Life of Fred Pre-Algebra II with Economics
I think this curriculum is kind of fun and quirky, and we liked the algebra course for my older son, and so far my daughter thinks Pre-Algebra part I is pretty good (for someone who dislikes math!).
But last week I was very concerned to find that the Economics part presents a very inappropriately biased view of economics and history (i.e., Civil War history--a very one-sided, misleading and seemingly politically motivated view of causes of the war).
The author makes judgement comments on concepts such as capitalism, competition, socialism, etc.--i.e., competition is "good," import taxes are bad, etc.--when he should simply be presenting the concepts and letting the readers judge for themselves. And since when was socialism a "political" system? I've always heard it was an economic system that could used under any government, including a democratic one--as it is widely recognized that the U.S. has a hybrid econmics system that includes elements of socialism. (Has the author never heard of Social Security, Medicare, highways, public libraries, national parks, corporate welfare, or government-funded workers such as police and fire fighters?) Such a biased view, no matter what our politics are, does not belong in a curriculum.
I want my children to be given a broader, more accurate picture and make the judgments themselves; I don't want the writer of a textbook to try to influence their politics with his opinions.
OTOH, my disappointment at this bias led to an educational discussion between my daughter and me. For example, we discussed how local workers and businesses are impacted by competition from overseas companies, which might not have minimum wage laws for their workers. We talked about how this could affect the workers themselves, and how in the past the lack of minimum wage laws often led to hard-working people living in dire poverty. And we discussed how taxes imposed on imports could also be viewed as unfair. So overall, it has prompted interesting discussion.