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Is Capitalism to Blame For All Our Problems?

Professor Claims Capitalism to Blame For Why Students Are Graded

A New School professor is calling for the abolition of grades claiming it is unfair to students. Gee, I thought grades introduced fairness because students are evaluated on their work and given higher grades for better work. I guess this is an old concept – or I’m just getting too old!

The same professor says grading is a means to prop up capitalism, and as such, academia would be better off doing away with grading entirely. That would make my job easier but create a standard – or lack thereof – making it impossible to promote the values of capitalism of hard work. I guess the professor believes that hard work isn’t important anymore and a socialist system where everyone is treated the same is a better approach to life in America.

According to the article, Richard Wolff has been known to promote Marxism and condemn capitalism, even going so far as to blame capitalism for American homelessness. He may be on to something here. A cynic might say capitalism is responsible not only for homelessness but the recent shootings in El Paso and Dayton.

But wait. There’s more. Why not blame capitalism for the break down of the family unit, which has led to some of these shooters killing innocent people. Absent a fatherly role model, basically young white boys are committing these horrific crimes. Mothers seem to be the go-to-parent in one-parent homes so they’re not to blame.

Wolff goes on to say, the practice of grading is one that has served to prop up America’s capitalistic system and its “major failures,” including “socially divisive inequalities” and the creation of boring, dangerous, and/or mind-numbing jobs.

This is a ludicrous notion. The problem with college kids today is most don’t want to work hard. Which is the reason so-called STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) go wanting. Why work hard at school and get good grades (Oh, there’s that dirty word again) when you can become famous as a vlogger?

I’m troubled not only by the professor’s comments and ideas but the reality that youngsters in the U.S. would rather be stars on You Tube while Chinese kids aspire to be an astronaut as their number one career choice. Check out the data in this US-Chinese kids

Some people believe the U.S. will always be the best country to live in, the most economically advanced, and the beacon of hope for millions around the world. I agree with the latter, as we can tell by the number of folks who want to immigrate into the U.S. But, China is gaining fast with respect to being the largest economy in the world. As to being the best place to live, the U.S. was recently ranked at #19 in the world in happiness. The Nordic countries have us beat by a mile.

It’s time we wake up to the degradation of the American experience. Violence in the streets, at schools, in churches and synagogues, and in our malls is creating a moral dilemma in this country. The two most common issues addressed is: Do we further restrict gun ownership and buck up against the Second Amendment? Do we put more money into mental health and, if so, how much is enough and how can we tell who needs the help?

Rather than argue for one recommendation or the other I’d focus on bringing civility back to society. But, do we care enough about this issue to do it? It wouldn’t seem so. In fact, in the recent Democratic debates not one question addressed this issue.

As those addicted to drugs and alcohol know, you first have to admit to having a problem before you can deal with it in a meaningful way.

Posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on August 14, 2019. Steve recently published a book titled Beyond Happiness and Meaning that explains the ethics of personal relationships,  workplace interactions and on social media activities. Visit Steve’s website, sign up for his newsletter, and buy his book on Amazon. Follow him on Facebook and “Like” his page.