Mr. Micawber’s Self-Control

Is chronic indebtedness simply a matter of financial ignorance – or of character flaws?

The article [in the Observer] states, in a tone of shock, that the financial education charity (yes, you read it aright, charity) called MyBnk has discovered that 90 per cent of the UK population have never had any form of money management lessons. This, proposes the article, is why the British population have so pronounced a tendency to go deeply into debt…

The article was a fairly typical example of the overestimate of the importance of formal education by the over-educated. They assume that everyone can be taught to behave in the same way that everyone, more or less, can be taught to read. Prudence, providence and probity, however, are character and cultural traits more than they are intellectual accomplishments. It is not that people don’t know; it is that they don’t care.

2 thoughts on “Mr. Micawber’s Self-Control

  1. Benjamin Rossen

    “Prudence, providence and probity, however, are character and cultural traits more than they are intellectual accomplishments.” Prudence and probity, I can understand, but providence is less clear. Is providence not that which provides, if not in some capricious and unpredictable manner, then in accord with the will on God, or of some other all overarching provider such as ‘fate’, what ever that is? Perhaps the problem is providence by a government that ‘cares’.

    The alliteration, on the other hand, is rather nice.

    Reply

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