Who The Fuck is Brian Tracy?

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There are a number of folks who make a very comfortable living on the motivational speaker circuit. Some you may have heard of. Think Tony Robbins. Eckhart Tolle. Zig Ziglar (he’s no longer so motivating). There are several celebrities who also parade their celebrity around the nation commanding fees in excess of $200,000 for a 45-minute speech. Plus air, hotel, transportation, meals, and other expensive expenses.

At least we’ve heard of these folks. There’s nothing like a little celebrity to fire up a crowd.

But then there are a number of folks who have never done much else than make a very comfortable living on the motivational speaker circuit. This Brian Tracy dude came up on my radar the other day. I had no idea who this bro with two first names was, so I Googled him. Of course, his website brags about some rags-to-riches story, seventy-some motivational books, and the fact that you can hire him to motivate you and your minions for about $20,000. There wasn’t much else on this bro that offered any verifiable information. A smattering of silliness published in a few business magazines desperate for easy filler articles, but that was about it. I was left wondering, who the fuck is Brian Tracy, and why would anyone pay him to speak about anything?

Look, I’ve said there are two types of people in this world – those who can be easily hypnotized, and those who cannot. Apparently, the former has no prob paying $20,000 to Brian Tracy to utter a few well-rehearsed and well-worn words of encouragement. Me? I’d be like – no.

Then I thought about it. Why couldn’t I become a motivational speaker? I’ve written fourteen books and been quoted in three or four national magazines. I’ve even had three feature articles written about me in my local newspaper. I’m on the radio every week, people love my YouTube channel, and millions of people have heard my voice on television and in the movies. So why couldn’t I be the next big thing on the motivational circuit?

Reality smacked me down. It’s because I can’t lie like that. I can’t brag that I have all the answers to fostering blind loyalty and endless productivity, because no one does. I can’t tell people how to create great leaders, because no one can. Way too many variables. I can’t teach employers how to increase performance, because they probably can’t afford to (especially after paying me someone’s annual salary for a 45-minute speech). Plus, I haven’t parted the Red Sea. Yet. I have a feeling I’d be the Debbie Downer of motivational speakers. No one wants to hear the truth – no matter how good you are at coloring it.

Motivational speakers are merely entertainers in a nation that unfortunately values celebrity over everything else. Do they motivate? Some people, I suppose. Although in my long career, I’ve learned motivation is very temporary. Is it worth $20,000 or more to temporarily motivate a group of people? I have to imagine it’s a pretty shitty ROI for a CEO photo op. I challenge you to prove me wrong.

My Parenting Mistakes.

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My third parenting book is coming out soon, and I’m going to title it My Parenting Mistakes. Here’s a random taste.

Lower Your Expectations.

Don’t expect much, and you won’t be as easily disappointed. If you slaved away to put your kids through college and they’re a smashing success, don’t expect a handout when you’re old and disabled.

Just Don’t.

You’ve got Biff into Cub Scouts, Little League, and Soccer. Buffy faithfully attends ballet and cheerleading classes five days a week. Mom and Dad have racked up over 50,000 miles on their minivan shuttling these kids around over the past five years, not to mention the exhausting pace of rushing around. Ten years later, we find Biff is a bully who cuts class and steals iPhones to satisfy his gambling debts; and Buffy is a tattooed pothead who’s eight months pregnant with her dealer’s child.

You might be fooled into thinking the helicopter thing is a sure-fire way of keeping your kids out of trouble. Sorry, Charlie, that doesn’t work either.

Workface.

Most parents have that scowl – you know what I mean. That mean face that’s supposed to show you mean business. Guess what? This turns people off. Have you ever tried that face at work? Probably not. Your children are probably muting you when you’re talking to them. So use your workface instead! You know, that face you use when you nicely ask people to do shit they really don’t want to do? It works, right? Why not use that at home, Mom?

Think Like a CEO.

For every parenting decision you make, project the future effects. Not a week or two, think years. If you let your 15-year-old daughter go to a beer party, chances are she’s going to think that’s normal for the next ten years. My ex-wife is more like a manager. She can’t see past her own nose. I’m the strategist. I know how the world works, and how to prepare for it. Unfortunately, it’s much easier to be managed than strategized. My kid and most others tend to take the path of least resistance.

United Front.

Look, regardless of what you think about your spouse or divorcee, your children need to know you’re on the same page at all times. This is probably the most important advice I can give you. Kids know when there’s a shake-up, and they always take advantage of the chaos. Don’t give them that opportunity and you’ll end up with better kids. Trust me.

