Adam Smith discussed many things in The Wealth of Nations, not just economics. One interesting topic revolves around a father sending his son abroad for schooling. Smith frowned upon the idea, stating that it often produced a horrible result:
“He [the son] returns home more conceited, more dissipated, more unprincipled, and more incapable of any serious application….”
“By sending his son abroad, a father delivers himself…a son unemployed, neglected, and going to ruin before his eyes.”
Smith hits on an important point—adolescents are sometimes worse off when they leave home for college. As he points out they are more “conceited” and prone to “ruin.”
I’d say that Smith is generally right. In the United States, we do not send our children “abroad,” per se. However, the United States is large enough that adolescents can travel far away when going to college: from California to Wisconsin, from Florida to New York, etc. In these college years, adolescents can fall under the sway of different individuals: they can engage in drug use, premarital sex, etc. They can ruin themselves for life.
Would you send your daughter to a “party school”? Would you send your soon to a college that you knew was ripe with leftist indoctrination?
Parents should think twice…and tread carefully. Sending your child away for college is not an automatic recipe for success.