Saturday, February 7, 2009

Education/TBAR: the Billionaire Project and the Texas 4x4

Texas needs more billionaires. Money is power, and the children of Texas must acquire power, influence, and a plan to set their own destiny so their future is not destroyed by the politicians in Washington.

The children of Texas need an elective course in high school on starting and growing a business. But we need to think big. We need to provide growth paths for different size businesses. They need to understand what it takes to grow a business to become comfortably wealthy, to become a millionaire, and to become a billionaire. These are different paths.

There is so much our children need to know about business. They need to learn about sole proprietor businesses and the different types of corporations. They need to hear about contracts, lawyers and accountants, bank loans, business plans, venture capital, going public versus staying privately held, and they need to hear about common pitfalls and swindles. There are plenty of billionaires in Texas history who lost their wealth.

(You might enjoy the book review in the Wall Street Journal, Wednesday February 4, 2009, "Piles of Green from Black Gold" by J. Lynn Lunsford, a review of "The Big Rich" by Bryan Burrough. This book is about Texas oil men.)

Our children need to be warned about what Walter Lippmann called "the invisible environment" of business. Our children need to be warned about the corruption that can accompany great wealth, and they must have sufficient moral and historical education to survive the perils to the soul from great wealth. The Texas business community needs to think of the big picture: the future of Texas will be in the hands of our children, so we must educate them for success and provide them with a Texan "invisible environment" to aid their success.

A high school course cannot teach everything one needs to succeed in business, but it can give road maps to different paths in business and point the way for further investigation.

Making money is a talent like making music. Some people have a gift for making money, but everyone can be taught the basics. If more of our children are exposed to the ways of business, those with the talent to make money but not born into a family that teaches the ways of business will have a better opportunity to make use of their talents.

This intersection of education and business is a good way for the Texas business community to contribute practical knowledge to help the schools prepare an elective course on Entrepreneurial Business. This Billionaire Project can contribute to a Texas Business Renaissance.

Now our children's electives are being squeezed out of existence by the Texas State Legislature. Here is a link to a short presentation on the Texas 4x4 program, here is a link to a longer presentation, and here is a link to an Op-Ed piece by Cara Mendelsohn of Plano. Go to the website for the Texas State Legislature, find out who represents you and email or write them to abolish the Texas 4x4. Our state legislators are trying to educate our children for a world that no longer exits. They are like obsolete generals trying to fight the last war instead of today's war.

Our children need a better education than they receive now if they will succeed in the difficult future facing them. Our children must have a better understanding of economics, finance, and business because that is the battlefield of today. We must educate them to win the battle.

Robert Canright

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