 

 

The University of Florida LIED.

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I distinctly remember the day the perky admissions counselor told my child and I, to our faces, that LEADERSHIP was the “single, most important” quality sought out by University of Florida admissions. As a matter of fact, I made her repeat that. TWICE. She told us UF takes a “holistic” approach to incoming freshmen candidates, further stating “we weigh leadership much heavier than grades or standardized test scores.” She even cited an example of a candidate who had a B average (the average GPA of incoming freshmen is roughly 4.3) and borderline ACT scores, but showed leadership and a ridiculous amount of volunteer hours. So that’s exactly what we took away from our TWO visits to the UF campus. Our child began roadmapping her life story. Her foundation was being accepted to UF.

And that’s where the shit hit the fan.

Our kid did everything right. Worked hundreds of volunteer hours in a field related to her desired major. Busted ass and took advanced placement courses rather than the regular ones. Achieved a 4.4 GPA. Became the head honcho of a desirable extracurricular activity. The kid did everything exactly to the letter of what Ms. Perky told her to do.

And all my kid got was an apology e-mail from UF. Two other students, one of whom had zero intention of going to UF (she just wanted “the letter for her scrapbook”), with similar grades, LESS volunteer hours, and ZERO leadership flaunted their acceptance letters in front of my bawling child. All that hard work for naught.

But what troubles me the most is the blatant lies from that asshole Ms. Perky.

Our kid is not a strong standardized test taker. Many future leaders are not. I wasn’t either, and I am now a published author, the CEO a company, and on the board of two others. Several schools are now realizing introverted test-takers don’t always become successful or make the best philanthropists. Apparently, UF doesn’t subscribe to that school of thought.

It also didn’t help that my kid is Caucasian. This is probably the worst time in history to be white. The two acceptees were both African-American. It is insane that public organizations still give people extra points simply for the color of their skin.

The moral of this story is everyone lies. Admission counselors are horrible people. The single most important advice I can give regarding college admissions is to send your kids to Kaplan for SAT and ACT prep if college is in their future, and pretend you’re a minority of some sort. It’s better to spend your money on prep and makeup rather than depression meds.

FU, UF. I just bought a voodoo spell on Fiverr and wished fast-moving brain cancer to the entire UF admissions department. Enjoy your chemo, bitches.

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Scholarshits.

It’s too much work. I won’t get one anyway. You have to be Einstein, or Indian to get a scholarship – I’m too white.

Listen, if your kid is going to waste four (or more) years and countless thousands of dollars attending classes that will teach her or him next to nothing she’ll use in the real world, you might as well attempt to get some other sap to pay for part of it.

There are so many different types of scholarships. Most folks are misinformed and stand a much better chance than they think of qualifying for dozens of scholarships. There’s lots more scoop about scholarships and even a free college scholarship search available at Scholarships.com. Here are some of their best tips:

You don’t have to wait until your senior year to apply for scholarships. Many scholarships have deadlines in January, so the sooner you begin the more you will have a chance at winning.

Scholarships are not only for top scholars and athletes. There are many scholarships that do not take grades or athletic ability/participation into consideration whatsoever and some, while they do consider your GPA, the minimum may be 2.5.

You don’t have to be a great essay writer to get a scholarship. It’s more about what you write than how well it is written. Following instructions and addressing the essay question is often more crucial to your success than how eloquently you write.

It is ALWAYS worth the effort no matter how much the scholarship is for! You might spend an hour or two on a scholarship that’s worth $1,000. That’s equivalent to earning $500 an hour! And that’s money you won’t have to pay exorbitant interest on for the next 30 years. Many kids apply and receive several small scholarships, and that adds up!

There are scholarships for minorities and those with documented financial need, but there are also many scholarships that don’t take either of those into consideration. A great way to find out what scholarships you qualify for is to complete a profile on Scholarships.com and let US match the scholarships for YOU based on who you are and what your interests, talents and academic credentials are.

Many of those applying for scholarships have a bad attitude or don’t take the time to properly read or follow the rules and answer the questions correctly. Go into it with the right frame of mind and you could be one of a small pool of applicants who are considered. Apply for as many scholarships as you can and you are bound to win something, provided you make sure to do everything you are asked and follow all of each scholarship provider’s instructions.

