US public education: Bullshit to train stupefied work animals. Most ‘food’ is crap, campuses decrepit, students appropriately uninspired by bullshit (11 of 12)

“One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this… But we tend to take the situation for granted… (the bullshitter) does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up… (Bullshitters) continue making assertions that purport to describe the way things are but that cannot be anything except bullshit.”  ~ Princeton professor emeritus, Harry Frankfurt, 2005 Bestseller, On Bullshit

“[The] erroneous assumption is to the effect that the aim of public education is to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence, and so make them fit to discharge the duties of citizenship in an enlightened and independent manner. Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardised citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.” ~ H.L. Mencken, 1924

Think Nice’s brilliant 5-minute artistic frame for Professor Frankfurt (although there’s likely more to climate change than he mentions [and herehere]):

Stephen Colbert’s 2005 two minutes on truthiness as bullshit’s brother (embedding forbidden by Comedy Central).

This 12-part series addresses an overarching fact about public education: its design of intentional curricular lies of omission and commission to keep our children and the general public powerless, relatively stupid, and controlled work animals.

Importantly, I do not blame education professionals working in good-faith effort to produce high-quality learning from our children; public education exists in a matrix of control for ongoing empires that I’ll explain in detail within the series’ sections. That said, anyone truly educated in one’s field gradually discovers that public education is a ridiculous substitute for what’s most important to teach and learn. This is Emperor’s New Clothes obvious when pointed to, with this paper’s content including factual assertions that no counterarguments exist outside of shallow and misleading bullshit.

The 12 sections (links to be added as the series progress):

US public education: Bullshit to train stupefied work animals:


Most ‘food’ is crap, campuses decrepit, students appropriately uninspired by bullshit (11 of 12)

Three related topics to academics that contribute to public education being bullshit:

  1. So-called “food” served in most public schools is repulsive and not anything a rational and educated person would ever want to eat.
  2. Most school campuses suffer from “deferred maintenance” that causes decrepit conditions that communicate profound problems to our children.
  3. The entirety of academics, food, and facilities all produce uninspired children; appropriate to becoming work animals.

1: So-called “food”:

“Hungry children can’t learn. Malnourished children can’t think. We have to stop killing our kids with chemicals. We have to feed them real food… If we take one week off of war and diabetes costs, we can double the amount we spend to feed our children.”  ~ Chef Ann Cooper on public education school lunches

Please take two minutes to consider the quality of food served our children in this trailer for Lunch Hour:

My experience of teaching for 32 years is that low-income districts serve this kind of crap to our children. High-income districts demand and receive more choices. For detailed consideration, I recommend this excellent 12-minute TED talk on public school lunches with chef, Ann Cooper:

The excuse we receive for why we don’t provide better food is the same lie we’ve covered: we don’t have the money. Please refresh on our economics section to prove to yourself this is bullshit. Simply: we’re told we don’t have enough green pieces of paper (or computer digits) when we have the resources of high quality food, the labor, the demand for this outcome, and that this investment likely pays for itself multiple times in higher academic achievement, long-term productivity, and health costs in both short and long-term. When an infrastructure investment pays for itself (hard or soft infrastructure), that means economic performance is greater than cost, so overall prices fall. This means such investments, such as feeding our children healthy food rather than grossly unhealthy chemical-laden non-food, we have triple benefits: the improved outcome, higher-quality jobs, and falling prices.

Therefore, “feeding crap to our children in public schools is bullshit” is about as factually objectively accurate as one can state the condition, if one also wants to communicate with some artistic power.

Please know that I work with ~2,000 Advanced Placement Economics teachers on our Discussion Board, with related research presented to two international academic conferences (here, here), and have written ~700 articles since 2009. To date, there are zero refutations to this simple economic data we all teach: we should fully fund those investments that produce more economic output and quality of Life than cost. To fund this, government has authority to create debt-free money to directly pay for such infrastructure with the only real limits of resources and labor. Indeed, if we have a societal problem with unemployment (and we do), it’s really stupid to not fully employ our communities, upgrade infrastructure, and cause more purchasing power with falling overall prices.

