Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr., D-Albany speaks to Lee County Middle School Students Monday prior to the beginning of the Annual Georgia Council on Economic Educations Capital Hill Stock Market Challenge. Bishop spoke to the students on the importance of education and economics.
LEESBURG, Ga. -- Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr., D-Albany, visited Lee County Middle School Monday to kick off the school's Annual Georgia Council on Economic Education's Capital Hill Stock market challenge.
Each year the GCEE brings the Stock Market Game to students across Georgia. Elementary through high school students play the Stock Market Game each spring and fall semester for 10 weeks, starting off with a hypothetical portfolio of $100,000 and researching publicly-traded companies on the Internet, reading business publications, and crunching the numbers to select stocks.
The team from each school district (or geographic region in the case of independent schools) with the highest portfolio value at the end of 10 weeks wins.
The Stock Market Game is designed to give Georgia teachers a tool for helping students develop a solid understanding of how private enterprise works. Economic education is not just about financial literacy. It's also about the larger economic forces that affect everyone's financial circumstance.
Bishop, however, spent much of his time answering questions from the eager middle school students ranging from term limits to the thing he enjoyed most about his job as a member of Congress.
He appeared to thoroughly enjoy the interaction with his young constituents.
"Young people make up 20 percent of the American population, and they are our future," Bishop said. "I enjoy these types of things because it gives me an opportunity to give back some of what was given to me."
Bishop said his message to the children was a simple one.
"I want them to make a positive difference in their lives," he said. "Take advantage of every opportunity that is presented to them. That way they can make a true difference in their lives and in their communities."
In an interview later, Bishop discussed sequestration, the automatic $85 billion in budget cuts which has communities all over the country on edge.
"I am very disappointed and disgusted that sensible people aren't able to cross party lines and reach a compromise," Bishop said. "It's frustrating that Congress has failed the American people."
The congressman then talked about how the sequester might affect the local Marine Corps logistics base.
At a town hall meeting on Saturday, Albany City Manager Wes Smith said he anticipated that contract workers at the base would be furloughed one day per pay period. And that, Smith added, would be a best-case scenario."
"MCLB Albany has the best, brightest and most creative people in the logistics business. They are more efficient than any other people in the game," Bishop said. "I expect the MCLB could actually gain work later because of all the shake-ups we are about to see."