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Your Teacher Said What?!: Trying to Raise a Fifth Grade Capitalist in Obama's America
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Your Teacher Said What?!: Trying to Raise a Fifth Grade Capitalist in Obama's America

3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  137 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews

CNBC anchor Joe Kernen rebels against the liberal brainwashing of his young daughter by the mainstream media and educational establishment.

Every morning on CNBC's top-rated show Squawk Box, Joe Kernen asks tough questions. And at home he does the same with his ten-year- old daughter, Blake. What are you learning in school? What TV shows do you like? What message did you

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ebook, 256 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Portfolio (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Madisnkla
Apr 18, 2012 Madisnkla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book I chose to read Your Teacher Said What?! was written by Joe Kernan with sides from his daughter, Blake Kernan. This modern, politically charged book is a fantastic insight on an influential, highly intelligent man’s perspective on the state and workings of the current economy. Joe Kernan breaks down the important ideas and concepts that area all involved in the understanding of the economy. Joe Kernan compares capitalist and progressive ideals although his bias is clear. This book was w ...more
Michael Foley
(Full disclosure: I watch Squawk Box every morning.) Joe Kernen is the host of CNBC's Squawk Box, a financial news show on before Wall Street's opening bell. This book stemmed from conversations with his ten-year old daughter about what she was learning in school. Kernen was quick to realize that his daughter, Blake, was being fed unfiltered Progressive stances on everything from the economy to the environment. As a free market capitalist, Kernen wanted his daughter to understand that there were ...more
David
May 12, 2011 David rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book for free via goodreads.

It wasn't horrible in terms of readability, but it wasn't well written. It was choppy, didn't really argue it's points, had arguments that were at best difficult to follow, and more typically were simply absent. (Presumably, this is because the audience is supposed to have accepted them already.) It jumped around - it could have been a much more coherent book if the editor had insisted that there be some internal structure. But this is the least of my
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Jamie (LadyJai) Dement
I won this through GoodReads's First Reads program.

As a parent with a child in the public school system, I found this a book a wonderful read. I've pretty much got a handle on the topics here but Joe Kernen breaks it down in a very easy to understand manner for any level. Blake's questions and ideas are very thought provoking and it really does show you just how a child's brain works. As adults, we are trapped within our own mind and seldom think on a lower level. We take for granted our knowled
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Karin
May 27, 2011 Karin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Goodreads for another first read.This is not something I would pick up of my own volition since my choice is usually fiction.After reading it though,it seems like fiction,surely he made all this up.Not so!Mr.Kernen did some serious research to show how capitalism should work and how imprortant it is to our national health to keep our free markets free and privately run.And if Mrs.Obama advocates our children become nurses and social workers,she needs to propose a way to pay for the pro ...more
Kitty
May 12, 2011 Kitty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was great! Part Econ primer, part social commentary, part Poli-Sci/History 101, this book is a must read for anyone (without an advance degree in economics) interested in the state of the world and what's going on with our society, market system, and government.

To be sure, the author has a point of view. Its anti-socialism, pro-free markets (which is fine with me because I agree with that position). But even if you don't agree with his outlook, you'll still appreciate this book. It wa
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Paul
Jul 14, 2011 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great primer which nicely contrasts the free market and progressive approaches to macroeconomics. Kernen has some great quotes reminiscent of classical authors; including, "...competition is the engine that allocates resources to their highest-valued use". He defines lots of juicy economics terms such as the "Higgs effect", the "Gekko problem" and "externalities". There is a unique and insightful section on the worldview of popular and contemporary movies to which just about everyone can relat ...more
Roseanne Wilkins
May 11, 2011 Roseanne Wilkins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
When I received this book as an advance copy from Goodreads, I was nervous about picking it up. After all, I always skip the financial sections of the Wall Street Journal in favor of the political or human interest sections. I know the free market system is an important part of our freedom, but I couldn't articulate the reasons. I honestly dreaded trying to wade through a book on finances. However, I was hooked in the preface when Joe Kernen said, "We believe that free-market capitalism is not o ...more
Susan
May 20, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like the editorials in The New York Times, don't bother with this book; it will only make you angry. As someone who disagrees with The New York Times, this was an eye-opening book.

