Poverty Is Not An Accident

Dear Reader,

Ask yourself this: Who controls education, and who determines what is taught in our schools?

In 1903, John D. Rockefeller created the General Education Board. There was much controversy about why he created this organization. Some people say he created it to improve education. Others say he did so to hijack the educational system of the United States.

While heist and hijack are not the same words, they have similar meanings.

Around the same time, another of the Robber Barons, Andrew Carnegie, promoted his Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It seems both Rockefeller and Carnegie were working to influence the American educational agenda to direct what students were taught in school.

What Was Their Agenda?

While some people will say Rockefeller and Carnegie were working for the good of our children, others say exactly the opposite. In my search, I came across reports written 60 to 100 years ago—inflammatory reports from credible people—reports that were hard to believe. What they accused Rockefeller and Carnegie of orchestrating, and the words they used, are best not repeated.

Today, looking back on those reports with decades of hindsight, there does seem to be some validity to their concerns. Those most critical of Rockefeller and Carnegie accused them of wanting to break the American spirit—and using the education system to do so.

Americans are individuals who left their countries of birth for freedom from oppression and for the opportunity of a better life—a shot at the American Dream. This made the DNA of Americans too strong, too independent, and too ambitious to be subservient to the rich and powerful.

Those critical of Carnegie and Rockefeller believed that before the rich and powerful—people like Rockefeller and Carnegie—could gain further control over Americans and the wealth of America, the American spirit had to first be weakened, that Americans had to be made dependent upon the government for financial support.

This Is Why There Is No Financial Education In Our Schools

My book Rich Dad Poor Dad is really about my poor dad. My poor dad is a metaphor for the inadequacy, obsolescence, and delusion of modern education’s inability to prepare students for the real world.

I have asked millions of people, countless times, “What did school teach you about money?” The answer is usually a blank stare, or statements like “I studied economics,” or “I learned to balance a checkbook.” Sorry, but economics and balancing a checkbook are not the same as learning about money. Every time I ask what someone learned in school about money, it is meant to be a spear directed into the heart and soul of modern education.

When it comes to the cause of financial poverty, it is those few, short words—“I can’t afford it”—that keep people poor … and keep people small. If a person cannot change those words into the question

“How can I afford it?”

They will always live in financial poverty, no matter how much money they may make.

The other day, a friend’s wife asked me, “Where are you going this year?”

I said, “This year I will be in Australia, Japan, Africa, and Europe.”

She replied, “I wish I could do that … but I can’t afford it.”

And that is the problem with going to school. Without real financial education, most people spend their lives saying things like:

“I can’t afford it.”

“You can’t do that.”

“I wish I could do that.”

By investing a little time every day to learn the words of money, you have a better chance of being a part of the 10 percent—the vital few. More important, by learning the words of money, you will lessen your chances of being fooled by the false prophets of money—the same false prophets who advise you to save money, buy a house, get out of debt, and invest for the long term in a well-diversified portfolio of mutual funds.

The good news is that it does not cost much to teach kids the vocabulary of money; no massive increase in educational funding is necessary—just some common sense. If schools simply taught students the language of money, financial struggle and poverty would be reduced. If more kids learned the language of money, there would be more entrepreneurs who would create new jobs, instead of the government trying to create jobs.

Disempowering Education

As stated earlier, most of our greatest universities were started by and funded by robber barons, men like John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Leland Stanford, and Cecil Rhodes.

Their interest in education was fueled by their need to find the best and brightest students, educate them, and train them to work for them—employees who would do their bidding, but entrepreneurs or innovators who would compete against them.

As Bucky Fuller once said, the reason the robber barons founded the country’s greatest universities was to look for the best and brightest minds, and teach them to be Es (executive employees) or Ss (specialists such as lawyers and accountants) who would work for the rich, but not be a rich person in the B or I quadrants.

That may be why our greatest entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of great schools. Apparently, they were not receiving the education they needed: education for the B and I quadrants.

The Power of Education

Real education should empower you to do anything you want to do. If you want to become a doctor, go to medical school. If you want to be a pilot, go to flight school.

If you want to learn to be rich … where do you go? That is the power of real education.

The problem is that most people leave school, disempowered. Many leave the educational system hating school. When they run into something they cannot do, they say, “I can’t do that.” Just like the limiting thoughts that trigger statements like “I can’t afford that” or “You can’t do that.” Rather than seek real education and real teachers, they close their minds—and their options.

If our educational system offered and delivered real financial education and real spiritual education, our leaders would not get away with printing fake money or selling fake assets.

There is nothing more important than real education—academic, professional, spiritual, and financial education. All are important today.


Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily

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Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki, author of bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad as well as 25 others financial guide books, has spent his career working as a financial educator, entrepreneur, successful investor, real estate mogul, and motivational speaker, all while running the Rich Dad Company.

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