Random confessional for the day: both of the words “defense” and “offense” require me to mentally do a high school cheer before I’m able to spell them correctly. I don’t do the motions, just the words. Well, in this case, syllables, because the cheers previously mentioned were just a spelling of the word, followed by “let’s go de/offense!” with an off-beat clap. But enough about me and my shortcomings in the world of spelling.

I’m reading a new old book. It’s new to me, thanks to the 50% off sale at Stately Raven, but come to find out, it’s 10 years old. In the sociology research world, I think that’s a qualifier that the book should’ve been on a 30% discount prior to the going-out-of-business sale. Which, if I may take the liberty, I’d like to tell the SR is the reason they’re going out of business. Just some personal opinion commentary. Enjoy it for free, someday ESPN might want me.

So, the book. The Overspent American. The author should’ve bought a lottery ticket when she wrote it as she nailed it on the head. It’s about the progressive spending and the socio-cultural influences our our economic behavior. I know, I know, why can’t I just enjoy some trashy romance novel like the normal girls do?

But here’s what I can offer society, other than just the 10 minutes back they’ve spent reading this post: we need to a bit of a defensive educational attack in the world of econ. Like a full-court, trapping press.  Allow me to expand.

Marketing is an optional course offered by many high schools. I know this because my husband is licensed to teach it. It focuses on how to brand and market a product so to get people to buy it. If one were to want to invent something, or go into the world of publicity and advertising, this would be a helpful starting ground. Or perhaps help you change your mind. I could come up with several other benefits a high school student might gain from the course: how to get elected class president, how to convince the school that fried cheese is not an acceptable main course for the cafeteria lunch, or as a way to successfully sell black market school spirit t-shirts that say “We Will Ram Ewe.” Just to start.

But what if we were to use a marketing curriculum to help teenagers defend themselves from campaigns that, in their limited rational times of thinking, they realize they need not be a part of? What if we helped students to learn how others are preying upon their fears of failure, their insecurity when it comes to their appearance and their aptitude for success? What if we helped them become indignant about the fact that other people are getting rich off of their lack of critical thinking and blindly believing everything they hear and see about what is right, cool and necessary for a happy, successful life?

We can teach kids to be part of the problem, or part of the solution. Perhaps I should talk to a business education teacher about this…

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