There are scholarships that go unawarded each year. However, it’s hard to know how much the unawarded scholarships are worth. Scholarship scammers claim there are billions of dollars in free money to convince you to use their paid service. NEVER pay to find financial aid for college. You can find most of the real opportunities for free online. The best way to begin is search Facebook for local groups, charities, and organizations, and call or e-mail them to see what’s available. Check with the bigger companies in your area, since most of them offer some sort of scholarships. And ask the schools you’re interested in, because they too offer scholarship assistance.

But just don’t skip the opportunity and not try at all – that’s what most other people do. You’re a responsible parent who wants your child to succeed, right? RIGHT? Do the right thing.

First Strike: Amnesty.

She said she was walking around the lake blowing off some steam. We can dig that. After all, it’s hard being an unemployed 17-year-old high school senior. Today’s kids have so much to worry about. Instead of helping Mom and Dad milk the cows, feed the chickens, gather vegetables for dinner from the farm’s garden, or fetch water from the family well a few acres away, teens today are tasked with regurgitating biased textbook word barf, and then updating Instagram or Snapchat with a clever (usually not-so-clever) pun, selfie, or exhibitionist video. It’s a lot to ask.

It wasn’t the walk, or the steam-blowing that was the problem. When Mom came home early today, the front door was unlocked. Mom walked outside and called her daughter, getting the “walking around the lake” story. Since Mom couldn’t see her angel anywhere around the lake in front of her home, Mom wondered exactly which lake her daughter was walking around. A few minutes later, after ignoring Mom’s frantic phone calls, daughter was dropped off around the corner from a certain red automobile, and scurried home, all within the view of Mom’s perch on the second floor.

Oops.

Of course, daughter freaked out and denied everything. She had never been caught red-handed, so an adolescent overreaction was apropos. As that great philosopher Greg House once said, everyone lies. And eventually, everyone gets caught.

Mom was understandably pissed. She immediately collected her daughter’s smartphone, tablet, and car keys. That’s exactly the damage control any parent should do the moment her kid goes AWOL. Collect all the information you can, assess the situation, then issue a punishment that fits the crime.

Mom thought about it for a while, her mind racing a million miles a minute imagining all the other times that might have been untruths. Wondering what her baby was doing in some random red car with some strange boy. Pondering the potential effects of her daughter’s actions and how they might derail her education, and possibly life. And considering that dingleberry left the front door unlocked potentially endangering the rest of the fam, something had to be done to use this experience to teach a powerful lesson. Never scorn Mom.

It was her first offense – that Mom knew about, anyway. If the punishment was too drastic, Mom risked completely losing her daughter’s trust. She thought she could better use this snag as a teaching opportunity – to explain the dangers of riding with boys; the responsibility of teenage pregnancy; the permanency of sexually transmitted diseases; the opportunity cost of derailing from that 4.5 GPA she worked so hard to achieve; and how stupid it is to leave a front door unlocked in today’s crazy world. Mom knew she couldn’t let her daugher slide, but maybe a first strike shouldn’t be punished so harshly.

She offered her daughter amnesty – an opportunity to spill her guts, tell Mom all the other times she may not have been honest, and get everything out there in the open – all with no fear of retribution or severe punishment. Surprisingly, her daughter complied.

Mom gave back the phone, her tablet, and her keys. But she also let her daughter know she was grounded for a week or two. She now would have to let Mom know where she was going, when she was going, and when she’d be back. And perhaps the worst was knowing that Mom was keeping an extra special close eye on her.

Punishment through enabling.

My ex and I divorced in 2005, ostensibly because she “didn’t want to be married anymore.” She woke up one day and changed her mind after nine years of marriage, I suppose. I didn’t ask any questions. I appreciated her honesty. Over about a year or two travelling with a slimy outside mostly male sales team, she had become someone else. She was absolutely no fun anymore. Didn’t want to hang out. Didn’t want to party. Didn’t want to spend nearly two years of sleepless nights with her infant son. After our divorce, I signed a quit-claim deed to my house (and all the money I invested in it) and started over. That woman gleefully rubbed salt in the wound by giving away my furniture and other belongings to her sister while I was standing in her living room. Never once asked if I wanted any of my stuff back. For various reasons, one in particular that was the most selfless thing I’ve ever done, I bit my tongue and let it go. Figured I’d come from nothing once before, so how hard could it be to do it again? Inevitably, due to me rushing to catch up financially and the simultaneous economic downturn in the mid-2000s, I ended up in bankruptcy court. I should be angry as hell, but I’m not. That experience spawned three or four books, including the one you just bought.