I learned a lot about free-market economies and how they're supposed to work. I also learned a lot about how Progressives try to stop the free market economy. Progressives want government to control everything. The rest of us, well, don't.

There are plenty of clear explanations of how the American economy works
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Barbara
May 12, 2011 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is one of my favorites that I have won through the first-reads program, and I am already encouraging others to read it. Joe Kernen does an excellent job using simple illustrations and factual information to get free-market economic principles across to his fifth-grade daughter. I appreciate the fact that he does not simply spout ideas and rhetoric with no evidence or background, as many do when having political arguments, but backs everything up with concrete examples and facts that ar ...more
Jeff Raymond
Another Goodreads ARC, this one pretty much a surprisingly competent primer on current conservative economic thought in the foil of a guy teaching his kids. It works for what it is, but is, again, one of those books that someone who might need to read it will never find and the people who want to read it won't get much new information from it. I honestly wish I had more to say about this, but that pretty much covers the details in a nutshell. Probably closer to a 3.5, all things being equal.
Brooke
Jun 26, 2011 Brooke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting, although for most of the book, I felt like quite an idiot. It definitely makes you think, and also makes you hope you are able to have this kind of experience with your own child! I found myself reading a great deal of this book out loud to my husband. Only downside, the book becomes a bit dull - for a person not readily involved in business and the capitalism of it all. I did learn quite a bit though!
Mary
Dec 08, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-written, easily understood discussion about the ideology that is being taught by so many teachers, not to mention television, books and movies.

This book would make for interesting discussion with our children, even teen-agers. What he says is mostly true. Whether you think it matters or not depends on your point of view.
Brian C Albrecht
I was excited for this book. Having read a book by Steven Landsburg called Fair Play, this seemed like another version. Fair PLay was a book focused around the crazy things that kids learn in schools (I probably learned it too) and how he dealt with it.

This is what I assumed when I read the title and description for Your Teacher Said What?! Unfortunately this is not the case and Kernen does not have the unique contrarian mind of Landsburg. While every once in a great while teachers are brought u
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Gary Null
When Joe Kernen’s nine-year-old daughter, Blake, told him what she was learning about capitalism in school, he was compelled to give her the ammunition to present the other side.



Although I hadn’t heard him on-air, Joe Kernen is co-anchor of CNBC’s top-rated morning show, “Squawk Box.”



