The Problem With Education Today, by JS Kim

We will be introducing the SmartKnowledgeU SmartWealth Academy before the end of this year as an alternate and competitive education choice to not only all college and university business and all graduate MBA programs but also as an alternate choice to typical professional continuing education programs such as Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Financial Analyst programs, all of which we believe have very low utility in contributing to sound financial plans to cope with the ongoing Central Banking currency wars.


What is the SmartWealth Academy? The SmartWealth Academy is an online academy that I designed to make much of the current traditional business curricula taught in brick and mortar classrooms today entirely irrelevant. Education is one of the most important determinants of financial success in life. Yet, even though I attended an Ivy League university in America and earned two Masters degrees, an MBA and a Master in Public Policy, were I 18-years-old again and just entering college, I would quite happily choose to forego both my Ivy League university education and any knowledge I gained during the course of my two Master degrees. Why? Today, academia has devolved into much more of a business and a social conditioning lab experiment than an education lab that produces educated young men and women. I designed the SmartWealth Academy to return education back to a purpose that is has not served in over a century– preparing boys and girls, young men and young women, and adult men and adult women with all the requisite knowledge necessary to understand, cope with, and prosper from the extreme socioeconomic paradigm shifts we are experiencing today, a mission that traditional academia miserably fails to accomplish. Today, my understanding of financial markets is so superior to my level of understanding at the time I earned my MBA, that I now realize that no traditional schooling at all would have left me in a far better position to understand how global financial markets truly operated and how to truly preserve and build wealth during the course of my lifetime. Instead, I had to waste several years of my life just deprogramming myself from the ridiculous garbage I learned in my MBA program and to rid myself of the inflexible mindset that my professors had programmed into me before I could even truly start to learn the truths I am aware of today.


The dirty secret of the business academic world is that all the economic theory, marketing theory, accounting theory and statistical models they teach us in brick and mortar classrooms have very low utility in contributing to financial success later in life, though it certainly helps to provide for the multi-million dollar salaries of top University Presidents today. For example, the median earnings of alumni from my alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, was reported at $78,000 a year in 2015. Comparatively speaking, University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann raked in in over $2.8 million in salary in 2014, or about 36 times the median earning of a Penn graduate. This, despite, the fact that nearly all university business programs don’t reveal any relevant knowledge about the inner workings and mechanisms of asset prices in capital markets today, but instead still feed students that pay up to $100,000 a year for MBA degrees, outdated curricula and theory that no longer apply to a world that has radically changed due to technological developments such as dark pools and HFT algorithms that provide bankers with excessive competitive advantages not only over their clients, but also with advantages to conceal bankers’ theft from their clients. I have always conceded that degrees offering specialized knowledge in medicine, architecture, engineering, etc. are still valuable, but as far as traditional business degrees are concerned, I find little value in these bloviated, low-utility degrees.


In fact, more than five years ago, I wrote a 3-part series titled “The Astounding Failure of the US Educational System” and followed that series up with a 2011 article titled, “Everything I Learned About Succeeding in Business, I Learned Outside of the University Education System.”


Reactions of disdain from many business school professors regarding these series of articles only reinforced my belief that most professors working within the confines of traditional brick and mortar classroom business curricula were inflexible, set in their ways, and shut off to the possibility that they contributed very little to their students’ understanding of how today’s opaque financial markets truly operate.


I had concluded, after graduating from a top 15 MBA program in the US and a top 5 university, that the theory and case studies I learned in business school simply were not applicable to real world situations. Learning about the concepts of dark pools, high frequency trading algorithms, fractional reserve banking, the differences between sound money and unsound money, Central Bankers’ managed perceptions of asset price behavior, cognitive dissonance, and social conditioning, all topics that were self-taught outside the brick and mortar classrooms of business school, were integral in my ability to eventually free myself from the deceitful web of compliance and ignorance in which my traditional education had successfully entangled me. Albert Einstein once stated, “The value of an education … is not the learning of many facts, but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks.” (Source: Frank, Phillip. Einstein, His Life and Times. Boston: De Capo Press, 2002.) Unfortunately, all traditional universities have devolved into the learning of facts, and often, the teaching of facts that are not even facts. For example, even though I attended so-called top-tier universities, I later discovered that 95% of the “facts” I learned about the monetary system and about the gold standard in school was completely wrong. So not only were the “facts” I learned of zero utility, but they actually were harmful to my understanding of how finance and capital markets actually operate, because they were wrong.

A journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Mercedes Lynn de Uriarte, taught me one of my most valuable lessons in life at a young age. In my elective graduate-level journalism class, which consisted of a small group of about a dozen students, 11 of the 12 or so students always seemed to reach a consensus on most debated topics and would always jump all over the one student that had a differing opinion from the rest of us. Dr. Uriarte admonished all of us for ganging up on the one dissenting voice, pointing out that a room full of people with consenting opinions could often leave everyone blind, and that the one person that offered a dissenting voice was the most valuable person in the room. She lauded the one dissenting voice, right or wrong, for his was the only one that challenged the rest of us to exercise our brains, develop our critical thinking skills, and defend our positions on a regular basis. In fact, on the same day I posted this very article on my SmartKnowledgeU blog, ZeroHedge posted this video of a Yale University student, Jerelyn Luther, that literally screamed at a professor because she believed, of the professor, “It’s your job to create a place of comfort and home for the students”. Um, no it isn’t, confused student. If you truly believe that it’s the job of a professor to create a place of comfort and home for you, then you should have never pursued a learning experience and you should have just stayed within the sheltered confines and comfort of your parent’s home. The job of the professor, as so aptly pointed out by Dr. Uriarte, is to provide a learning environment that challenges, not coddles to, the comfort level of all students and develops their critical thinking skills.


If you take the time to examine the radical shifts happening in wealth distribution in every country in the world today, there is no doubt that something is fundamentally wrong with the pillars of capital markets, banking and money in every nation today. According to studies conducted by Oxfam, in 2010 the richest 388 people owned the same wealth as half of the entire world. By 2015, this number had shrunk to just 80 people. And by 2016, Oxfam has predicted, using current data, that the richest 1% of people will own the same wealth as the rest of the 7.3 billion people in the entire world. Obviously these massive disparities in wealth are not happening because of hard work. There is no way 1% of the entire world can hoard as much wealth as 7.3 billion people just by working hard, as some of the privileged recipients of this massive wealth redistribution cycle, like Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart, would have us foolishly believe.


So what does wealth inequality have to do with education and our SmartWealth Academy? Everything. If you don’t understand why every nation in the world is experiencing, by leaps and bounds, the worst wealth inequality in human history, it is precisely because the knowledge we learn in business-focused school programs is generally of very low utility, and often even very harmful, to our ability to build wealth. There certainly is a very organized effort by the banking and political class to mislead us about how stock markets, commodity markets, real estate markets and real estate markets actually work. I learned this very quickly after graduating from an MBA program and entering the global banking industry, when I learned that nothing operated in the real world as I was taught to believe it did during my immersion in my classroom “education” environment.


None of us will never learn the truth about how financial markets truly operate in any traditional academic classroom in the world, because the richest people in the world fund universities and colleges and they do not want us to learn these truths, because such truths plant the seeds of dissent, revolution and freedom. Most people do not even understand that Industrialists implemented mass institutional schooling during the Industrial Revolution in the late 1700s to early 1800s as a means to fulfill their need for a steady mass supply of obedient and compliant workers to fill their factories. If you realize that this was the original intent of mass schooling, then it becomes infinitely easier to connect the dots and not to rest on the false and hollow laurels of graduating from a top-tier school as one’s answer in ever debate as to why one is correct and one’s opponent is wrong. Unfortunately, most teachers today do not even realize that they are complicit partners in an academic system designed to strip away critical thinking skills and instead replace critical thought, ingenuity and creativity with blind obedience and compliance to authority. Of course, there are always outstanding teachers and gifted students that survive and flourish within the academic system despite its social conditioning goals of instilling blind obedience and compliance to authority.


No school should ever have a “gifted” program that separates students that teachers have identified as having more potential, from students that teachers believe to have less potential. Every teacher, if they were educating their students properly and encouraging the development of their critical thinking skills and creativity, would realize that every single one of his or her students is gifted, and they would not create a false and artificial distinction between “gifted” and non-gifted students. Universities often spit out students that think in alarmingly similar terms instead of producing students with a diversity of opinions, thoughts, and ideas. Though they exist, is indeed the rare student and rare teacher that successfully finds a way to overcome the extremely stifling limitations of traditional academic curricula to allow a student’s creativity to blossom. I have no doubt that if our high schools, universities, colleges and graduate programs encouraged real thought and education and fostered classroom environments that encouraged creativity and divergent thinking and allowed students to customize their own curricula that awakened their passions instead of killed them, that every year, universities around the world would graduate 100 Steve Jobs, 100 Elon Musks, 100 Jeff Bezoses, and 100 Herve Hoppenots. Instead, traditional brick and mortar academic institutions fail miserably today to educate and inspire us.


