Home > Uncategorized > Here’s An Idea for Wisconsin: Require Legislators to Pass a Financial Literacy Course!

Here’s An Idea for Wisconsin: Require Legislators to Pass a Financial Literacy Course!

I read Paul Gores’ article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel calling for a mandatory high school course in personal finance with a mixture of cynicism and disbelief. The Wisconsin legislature, like that of Kansas and several other states led by the GOP, develops its budget based on the magical thinking of supply side economics… a budgeting method that has repeatedly failed to generate the revenues needed and consequently led to the decimation of effect government functions. Now this high-minded and fiscally inept group wants to require that all Wisconsin high school students demonstrate a sound understanding of personal finance concepts “…such as credit, compound interest and budgeting.” And the bill has widespread support in the finance industry:

The bill has the backing of the state Department of Financial Institutions, which has long been an advocate for efforts to incorporate personal finance education in schools.

DFI spokesman George Althoff said the department’s Office of Financial Literacy, working with Gov. Scott Walker’s Council on Financial Literacy and many public and private-sector stakeholder groups, “is committed to measurably improving the financial capabilities” of Wisconsin citizens.

I try not to be cynical… but I find it hard to imagine that the banks who profited from issuing toxic mortgages and continue to profit from the loans they issue to adults lacking a sound understanding of personal finance are sincere in providing a solid curriculum in that area. After all, if they WERE interested in doing so, they would provide that information before issuing any loans!

And as for the legislature: as noted above, their unrealistic forecasting of revenue flows should disqualify them from offering ANY mandates on personal finance.

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