This is a big deal that such public exposure to professionals has zero refutations, with game-changing implications for the power of these ideas to revolutionize public education quality. It also exists in a condition summarized in a quote attributed to Gandhi on his experience of arguing British invasion, colonial resource looting, and enforced dictatorship were OBVIOUSLY inconsistent with their stated goals of democracy and Christian values:

“First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. And then you win.”

The victory Gandhi points to is certain because all the facts are on your side, with your opponents having nothing but bullshit. This was recently restated by former Chief Economist for the IMF and current MIT economist, Simon Johnson, in complaint that the “too big to fail” banks will not debate obvious reforms because none of the facts are on their side.

As we come to the conclusion of our consideration of intentional bullshit in public education to reject uplifting our children to optimize their knowledge, skills, and engagement in the art and science of living better and better lives, please consider an obvious remedy: the “leaders” of both Left and Right arms of the one US political body must be arrested for their obvious crimes centered in lie-started illegal Wars of Aggression, looting the public, and constant lying to cover these crimes in bullshit.

I understand that statement might read harsh to some. But really, once you’ve verified I’m pointing to the most important objective data that anyone can verify (as a good teacher must), can you stand as an educated adult and NOT demand arrests given the literal Emperor’s New Clothes status of looting and lying War Criminals leading our children’s education??? You do remember (as one example from ~100) that the armed attack and invasion of Iraq in 2003 came after Saddam began trading oil for currencies other than US dollars, and was named O.I.L. (Operation Iraqi Liberation).

Just when were you planning to stop living as a work animal for these .01% imperialists?

I mean, if you have another rational option, I’m open to hear it. With respectful input for your answer, in my 40 years of civic activism with the last 20 strongly informed with about one hundred times the data I’ve shared in this article series, I haven’t found any colleague with another solution other than our own military and law enforcement organically organizing to arrest their own “masters” from their own Emperor’s New Clothes conclusions that they’re used as work animals for a rogue state empire.

But I’m just introducing that idea now. Back to our concluding points to prove our children are thrown into a bullshit public education environment.

2. Decrepit campuses communicate what to our children?

As I wrote on our section about physical education: “I volunteer to teach in low-income neighborhoods where the picture is very different. At our high school, there are abundant outdoor basketball courts, but with rusty baskets of different heights and bent at different angles, on courts with asphalt cracks everywhere and up to several inches wide, and zero baskets with a net. One could play soccer on our field, which suffers from dangerously uneven ground that my supervising duties have me conclude put the school district at risk for lawsuits over predictable injuries. The broken wooden stadium seating is a similar lawsuit risk. Connected to upkeep, at one supervision I had to report a deer carcass on the far end of the PE area that appeared to have been there for weeks. We have four tennis courts (insufficient to hold home matches for our teams) with weeds growing annually out of the cracks; our coach estimates the courts haven’t been resurfaced in 40 years. The nets are at different heights due to broken equipment, with the courts placed too close together for serious tennis without constant interruptions of balls coming onto the court. This school does not have an education fund.”

More details: the cracks in asphalt and cement are school-wide. The stairs on my particular building looked as if they had never been swept (and I mean never); I had to ask. My second floor entry isn’t properly graded, which forces me to sweep rainwater to keep about a 60 square foot area with depth of up to two-inches’ puddle from my room entry (this item is very low on the deferred maintenance list). The roof has continuous issues of leaking several times a year, with replacement ceiling panels also on deferred maintenance. The two whiteboards need to be replaced, but there’s no budget for it. That said, I do have a prime room because it’s one of only eight I know of with air conditioning.

The American Society of Civil Engineers’ latest report card on US infrastructure gives our schools a grade of “D”:

“State and local school construction funding continues to decline. National spending on school construction has diminished to approximately $10 billion in 2012, about half the level spent prior to the recession, while the condition of school facilities continues to be a significant concern for communities. Experts now estimate the investment needed to modernize and maintain our nation’s school facilities is at least $270 billion or more. However, due to the absence of national data on school facilities for more than a decade, a complete picture of the condition of our nation’s schools remains mostly unknown.”

