Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Oh, That Wacky Free Market!


Over at News with Views there's a commentary from Joel Turtel, author of Public Schools, Public Menace wherein he argues that the government should get completely out of the business of schools and that the free market would do a much better job. What?

In contrast, the free-market, while not perfect, gives us all the wondrous goods and services we buy every day, such as cars, fresh food, computers, refrigerators, and televisions. The superbly efficient and competitive free market gives us all these marvelous products at prices that most people can afford. Even the poorest American families today have a car, refrigerator, and sometimes two televisions in their homes. If we want to discover which system would give the vast majority of children a quality education at reasonable prices, I think we have the answer - the free market, hands down.
Thus, since even poor people have stuff, this is proof that the free market works.

Dear God, Joel, this one doesn't even pass the sniff test.

  1. What is the quality of those possessions? Are they second hand? Third hand? How long do they last?
  2. Do you really want to draw a direct line between a television and an education?
  3. How did these people come into these goods?
  4. Are possessions all that matters?
That's only a lead up to his big finish, though:

Most low-income families don’t need government education handouts anymore in the form of allegedly “free” public schools. Parents today can buy quality, low-cost food in a competitive, free-market food industry full of grocery stores and supermarkets. In the same way, parents today can give their kids a quality education using low-cost Internet private schools and homeschooling.
Which assumes parents have access to the internet, or that they have the schooling themselves to be able to homeschool adequately.

What people like Mr. Turtle (misspelling intentional) fail to realize is that the public schools are there for everyone, smart to dumb, gifted to retarded, mechanical to humanistic. I don't think that they fully realize just what a family in decline really looks like, nor do they have any clue what a child on the edge is going through.

There is a public need for public schools. Denying that reality is equal parts arrogance and stupidity.

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1 Comments:

Blogger joelt said...

Hey, stupid. Who pays for this 'public' education that wrecks millions of kids minds, self-esteem, and futures? My hard-earned tax money. What we 'need' is to shut down these public schools, permanently.

9:25 AM  

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