Our son was about four and some change when the poo hit the fan. He was too young to realize what was happening, so I hoped this change would be fairly transparent. Mom was never home anyway, opting to stay in a hotel less than 45 minutes away on some nights even before I realized my marriage was in trouble. Yeah, that was weird, but whatever. We both agreed that we would remain friendly and work together in the best interest of our son no matter what.

I suppose Mom changed her mind once again.

It’s not that she’s not a good mom – she, like millions of other parents, is inexperienced. Mom doesn’t really pal around with anyone who has raised teenage kids. As a matter of fact, from what I know, most of my son’s mother’s current friends are strangely childless. By deduction, I can assume with a high degree of confidence that she has absolutely no parental role models or support system. Even if she did, she’d probably ignore them being her hard-headed self.  I had briefly helped raise a girl with another psycho mother who’s quickly crashing and burning. At least I had a little experience in what not to do. My son’s mom completely ignores any and all of my parental wisdom. I offered to let her read my first parenting book not to remedy her mistakes, but to hopefully make her a bit more objective. She has refused on several occasions. I suppose that’s to be expected. This woman is flying completely blind.

Mom has told me a number of times she hated her childhood. Her parents made her take music lessons, and she dreaded the days her tutor came over. Made such a fuss her parents eventually gave up. Ironically, her father was an accomplished guitar player. Her parents made her wait a year until she was seventeen before she could get her learner’s permit – not so much because she wasn’t ready to drive, but to delay the onslaught of the exceedingly high adolescent car insurance premium. And her mom and dad didn’t allow her to date until she graduated high school. She believes that caused her first crash and burn the summer after high school because she didn’t have any relationship experience. Ironically, she turned out to be a responsible adult, making some serious bank with a big company and a 401k. Apparently, her parents parented perfectly. She can’t seem to see that fact.

Against my better judgment, my son has been allowed to skip the camaraderie and musical intelligence offered by high school band. She calls them “geeks” and says he should strive to hang out with the “cool” kids (you know, the pot-smokers and losers who’ll be used car salesman in a few years). She overruled my objection to his getting a learner’s permit at age 15, accelerating his path to full licensing (and unsupervised freedom). She mentioned she has already saved for his new car. Now, he’s bugging me to drive, and I look like a jerk because I insist I want him to wait. And at her largely unsupervised house, she has already allowed the parental sin of allowing teenage girls to hang out in his bedroom. I’m sure you can see the problem there. I’m the bad guy again because I forbid that in my home. That ditzy teenage chick Facetimes my son a dozen times a day, and thankfully, he ignores her as far as I can tell. Mom says they’re “just friends.” I have asked her if she had any idea how many “friends” have ended up as unwitting teen parents, but as always, she ignores me.

Anyone with any normal common sense will see this kind of shit makes it impossible for anyone to parent effectively. He’s going to take the path of least resistance because his mother will basically let him do whatever he wants. Eventually, he’ll stop coming to my home because I have too many rules, and Mom’s place will be more like a frat house. Children need structure and limits. She uses a wrecking ball to destroy any limits I attempt to impose.

I have attempted to have several adult conversations with her to address my concerns. It’s difficult to get a word in edgewise, as I’ll be forced to listen to a constant stream of irrelevant babble that she repeats in different words several times. Seriously, this has got to drive her co-workers absolutely nuts. I’ll say something, attempting to make a point, yet I know she’s not hearing me. She won’t shut up long enough to let me develop a complete thought. I’ve begun to filter her droning out too. We’re at a communication impasse.

And now that her Dad has passed on, she now treats her mother like a child. I can’t believe how she talks to her mother. What’s even more unbelievable is how her mother just takes it. It’s like she’s scared of her daughter. She ain’t that big, come on! As a matter of fact, it seems she has more rules for her mother than she does for her son. Honestly, short of 60 million people voting for a reality TV personality as leader of the free world, it’s one of the strangest fucking things I have ever seen.

My kid’s mom is simultaneously punishing me, her parents, my stepkids, the United States of America, the planet Earth, and her own child – for God knows what – by enabling him. Somewhere in her mind, she incorrectly believes that her 15-year-old wildman son is exactly like she was when she was 15, nearly three decades ago. Maybe she thinks he would suffer the same way she did if he had to wait for anything she had to wait for. Different gender. Different music. Different pastimes. Different situation. Different everything. Any reasonable person knows the sure path to parental failure is leaving a child to his or her own devices and catering to his or her every whim. Ask almost any heroin addict. Yet, thousands of idiot parents are making these huge, life-affecting mistakes as a result of pure parental inexperience.