In many cases, the institutional academic institution stops innovation dead in its tracks at its most basic level, when it is just an idea, never granting this idea the room to breathe and blossom and crushing all dissent to an accepted consensus. Unfortunately, innovation does not grow from consensus or an accepted methodology, but rather from radical, unproven ideas and from the ether of the unknown, the unchallenged and the realm of the previously impossible. When new ideas and beliefs are ridiculed, instead of tested and explored, we wallow in stagnant waters that kill creativity and innovation. Far too often today, I have found people dismiss any idea that clashes with their own beliefs without giving any credence that this new idea may be correct. And traditional academic education is largely responsible for this inflexible, privileged mindset in which we fail to ever challenge our current beliefs as possibly being erroneous. Just read the comments on YouTube of the below embedded video, and I am almost certain that there will at least be a smattering of comments that proves that our academic system churns out inflexible mindsets that hate to be challenged.


As an illustration of this point, let’s briefly explore an article I wrote on my SmartKnowledgeU blog more than five years ago that academics, and especially university economic professors, absolutely ridiculed at the time I wrote it. Because I predicted economic conditions in America four years into the future back then, and it is now 5 years later, we can now determine, with the benefit of hindsight, if I was right or if the university economic professors were correct in ridiculing my sentiments, without exploring even the slightest possibility that they would be wrong and I would be right. Here is the link to my article, “Delaying a College Education in this Economy is the Right Choice”, so you can read this article for yourself if you would like to do so. In any event, during the time I wrote that article, in May of 2010, US President Obama and dozens of American university economic professors were stating that the US economic recovery was well on its way, following the 2008 economic crisis, referencing job creation reports, housing start data, and the recovering US stock market as “proof” that the job market would be outstanding for university graduates in just a few years.


In stark contrast to this delusional viewpoint, I analyzed the data that the President and economic professors were quoting to build their argument of a strongly recovering economy, found the “official” government data of key economic indicators they were using to be highly suspect and greatly manipulated to build a false narrative, and therefore concluded the following. Here is a direct quote from my 2010 article:


“Since college students are already likely to end up living back at home with their parents after they graduate, as the job horizon will appear no better in four years than it is today (unless you believe the drivel of government officials and economists), why not spend that time immersed in self-education of how the financial and monetary systems really work? In the process, students will save their parents tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, in tuition and save themselves the fate of being a sheep led to the slaughter by banking shills like Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman and Jeffrey Sachs. Furthermore, students will be much better prepared to face the ongoing global economic crisis from not only a financial perspective but also from an educational perspective.”

I recall giving a couple of public speeches about this topic in Asia in 2010, and I was again ridiculed by a few economic professors in attendance. There were also many that supported my viewpoint, but I want to emphasize that career academics were often the ones that most strongly opposed me and were the quickest to insist that my viewpoints were foolish and wrong. Their blind acceptance of “official” US data that produced a consensus view that the US economy was getting much better led to their vehement opposition of the points I made above. As I had already analyzed the “official” data, I informed them that the official data was highly manipulated to paint a picture that bankers and politicians wanted to sell the public, and I even offered to explain, by using unemployment and GDP statistics, of how greatly these official statistics were manipulated away from any version of reality.


Instead of being interested in my non-consensus view, these professors stated that my views were very dangerous, because they might actually succeed in convincing potential students to delay college for four years and prevent them from entering, in their words, what they were certain would be, “one of the best job markets in US history”. These professors scolded me and told me that I would be responsible for ruining these student’s lives by preventing them from being ready to take advantage of one of the best US job markets in recent history. In fact, these professors were extremely upset that I even dared to challenge their views, because they were the self-anointed “authority” in such matters. To counter their arguments, my advice was never for the students to sleep all day, lie in bed and watch Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and House of Cards during all of their waking hours. My advice was for students to forego a four-year traditional university education and to spend that time engaging in self-education, concentrating on the subjects that would serve them and enable them to thrive in a continuing poor economy. I guess these professors believed that they were the only ones capable of providing students with this type of real education, even though history has proven these types of professors to be very rare at any traditional institution of academia.


