Inaccuracy in the Classroom

Have you ever heard a professional or respected individual in their field say something wildly wrong with which you were able to say nothing and only able to gaze in shock? Well I get to do that while paying hundreds of dollars for that said misinformation.

I may be being a bit harsh but as a mildly stingy person I want to get good use out of my cash. And as seeing as college is supposed to be a source of learning it makes hearing incorrect information all the more painful.

Now as a student attempting to major in history I am aware of how troublesome remembering so many dates, names, and places there can be. (Made infinitely worse by most monarchs sharing the same name.)

But at a point you leave the realm of reasonable misinformation and descend into wild inaccuracy.

During one of my economics classes my teacher (who for a miraculous change was not discussing her ex-husband) was talking about regulation. She went on to say, without hyperbole, that Ronald Reagan and George Bush deregulated the entire economy.

I have never felt that stupefied in any classroom before. Surely, I misheard her? Sadly, this was not the case. Despite how badly I wanted to challenge her statement I was too amazed to remember how to use my vocal chords.

To start with let’s take a brief look at both George Bush’s (she didn’t specify, so I shall go over both.)

-Raised taxes (So much for my ability to read lips)

-Gulf War and Iraq War

– W Bush expanded Medicare by signing the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act

-The Patriot Act and the NSA (social regulation is just as much a restriction as economic)

– Increased government spending

Hardly the complete deregulation I was told of.

Ronald Reagan was more free market in regards to both Bush’s but was nowhere near my economics teachers claim.

-Increased military spending and foreign intervention

-War on Drugs

-Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, which raised taxes

Now if she were to claim that the early United States was unregulated, she would have a better case.

Thankfully this has been the only case of majorly false information that I have come across in my time in school. It is sad though that a statement coming from a college professor can be rebutted in a few quick searches. Although this does provide us a good example of how new tools on the internet allow us to pursue information in numerous new ways.

Keep on learning and have a good day.

Rockefeller: The Man Behind the Mountain of Wealth

John D. Rockefeller is the richest businessmen to have ever lived, amassing a fortune of an equivalent $340 billion dollars in today’s money. By comparison Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon is worth $160 million.

But little is known about Rockefeller outside of his colossal wealth and the controversy surrounding Standard Oil. What was the man Rockefeller like, and how did his wealth impact his behavior? Today I will give you a glimpse into one of America’s most influential businessmen.

John D. Rockefeller was a staunch Baptist, but his religious views did not see wealth as a negative. On the contrary wealth was viewed as a sign of God showing his favor, as was held by many Baptists. This instilled a sense of heavenly purpose to make as much money as he could and give away as much as he could.

As a result of this belief that wealth was a reward from God Rockefeller developed a sense of righteousness about his work. He would state that Standard Oil was “the salvation of the oil business and making it a reputable pursuit instead of a disgraceful, gambling, mining scheme.” He would further state that he and his business partners were “missionaries of light.” As brazen as these statements are the mountains of wealth that found their way to Rockefeller only further strengthened his belief that he was doing God’s work.

But despite this  religious fervor Rockefeller was very restrained in his personal behavior. One instance goes that Rockefeller installed some exercise equipment in his business building. Upon arriving one morning an employee, not recognizing Rockefeller, complained that it was a nuisance. Rather than confront the employee Rockefeller had it removed and never brought it up again. The employee later realized to his shock what he had said to his boss but never received any form of punishment. In fact, Rockefeller was regarded by many of his employees as a fair boss. Sparing in his compliments but trusting and paid above the average salary in their field.

Another reflection of his reserved nature is how he acted in meetings and business dealings. He mostly stayed quiet, absorbing information and uttering what questions were necessary. His observations were recorded in a red notebook he carried with him, and he always followed up on them. As Rockefeller recalled “More than once I have gone to luncheon with a number of our heads of departments and have seen the sweat start out on the foreheads of some of them when that little red notebook was pulled out.”

Concerned with the excess and extravagance of the Gilded Age Rockefeller was concerned with the upbringing of his children. In an attempt to shield them from the ill effects of wealth his children never learned how rich he was till they were adults. Part of this included refraining from unnecessary expenditures, such as only buying one bicycle for his four children. In another example his son John Rockefeller Jr. wore dresses until he was eight, as he wore the hand-me-downs of his three older sisters. Rockefeller prided himself in his restraint and often criticized his business opponents for their lavish life styles and excesses.

Rockefeller, despite his steely business appearance, was a compelling figure. Full of religious fervor and righteousness, compassion, business savvy and controlled silent rage.

 

Sources:

The 10 Richest People of All Time by Jacob Davidson, Time.com

http://time.com/money/3977798/the-10-richest-people-of-all-time/

 

Titan The Life of John D. Rockefeller, SR. by Ron Chernov