The overall infrastructure grade for the United States is “D+”, with a total of “deferred maintenance” of ~$3.6 trillionThree minutes to consider the big picture of this problem:

While the great and game-changing news is that basic reforms in money and banking solve these funding lies we’re told, our children in most communities currently receive a strong communication that we’re not interested investing in their lives and futures beyond becoming work animals. The aesthetic result of ugly campuses also has a depressing effect, as you can imagine.

3. Appropriately uninspired students:

Every new school year, students are excited to return to the possibility for learning something to improve their quality of Life. This might be a function of their intellectual and physical growth independent of school, and lasts about a month. A component of my teaching is to validate what students’ sense: school is not designed to empower them with the best knowledge, growth in virtue, and practice to solve real-world problems. This is easy to prove with a little inquiry into the topics we’ve discussed in this article series.

Therefore, I factually and professionally assert to my students, anyone educated will discover the gap between what’s most important to learn, and the failed offerings of public education. This discovery produces rebels, but in a “right way” of commanding the education offered, then going so far beyond it that one can explain, document, and prove public education as bullshit.

This jujutsu move uses the bullshit received to reveal its lies of omission and commission, as I’ve demonstrated in these articles. Students therefore can use their historical lack of inspiration as fuel to become a rebel among the educated: persons of intellectual integrity and moral courage to factually prove bullshit, and contrast it with topics genuinely required to build the brighter future we all see possible.

This said, the overall national condition of public education is mired in bullshit without contrast for almost all students. That is, students are appropriately uninspired with the condition Professor Frankfurt professionally asserts that I quote to frame each and every one of the articles in this series:

“One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this… But we tend to take the situation for granted… (the bullshitter) does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up… (Bullshitters) continue making assertions that purport to describe the way things are but that cannot be anything except bullshit.”  ~ Princeton professor emeritus, Harry Frankfurt, 2005 Bestseller, On Bullshit

OBVIOUSLY, because the factual conditions of bullshit documented in this series along with your own public education experiences to verify are what our children receive, students are obviously uninspired. They rightly sense the path of becoming nothing more than trained work animals, locked in debt, fear-mongered into endless wars for empire, and dumped-upon with corporate media propaganda similar to what they received in their classes on History, Government, and Economics.

I ask my students versions of, “Hey, those educated adults: the longer they live, the happier and more inspired they become, yes? This makes sense because the more you practice something, the better you become, right?” With just a little inquiry into what students see for themselves among thousands of adults, they report what we adults also see: the older most people get, the more they complain, the less happy they are, the less alive/inspired they become, and with the aged having nothing more interesting to speak of than the weather or their infirmities.

My students pay attention to the obvious admonition: “You’d better learn something different than they did, or it’s likely you’ll end up just like them. And I know from time-to-time you’ve really felt this, and said to yourself, ‘I swear to God when I grow up I’ll never be like that!'”

So, it’s time to move onto our concluding article to consider obvious solutions to bullshit: truth, technology, and love.


Note: I make all factual assertions as a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History, with all economics factual claims receiving zero refutation since I began writing in 2008 among Advanced Placement Macroeconomics teachers on our discussion board, public audiences of these articles, and international conferences (and here). I invite readers to empower their civic voices with the strongest comprehensive facts most important to building a brighter future. I challenge professionals, academics, and citizens to add their voices for the benefit of all Earth’s inhabitants.


Carl Herman is a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History; also credentialed in Mathematics. He worked with both US political parties over 18 years and two UN Summits with the citizen’s lobby, RESULTS, for US domestic and foreign policy to end poverty. He can be reached at

Note: has blocked public access to my articles on their site (and from other whistleblowers), so some links in my previous work are blocked. If you’d like to search for those articles other sites may have republished, use words from the article title within the blocked link. Or, go to, paste the expired link into the box, click “Browse history,” then click onto the screenshots of that page for each time it was screen-shot and uploaded to webarchive. I’ll update as “hobby time” allows; including my earliest work from 2009 to 2011 (blocked author pages: herehere).

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