If these professors truly believed that the only classroom that mattered in a person’s educational life was a brick and mortar classroom, then they should not be teaching. Tell William Kamkwamba, a kid that grew up in a small Malawi African village that was completely off the grid, and who built 3 windmills from gathering adhesive from blue gum trees and foraging public dumps for PVC tubes, car and bicycle parts, that the only classroom that matters is a traditional one. For William Kamkwamba, the most important classroom was a virtual one that existed in his imagination. The 3 windmills young William built in the classroom of life have put his village on the grid today by generating enough electricity to light several light bulbs in his family’s house, power radios and a TV, charge his neighbors’ cellphones, and pump water for the village’s fields and homes. However, this was not only the case for William in his small village in Malawi, but this was most definitely the case for yours truly who attended an Ivy League university and top graduate programs. By far, the greatest amount of my real learning and valuable attained knowledge occurred outside, not inside of, the brick and mortar classroom.


Here we are 5 years later in 2015 and here are the facts regarding my so-called“dangerous” advice that I provided in 2010. According to data gathered by David Pasch of Generation Opportunity, a non-profit organization that promotes economic opportunity in America, “If you look at the numbers starting in 2009, we’ve been in the longest sustained period of unemployment since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began collecting their data following World War II. This misconception that [the millienial generation] doesn’t want jobs or that we’re lazy and entitled is nonsense.” Pasch states matter-of- factly that millennials are receiving lower earnings compared with the nation’s median income, versus people of that age a decade ago. If you simply watch our SmartKnowledgeU_Vlog_009: Why It’s Such a Struggle to Make Ends Meet, you will actually discover that the reality of lower earnings is actually much more horrifying than it appears to be on the surface. Pasch continues: “We find that because of the difficulties facing millennials, they are delaying these important life decisions, like getting married, buying a home, starting a family.” A 25-year-old young American woman who recently earned a master degree is waitressing and sharing an apartment with a friend in Washington, D.C., while looking for a job better suited to her qualifications. She told Newseek magazine “It’s hard. They don’t want to pay you extra for your master’s. There are enough people with master’s degrees that they can require them.”

The fact that my stance turned out to be correct and the stance of many academic professors in 2010 could have not turned out to be any more wrong speaks much more to the fact that the “knowledge” many economics professors are teaching in schools around the world today is simply wrong. Even worse than the fact that this knowledge will hurt the ability of the students they are teaching to survive our current global currency wars is the fact that these professors are typically inflexible to even the possibility that they could be wrong. Understand the right knowledge, and anyone, even a 6-year old, could have predicted the same things I correctly predicted back in 2010. Remain close-minded, and teach this same level of close-mindedness about economic concepts, and these professors will unfortunately lead their students down a path of ignorance and blind obedience to tyrannical authority in the future.


The staff at the Carnevale Center at Georgetown recently stated that having a high school degree used to be enough to make it into the middle class, but that the bar is being set much higher today. They state that today’s generation is “the first generation that needs to have a college degree and experience to compete, before they even enter the workforce.” I highly disagree with this statement. The younger generation does not need a college degree to compete at all. The younger generation does not need MORE institutional classroom education of low utility, but it is in dire need of the right education to compete. But it is not just the younger generation that is indeed of real knowledge to survive. The older generation also needs the right education to understand how to properly preserve and grow the wealth they’ve saved as we enter a period of time in which the top 0.1% of every nation is seizing the entire nation’s wealth for only themselves. The older generation needs the right knowledge to know how to compete in a system that is rigged against them from the very start.


It is for this very reason that I spent the past 10 years of my life designing the SmartWealth Academy to demonstrate to every student that he or she is gifted enough to accomplish whatever he or she desires in life, despite perhaps having been negatively reinforced multiple times as he or she passed through the academic system with the false notion that he or she was not smart enough. To learn more about our soon-to-be-launched SmartWealth Academy, how you can nominate a student for a free SmartWealth Academy scholarship, and win a free membership for yourself, please watch the video below.



please click on the image above to watch the video


About the Author: JS Kim is the founder and managing director of SmartKnowledgeU, a fiercely independent research, consulting and education firm focused on helping Main Street understand and avoid the fraud of Wall Street by exposing the fraud of the global banking industry. This year our fee-based services have managed to return positive yields ytd by strategically shorting gold and silver markets and US stock markets. Don’t forget to sign up for our free SmartKnowledgeU newsletter and subscribe to our SmartKnowledgeU YouTube channel to keep up-to-date with our market views.

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