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Download Your Teacher Said What?!: Defending Our Kids from the Liberal Assault on Capitalism Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Your Teacher Said What?!: Defending Our Kids from the Liberal Assault on Capitalism, by Joe Kernen, Blake Kernen Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joe Kernen, Blake Kernen Narrator: Kevin Foley Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Every morning on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Joe Kernen asks challenging questions. And at home he does the same with his young daughter, Blake. What are you learning in school? What TV shows do you like? What message did you get from that movie?

When Blake was nine, her answers told Joe that she had already absorbed a distorted view of economics—from her school, pop culture (even animated movies!), and just about everywhere else. She was learning that capitalism is unavoidably immoral, that business people can’t be trusted, especially if they run big companies like BP or Walmart, that trade is bad because it hurts American workers, and that no matter how bad things get, the government will always bail us out.

Joe admits that he shouldn’t have been surprised in an era when Washington casually takes over car companies and spends a trillion dollars “stimulating” the economy. But he was outraged and determined to do something about it. If he couldn’t fix our education system or Hollywood, at least he could teach Blake how capitalism really works and why it’s worth defending.

He started by asking her to write down phrases she didn’t understand (“What’s physical stimulus?”). That led to discussions of some tricky ideas, like credit and the time value of money. In theory a dollar today is always worth more than a dollar next year—but not to someone whose purchases are always paid for by someone else.

Joe and Blake talked about the pluses (small) and minuses (huge) of unions—including the unionized teachers who disparage the free enterprise system that pays their salaries. They investigated the complicated process by which even the simplest manufactured items get made, without anyone directing from above. They puzzled out the truth about so-called fair trade: rather than help poor farmers, it helps keep farmers poor. They learned the differences between Europe and America, and why free health care isn’t really free.

And they discovered what nine-year-olds have in common with grown-up progressives: both love to regulate private behavior and think that anything bad—like smoking or eating too much fast food—should be prohibited by law.

Ultimately, Joe convinced Blake that capitalism isn’t about greed; it’s about freedom. As she writes in one of her sections: “When I have to go to the store to buy a net for my aquarium (I have puffer fish) I can find a lot of nets, but no one told the store which ones to put on the shelf, and no one told the companies that make the nets how many to make, and no one told the companies that deliver the nets when to bring them. Or rather, everyone told them. Millions of ordinary people deciding what to buy and sell are smarter than even the hundred smartest people in the world.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A jaunty and readable recapitulation of classical liberal economics.”

    Wall Street Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Tricia | 6/6/2011

    " An ok book. Geared more toward kids, I think. Does explain economics in an easy manner. Easy to
    understand. It is true our kids believe what the teachers teach is gospel. I won a free copy
    from First Reads free books giveaway.Thank you! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Jean | 6/4/2011

    " I won this book from First Reads. It was hard to read ,I felt it was biased towards the Kernen way of thinking. I would have prefered a more neutral book that would let me make up my own mind on issues. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jp1961 | 5/18/2011

    " What a great book. Totally enjoyed it. Joe Kernen is an interesting writer and his daughter is a blast.

    Good economics book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Fredrick | 5/13/2011

    " Discusses the roles of regulations and unions in our live and how they impact us. I found it educational "

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About the Author

Joe Kernen is the coanchor of CNBC’s longest-running program, the top-rated morning show Squawk Box. Before going into television he had a successful ten-year career as a stockbroker, and before that he earned a master’s degree in molecular biology from MIT and worked at one of the world’s leading cancer research centers.