A high school in England has outlawed the wearing of expensive coats by students. They say it “stigmatizes” the students whose families cannot afford the nicer coats. Others call it “poverty shaming”.
Is this really true?
Such a policy assumes that children are fragile and incapable of accepting the truth: that some individuals and families have more money than others. It’s not just how much money you have. Some individuals and families prioritize spending on clothes, while others prioritize other items, or perhaps saving.
You can’t alter these basic facts merely by outlawing more expensive coats and clothes.
Such a policy prepares young adults for a world that doesn’t exist. By high school, most young adults already know it. Different professions pay different incomes. Clerical workers don’t make as much as plastic surgeons. Game-changing technological discoveries merit more pay than insurance sales or garbage collection. That’s just how it goes. Britain is not a totally free market society (nobody is today), but it’s not a totally socialized or Communist society, either (at least not yet).
It’s ludicrous beyond words to think you can fool high school students into “unknowing” the self-evident. And the real question is: Why should they try?
Policies like these are nothing more than virtue-signaling. It’s a way for foolhardy “educators”, politicians and other hacks to make it look like they’re holier than thou. It’s a manipulative challenge. “What? You don’t like my proposal? You mean you’re in FAVOR of children having their feelings hurt? What kind of sadist are you?”
It’s a metaphor for so much else that’s wrong throughout the advanced world. Small numbers of idiots foist their untenable and incredibly stupid ideas on the rest of us. In order to avoid conflict, or perhaps because many of us fall for their manipulative tactics, we let them get away with it.
What a sick and twisted message to send young people. It’s telling young people, “We’re going to lie to you and pretend everything is other than the way it is.” It disparages reality, it puts down capitalism and it probably causes already brainwashed little socialists-to-be into thinking even more cynically about the “oppressive system” they’re about to inherit.
And maybe that’s the whole point.
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