I took Business Law back in high school, and by "took" I mean I slept through the class if I showed up at all. Now that's not supposed to paint me as some sort of tough guy rebel, but rather the class as exceedingly boring. I don't remember much except for what pertained to me at the time but one of the things that managed to stick was contract law. For some reason I felt like I'd need to know how to weasel my way out of a contract in the future. I had far crazier ideas at that age, so let's just move on.
One of the things I do remember was contract law as it pertains to minors. Children can enter contracts for their own protection only and can't be held to one themselves until they're 18 because the government doesn't recognize them as reasoning adults and they can't be trusted to make informed decisions. Children are gullible, their opinions are easily swayed, and there is the constant threat that someone with far more life experience could take advantage of their naivete. So they're protected from the repercussions of bad decisions... even murder. In fact, a store with a huge "NO RETURNS" sign must legally take an unopened item back if it was sold to a minor because a sale is just another form of contract. The only legal liability is on the part of the merchant in that sale. That's why you see "Must be 18 or older" on any major purchases and pay services. You thought that was to protect the sensibilities of innocent little children? Not hardly. It's actually there to protect the merchant because a minor can "dis-affirm" any contract at any time. The government so strongly believes minors can't make informed decisions about smoking, drinking, voting, military service and contracting that their disdain for the mental faculties of children has been codified into law.
Yet every morning across America young children recite a pledge of allegiance to a nation whose politics and history they can't even begin to understand in state-funded schools. The government takes advantage of that same mental pliability the law claims to protect them from with a curriculum full of historical myth and in some states, even religion. Our schools have them so indoctrinated by the time they're in the 1st grade that the children, some of whom can't even tie their shoes yet, know the pledge by heart. Ask a 6 year old some time the lyrics of their favorite song and nine times out of ten, it won't even be close but this certain grouping of words they know perfectly and to a cadence. Have you ever heard a class of bored, disinterested children reciting the pledge in the morning? Do they even know what "indivisible" and "republic" mean, as they slowly drone out the words in unison?
What I find interesting about the situation is the similarity between our pledge, our colored-in history, and our leader worship to the indoctrination process of all of our greatest enemies throughout history. They all fed children a steady diet of their political ideals. It was terrible, to us, how Hitler taught national socialist values to the youth of his country.. terrible how Stalin's school system forced communist propaganda onto every child. It's terrible how the madrassas in Iran teach fundamentalist Islam to their kids, and how kids in North Korea are taught their leaders are gods. But it's OK when we teach children religion, American Exceptionalism, historical fiction, and then set them loose after 13 years of training to live in a carefully constructed fairy-tale that feeds off the rest of the world just to continue functioning.
The official molding of our children into a cheap and viable workforce starts at just five years old. In fact the first two things young children are taught in preschool or kindergarten is how to stand in line and how to be quiet. They're taught that truth comes from authority, that there is no questioning that authority, and that as they get older if they don't do well on their standardized testing they'll never get a job or into college to get a better job. School is, for all intents and purposes, training to work for someone else. Ingenuity and innovation aren't cultivated so much as obediance and recital so your average student couldn't even imagine starting their own business anymore because they simply don't have the tools and skills required. They're pushed from the beginning to be a cog in the capitalist machine. A worker who generates income for those above themselves. Work to make money, and spend that money on things that promise happiness. Still not happy? Work harder, make more money and buy bigger things that promise even more happiness. Still not happy? You must be un-American.