12 November 2006

On the proposal to raise the school-leaving age

There is a proposal to raise the school-leaving age to 18. How truly terrible. Incarceration, and exposure to social hostility, from 5 to 18!

Yet another blow against the intelligent and driveful. In the case of a person with an IQ of 150, no release from prison until the mental age of 27. Schools are no longer a place that is suitable for the academically inclined, and I would recommend most people, whether academically inclined or not, to leave school at the earliest possible age and concentrate on becoming as rich as possible by business or investment. If he/she builds up a cushion of capital, he can then think about cultural, intellectual or artistic interests. (He could come and join my consortium, even if only temporarily, which might give him some constructive ideas!)

There is, as usual, no consideration for mental age. A person with an IQ of 180 reaches a mental age of 18 when he has a chronological age of 10. It is already the case that many with IQs above average become too disenchanted with the school experience and leave school as soon as they can, rather than staying on to try to get to university. As the school and university experience becomes increasingly trivial and demoralising, so the desire to extend and enforce it becomes stronger in those with the power to legislate for this.

If it were possible to leave school as soon as a certain level of proficiency at reading, writing and arithmetic has been attained, as it was in my grandfather’s day (who had a high IQ and left school at 12), it is easy to imagine that many of the brightest might leave school at about 8 and set about making their way in the world.

Who is to pay for the extra two years of incarceration, by the way? Taxation has already reached a level at which it is difficult to see how more can be squeezed out of the productive population, except by such ingenious measures as:
- fining parents for the misdemeanours of their children, who are being trained at school in discontented rebelliousness against property-owners, or
- fining the parents for failing to force their children to attend the schools when they have no wish to do so.

And who is to say that the ways in which these children want to spend their time would be more damaging than time spent in school?