Frankly, I was disappointed; this book doesn’t live up to its promise. Although Joe Kernen does a good job of defending the free market system, a lot of the attacks come from other sources—the movie industry, the li
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Jason Lewis
May 26, 2011 Jason Lewis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-won
Kernen offers a perspective of how to approach our children on items we may or may not agree with win it comes to what the teachers may say or do, keeping strictly a conservative approach to much of it. In just the subtitle use alone, he has probably experienced a 50% drop in readership alone which would be tough to gain back before discussing any aspect in the book. I loved his perspective on Davis-Bacon wages, which has always created controversy no matter what project we work on, with the wag ...more
Sharon
Jun 16, 2011 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting point of view. Kernen wanted his dughter, Blake, to learn about capitalism and a free-market economic system, not what he views as Progressive, or today's presidential push. This book would be a good read for students in economics or government classes. It offers a point of view that could easily lead to excellent discussion. At times I felt myself agreeing with Kernen, and other times I wasn't exactly sure where my loyalities went. Fortunately, as a teacher, I don't offer my opinion ...more
Becky
May 03, 2012 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More informative about capitalism and current economic states and policies than I expected. I actually learned quite a lot (I understand extremely little of economics, politics and such things). If you feel like I do and didn't really actually get what TARP was and why, etc, it's a good way to find out.
Lynn
May 29, 2012 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great premise...a bit unbelievable in terms of "actual father-daughter dialogue" but the economic lessons are solid AND SADLY LACKING IN OUR SCHOOLS!!!
Mary
Jul 03, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book for an economics beginner like me! Couldn't wait to pick it up again all 54893 times I had to put it down. ;)
Very anti-progressive / pro-capitalism.
Drtaxsacto
Aug 23, 2012 Drtaxsacto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun book by the MSNBC person about the decline of economic understanding in schools. It is a good read - fun and informative.
Ingrid
Sep 17, 2012 Ingrid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great content and research on various subjects, financial, politics, fair trade, unions, government, federal reserve, and corporate America. I enjoyed the book.
Amelia
Nov 11, 2015 Amelia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To be honest, this book wasn't quite what I expected. To begin with I liked it, then I hated it and nearly stopped reading it, then I REALLY liked it an was glad that I had hung in there. Of course, I am starting from a point where I (nearly) completely agree with Kernen and his point of view regarding free-markets and captialism. I know that some of my more socialist leaning friends out there who don't exactly embrace capitalism as preferable may not like the book quite so well. Still I find Ke ...more
Andy
This is amazing. Every elementary school student and parent should read this book. His explanation of intellectual property rights, and his 10 yr old daughter's understanding of the "tragedy of the commons" or the problem of public property is outstanding.
A detailed, well written treatise on all the different ways that our kids hear about the downsides of capitalism, some solid ammunition to go against those, some good comparisons of the two sides of American mass media (hard core left and moder
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Mayda
May 12, 2011 Mayda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In Your Teacher Said What?!, Joe Kernen explains, with the help of his ten-year-old daughter, Blake, the importance and workings of the free enterprise system. In patiently teaching Blake (because the schools are not doing it) how such a system is not only good but necessary for America to prosper, we, too, are enlightened. Through the asking of questions along with Blake’s responses, Kernen exposes the fallacy that “the government will take care of us” no matter how bad things get, and illustra ...more
Lisa
Jun 03, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: liberty-shelf
Finally done! I really likes this book...even though it took me so long to read it, or maybe the last few chapters were more interesting than the beginning! A good read, funny, and able to break down complicated ideas and bills so a 5th grader could understand. Which was the point of the book. If you have younger children, this would be good to have on hand to combat some of the garbage they're fed in public school. Of course the Uncle Eric books would do the same thing amd more on their level.
Terry
Mar 29, 2012 Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kernen does a nice job in addressing the current economic challenges faced today. He uses the platform of dialogue with his 5th grade daughter after she received left wing indoctrination from her teacher. It is an interesting read for someone who enjoys debate about capitalism, free markets and the American traditions that helped to make this country great. That level of lofty attainment is under attack and eroding quickly. Kernen addresses the challenge and paints a clear picture of what is nee ...more
Carl Martinez
Feb 25, 2013 Carl Martinez rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
It was alright, was not what I was expecting I guess that's why I did not like this book so much. I vaguely remember listening to an interview with the author talking about the liberals inundating the public school system and I thought, or expected this book would be more an expose' on such...instead it was basically several arguments in defense of capitalism. Nothing wrong with that, but nothing new to me here...and not what I was expecting.
Wendy
Apr 19, 2011 Wendy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While reading this I felt as though I was getting the economics course I didn't take in high school. Certainly an educational read. I have a kindergartener and I wonder what sort of things she will be learning in school - even though it is the same school district that I myself grew up in, things change over the years. This book gave me a heads up on supplementing the minds of my children and education.
Marie Mole
Great to brush up on economics and capitalism in general. Very interesting to see where our educators lead students...seems like they are forever prompting the activist in everyone...problem is, they subliminally draw you to conclusions. Joe explains many of the capitalist processes through numerous examples - real examples - and allows the reader to draw their own conclusions. Often one realizes that there is no right or wrong...but the lesser of two evils.
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