Although there is an enormous difference in economic/educational knowledge between an American who has a degree in finance or education, and an American who had to struggle to complete a high school diploma, nevertheless the two would most likely still be able to agree upon a fairly straightforward idea: formal education indubitably enhances one’s ability to become a valuable employee, and therefore a contributor to our comparatively wealthy nation. Money is on our minds, and education is almost universally accepted within this country as the means by which to build our fortunes.
Within the next few pages, the aim of this paper is to illustrate with facts and figures more of the mechanics of the answer to the question above. The focus will be upon politics and the history of one particular developing nation, Liberia.
First of all, let’s look at the evidence that Americans see education as the key to opportunity. On a typical day, it is almost guaranteed that msn.com will tout at least three new articles from one, if not all of the following topics: "finding the best college" "the best college for your money," "how to save for your child’s education," "finding the most lucrative major," "where to find baby’s first SAT guide to ensure that he is able to get a 1600 before other kids can walk." The article dujour for April 12 is somewhat subdued, and we see only a few articles on money and/or education: "Tax-day Aftermath in 19 Cities," "Saving Family Fortunes," and last but not least, "Preparing for a High-Paying Job." We are focused on finding both the best education for ourselves AND for our children. Can any of us really deny the powerful, but mixed feelings (awe, admiration, maybe a little bit of envy or self-consciousness) we would have upon meeting someone who non-chalantly declares that he or she recently completed a master’s degree for some convoluted area of study (we’re not even sure what a person with such a degree will do with it) from a very sexy, name-brand college "Certainly," we think to ourselves, "this person has it made when it comes to finding a job." The Black Collegian states, "we launched this magazine with the conviction that earning a higher education was among the most important, transformative and uplifting opportunitites in a young person’s life-and the most challenging. This remains as true today as in 1970." (The Black Collegian, 4) Although, as with everything, there are exceptions to the following statement, it cannot be denied that the majority of Americans will agree that it is wise to pursue a quality education, if one desires to attain a certain level of comfort, and the career necessary for achieving that lifestyle.
It can be said that although atypical of every single citizen of the United States, there are also those who see education as more than a means to a financial end, who hold academia dear to their hearts not only for the monetary rewards that it holds, but also for the sake of learning itself, and who will argue strongly against anything they see as threatening to their education:
"Intellectual freedom-the freedom to ask questions, to uncover facts, to speak independently without fear-is the foundation of our democracy and remains of critical importance, especially in a time of crisis,"