GOP lawmaker: No need to fund education because ‘Socrates trained Plato on a rock’
Virginia Representative Dave Brat (R) argued against money for secondary and higher education because ancient Greek philosophers didn’t need government funding to do their jobs, ThinkProgress‘ Will Ragland reports.
“I’ve taught for the past 18 years at the college level, and before got a Masters and Ph.D. and all that,” Rep. Brat began. The greatest thinkers in Western civ[ilization] were not products of education policy.”
“Socrates trained Plato on a rock,” he continued. “Then Plato trained Aristotle, roughly speaking, on a rock.”
“So, huge funding is not necessary to achieve the greatest minds and the greatest intellects in history. With that said, we do face huge challenges.”
Those challenges were, for Brat, less about education and more about economics. “You have kids coming out of the high school system, and if you ask them what a business is, we’d be challenged to get a good answer,” he said.
“Our kids do compete against India, China, et cetera, right now in a global economy and we’re not winning. Economics is a ‘win-win’ thing. It’s not that China and India should lose — we can all get together and get rich together, so it’s a ‘win-win’ thing.”
“I think if we really want to do better,” Rep. Brat said, “we ought to get private sector folks into every one of our schools, get the CEOs in the schools and move beyond this just narrow policy debate and really have a revolution. I haven’t heard anything revolutionary coming from the other side.”
“Or kids don’t know what a business is when they graduate from high school,” he concluded, “and they need to know that.”
Watch all of Rep. Brat’s comments below via YouTube.