There is something incredibly arrogant about thinking of the children mainly as future pensions-generating machines.
In Defense of Uselessness
Martin Rezny
185

Why else have families but to make sure you can be provided for in the future (note that I’m 17 years old)?

In any case, the only way to look at the world non-cynically is to look at it from the idea of abundance, in which work is required to extract it (I am using the word as a complement to the waste you had described), and as far as we can tell, the masses need knowledge to do so, even if, as Immanuel Kant suggests, tabula rasa isn’t true and we have inherent ideas, it is quite costly to have to figure out how to be efficient with resources and work without using the latest knowledge of someone else to answer the same question. That alone is a reason for education.

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