Monday, February 2, 2009

MoneyLit Panacea?

"Shaping attitudes and skills about money shouldn't wait until a 17-year old takes a one-shot high school class.."

Gabrielle Gurley,"Utah's financial literacy requirement: State requires all high school students to pass a semester finance course," CommonWealth, Winter 2009.

It's trendy to address our economic woes through financial literacy courses. Financial education is cheap, common sense, and makes good sound bites. I'm all for it.

Unfortunately, "Lewis Mandell, senior fellow at..Aspen Institute...argues that there is no evidence that high school financial management courses...improve financial literacy."

The article buzzes past this small problem of evidence, "The payback...is priceless."

Tom Daschle and Tim Geitner illustrate the bigger problem: Changing financial behaviors requires a lifetime. Maybe all presidential appointees, elected officials, and bank CEOS should be required to take financial literacy classes. Shouldn't we start at the top?

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