Here in Florida, you need a license to drive, cut hair, or fill vending machines. However, there are zero classes, tests, licenses, or requirements to raise another human being. And with neighborhoods disintegrating, church groups shrinking, schools losing their ability to discipline, and society in general becoming lost in fake news delivered by the latest social media star, I wonder how any of us can avoid an idiotic future.

She’s attempting to buy her son’s love with gifts and freedom. She always has. Mom has admitted “there’s no one else in my life, so why shouldn’t I be allowed to spoil him?” Because he has no incentive to work for anything, you nimrod! Life is hard. No one’s giving anything away in America, and the next four years will surely see things tighten up. Parenting is creating a foundation for work ethics. For expectations. For an example of the kind of good parent he should be someday. She is creating a child with unreasonable expectations, throwing me and my lessons under the bus as fallacies. I have observed this exact same behavior with other parents, both single and married, several times, and it has never once ended well. Not one single time.

He is 15 now, and already pretty set in his ways. If there isn’t some sort of parenting intervention in the next year or two, my own son may join the ranks of unemployable idiots. And that would break my heart.

Common Sense, not Common Core.

The United States of America, one of the greatest nations in the history of our planet, has reached a tipping point. Sixty million of its citizens willfully voted for a populist narcissist with no political experience in hopes he will make America great again, mostly through clever positioning, racism, extortion, and bullying. The fundamental problem is those sixty million people have no critical thinking ability. That is entirely our fault, fellow citizens. We have failed as parents, as neighbors, as priests, as politicians, as teachers. The next four years will certainly embrace this failure and masquerade it as success, which makes solving this problem even more daunting. Unfixed, this single issue may unearth the cornerstone of America’s greatness.

Before you pull the race card, know that a large majority of those sixty-plus million people were white. Think segregated. Rural and suburban. Entitled through dirt poor. Common Core or not. And every single one of them horribly misguided for one reason or another. You can’t pin this problem on the inner cities, folks. Proof-positive American education is experiencing a long-term wide-scale systematic failure.

Common Core was flawed from its onset. Textbook manufacturers support powerful lobbyists who push political candidates that support enriching their already health bank accounts. Business runs education in this nation. And until we change that, we will keep shoving useless information down our children’s throats until they regurgitate it as well as they can, pass to the next grade, and forget it almost immediately. I am a learned individual, and I cannot remember the last time I referred to zygotic meiosis, I have never quoted anything from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and I have never in my life found it necessary to multiply polynomials. In a poorly executed attempt to make our children well-rounded, we are wasting precious years of our kids’ lives preaching useless information dictated by a fascist business entity. Children are confused, bored, and uninspired, and leave high school with little to no relevant life skills. Common Core or not – American education is a terrible failure.

Education is mandated by the states, not the federal government. So why aren’t states recognizing and fixing this magnificently flawed system?

One of the wonderful perks of a capitalist society are the sublime studies commissioned via pork barrel spending. If you’re a typical American student, you might not have been taught that “pork barrel” is the appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative’s district, included as hidden or footmark items on completely unrelated bills to ensure legislative votes. It’s a neat way to pay your friends with my tax dollars. Examples of this sort of wasteful stupidity include the U.S. government spending $750,000 on a new soccer field for detainees held at Guantanamo Bay; between 16 and 20 million dollars helping students from Indonesia get master’s degrees; $175,587 to determine if cocaine makes Japanese quail engage in sexually risky behavior; $200,000 on a tattoo removal program in California; and $3 million to researchers at the University of California at Irvine to fund their research on video games such as World of Warcraft. Yes, folks, truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Yet, no commission or study I am aware of has been funded to measure and test an alternative curriculum based on life skills and critical thinking right here in America. Someone doesn’t want this problem fixed.

I too thought Charter Schools would be the answer. Charter Schools were created with a theory that since they’re in a smaller boat, they could change things with less resistance, perhaps as an experiment to test and prove new concepts to the larger school systems. However, the more I learn about charter schools, I realized many of these too were set up by people with financial motives. What has happened now is we have effectively doubled or even tripled the number of vendors who now serve education, and we have run into the same or even more resistance we experience with a larger system. And nothing has changed.

