fox ran an interview of Bill O'Reilly with President Obama. In it he asked the President if he believed in the "redistribution of wealth"… Well, now it's tax time again and perhaps there are some lessons that we should add to our economics classes.

First, we clearly have an obligation to support a "common good." We also have a responsibility to pay our fair share…but here is a snag.

When recently applying for my Medicare card, I found that if I make more then I have to pay more…sounds reasonable, but then again, I have paid more for years and perhaps should get more now.

When I file my federal taxes, I find that the more I make the greater the percentage that I have to pay. Despite my increase in health care costs, I will not be eligible because I make to much….oh, and an IRA, great vehicle…but you make to much.

While not crazy about email forwards, one recently provided a powerful point….a young college student was telling her Dad, with great passion, about how we have a responsibility to take care of those who do not have what we have…he asked about her grades and responded that she had a 4.0 and had worked very hard, had few friends and rarely went out.

He then asked about her friend Susan… "she knows everyone, goes to parties, never studies and barely stays in school with a 2.0."

Her Dad then made a suggestion, "When you get back to school, why don't you go to the registrar's office and give one of your GPA points to Susan and then you both will have a 3.0"…but I worked hard for those grades.

There must be an economics lesson in here somewhere.