Monday, January 24, 2011

Chinese Tiger Mothers Needed In America

Count on somebody in America to get offended at the mention of standards and accountability.  Amy Chua's Battle Hymm of the Tiger Mother has stirred up a firestorm of criticism from overly sensitive American parents who can't handle the truth.  It's sad that our country has devolved to the point where it can no longer celebrate excellence. 

Ms. Chua raised her kids to be winners in lfe.  Her story is a how-to manual for parents who want to help their kids succeed.  The connection between her process and the result is obvious.  Setting high expectations for her kids and going the extra mile to help them meet those expectations became self-fulfilling prophecies.  Her kids' phenomenal accomplishments put many parents to shame.  Her critics, who are unfortunately numerous, buy into morally-neutral philosophies that imply medocrity is okay.  Such people make me depressed about America's future.  Blind people can't follow road maps. 

Tiger mothers know that old fashioned concepts like discipline, achievement, focus, standards, delayed gratification, and self-mastery never go out of style.  American educators and psychologists have forgotten that these traits, inculcated into American pioneers on the frontier and immigrants on the factory floor, made us into a world power.  A fetish for self-esteem has turned America into Bailout Nation.  Tiger mothers don't ask for bailouts. 

America needs a tiger mom of its own to smack it out of its anti-achievement funk.  I propose that the Administration appoint Ms. Chua as its Tiger Mom Czar to force an overhaul of Americans' parenting styles.  She can start by abolishing student loans so that kids who want to go to college have to earn merit-based scholarships (as I did for both undergraduate and graduate school) or delay education until they've saved for it on their own.  The absence of such a solution leaves the door open for China's own tiger moms to show their children how to replace us as the world's indispensable nation. 

Full disclosure:  Long FXI with covered calls.  Will go long SPY when America has a critical mass of tiger moms.