Some folks believe change begins with finding better teachers. There is some truth to that, but the fundamental problem is the curriculum. Our daughter’s first period was Algebra 2. We coaxed her into taking the honors class since that was what the admissions folks at the University of Florida recommended we do. I hoped that since it was an honors class, the teacher would also be on top of her game. Wishful thinking. Our daughter is stuck with some prim and proper Southern Belle who panted about her class being nine days behind while begging parents to bring in more Lysol wipes and dry-erase markers. I couldn’t help but tune her out as I glanced at her bulletin boards that were filled with elementary school posters recommending students wash their hands when returning from the bathroom and use their “16-inch voices” to avoid disrupting the class as she droned on about the dean’s office being right across the hall. She bragged about her college basketball team once beating Michael Jordan’s while casually mentioning she is flying there to attend a game this weekend. It was then I realized this woman was locked in la-la land. She has absolutely no concept of the real world because she has never done anything else but attend school and teach. Our “A” student daughter has complained about this teacher being ineffective. She currently is failing this class. Regardless of Algebra in general being a useless life skill for 99% of the children who are forced to learn it, I am confident Ms. Belle is the problem here.

During second period, we visited a fairly spiffy lab for our daughter’s advanced placement chemistry course. This teacher had a couple masters’ degrees, two decades of experience working in a paper mill, and once ran a materials lab for an automobile manufacturer in Detroit. She was very sharp. Our kid enjoys the teacher’s real-life stories as applied to their lessons. She has a 94 average in this class, which to me, seems much more difficult than Algebra 2 honors.

I discovered night school about midway through my own college experience. After running out of money twice and being forced to sit out a semester here and there, I found a day job that would contribute to my college fund. What I found was most of the night school professors also worked real jobs during the day, most in the industry in which they were teaching. The most fascinating teacher I’ve ever had was a local district attorney who peppered our constitutional law class with real-world stories. I’ve also had the good fortune of sitting in classes with a few retired or ex-CEOs, cops, nurses, and scientists. These folks were there not because they needed the money — they simply wanted to teach.

I don’t necessarily agree with the old saying “Those who can’t do, teach.” We have met several excellent career teachers who have a certain charismatic chutzpah. Unfortunately, these teachers seem to be the minority. People who have ventured out of academia have a better insight into what works in communication via practical application of knowledge. Those who return seem to be more ready to effectively pass on that knowledge.

Not everyone was cut out to teach. I’m not sure how we got here, but we don’t appreciate or reward great teachers in this great nation. It’s not supposed to be a fallback position — teaching needs to be the single most lauded profession in the world. Perhaps teaching should be the aspiration of those in the working world. Elevated perks and salaries should be reserved for those who can offer enrichment and enlightenment to our children.

Our current K-12 curriculum is disastrous. It’s dated and irrelevant. We force all children to learn the same things at the same rates, which hinders some from moving at a faster pace and hurts those who simply don’t have an aptitude for certain subjects. First, we must collectively fix the curriculum. I’m working on that now. It has to begin somewhere.

Once the curriculum makes sense, there are two ways to fix education. The first would be to increase teacher salaries to attract the best and brightest to inspire children to learn the revised curriculum. Unfortunately, for many pretty stupid reasons (outrageous textbook costs, lopsided tax rates, contractual mismanagement), states can’t seem to find the funds to make this a possibility. And since the founding fathers neglected to include education as a constitutional right, the federal government is more involved in funding political favors and buying things that kill people.

The second method can work, we can do it right now, and it would save a fortune. Find the best and brightest teachers we already have – the most inspiring and enlightening people who have dedicated their lives to education – and digitally record their classes. Think a TED conference. Those lessons would be rebroadcasted in current classrooms nationwide, with current teachers acting as proctors and tutors. Kids get the inspiration they need, the required information sticks better, and teachers learn what works – ultimately making them better teachers.

Recorded lessons would be freely available online, available for review by current students, parents, or even adults who might be interested in a refresher course.

Regarding the ridiculous cost of textbooks held ransom by three large “not for profit” companies, the federal government would have the select teachers along with handpicked specialists author all-original national textbooks. An impartial committee of educators, industry experts, psychologists, and parents would then edit and evaluate these textbooks, resulting in a compilation of ideas that works, which would then be distributed electronically for free.

To make America great again, we need to begin with our children right now. We’ve lost several generations of Americans who are set in their ways and will not change. But kids are still moldable. And it’s up to us, the other sixty-two million, to ensure America doesn’t continue its slide into obscurity, or failure. It’s not too late, but we’re coming dangerously close. It all begins with a little common sense.