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This is what they are teaching my son in the third grade. 


I want some new running shoes and hiking gear. So, I have a little extra money set aside to pay for that, that is a tax?

I challenged my son this morning to change ONE word to the definition so that it may more accurately reflect what a tax kinda, sorta, is:  “extra money one pays for things others need or want.”

It did not sound as cool to him when we defined it properly. Note that we send our kids to the Catholic school. It is no different than government schooling except for the fact that they have to go to mass a couple days a week, and we pay a lot extra for the privilege.


In other third grade brainwashing news ...

4 Responses to “3rd Grade Brainwashing”

  1. jb says:

    OMG I am not making this up. Your post got me curious about the dictionary definition, so I looked it up on line at Merriam Webster.

    “Simple Definition of tax
    • : an amount of money that a government requires people to pay according to their income, the value of their property, etc., and that is used to pay for the things done by the government ”

  2. blink says:

    Okay, this looks pretty bad, but I think the problem is trying to over simplify rather than brainwash. Whomever wrote the definition probably has in mind “sales tax.” How would I describe that? Well, I want to buy a candy bar — something I need or want — for $1, but then there is this tax — an extra bit I am required to pay — that makes the real cost $1.10 or whatever. So, for third grade, calling a tax an extra payment is not terrible and certainly does not imply endorsement. Anyway, well done for elaborating with your child, but I think that sloppiness/imprecision is the source of the problem, not an attempt at malicious brainwashing.

  3. blink says:

    Underscoring my point about sloppiness, notice that the definition is not even grammatical — the singular “one” and plural “they” have the same referent.

    • wintercow20 says:

      Good points blink.

      It is probably carelessness, but of course this is upsetting as a general educational principle. Maybe they could have even have written, “extra money one has to pay for things one wants above the price …” or something or other …

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