Pro-Choice Free Market Schools
Idaho's public education budget
topped $1.3 billion in year 2004 – 65% of the state's $2.0 billion budget.
We are no better off than California’s school districts, or New York’s. The
big question is why?
It is not an economic
coincidence that all 50 state legislatures in America are going bankrupt
huge deficits for public education. What’s the problem?
Having researched and
written about this issue extensively, I have come to the following
First, education is
simply another commodity in the free market, an exchange of services, or
information, between teachers and parents – much like the
exchange of information between the news media and their
readers. Education contains no inherent properties that exempt it
from basic economics such as supply and demand, competition, or prices.
Imagine if we treated
our food industry as we have treated education. You would be taxed for a
state grocery store and be required to shop for groceries in your state
grocery district. You could shop at private grocery stores but you would
still be required to pay taxes for your district’s state grocery store. A
full ramification of this analogy can be read in my previous column:
State Grocery Stores.
say, a state grocery store system would eventually go bankrupt. Once
again, we have pretended that education is a commodity that should be
monopolized, socialized, and run by the state rather than the free market.
Second, the basis for
establishing public education rests upon the non sequitur, or oxymoron, that
every child has a “right to receive” an education. But a want is not a
right. Nobody has the “right to
receive" from anybody else. If I have the right to receive potatoes from
you, and you have the right to receive tomatoes from me, then we have
established reciprocal rights of involuntary servitude, or slavery.
Reciprocal “rights to receive” is a contradictory notion and can never be
implemented. Rather, everybody has the “right to freely give or exchange.”
In this manner, we can voluntarily participate in the freedom of exchange of
ideas, commodities, and services – including education.
While we may have good
intentions for one of our most important commodities -- our children’s
education -- we have unfortunately embarked upon a losing economic
methodology that can never work. For the same basic reasons that socialist
economics doesn’t work for Amtrak or the U.S. Post Office or the USSR or all
of the socialist nations of the world, it cannot work for America’s “Leave
No Child Behind” program either. To not understand basic economics is to
perpetuate more taxes, more debates, and more educational failures in every
state in the Union. Meanwhile, our children lose and are the true victims
of this Marxian educational experiment.
What is the solution?
Due to the huge
boondoggle that state education has wrapped itself into over the last 50
years, we need a transition – perhaps 3 years -- from our current socialist
education system to a Pro-Choice, Pay-As-You-Go Free Market Education system.
transition, the state will not participate as a socialist Big Brother and
there will be no taxes for schools in the same way that there are no taxes
for “state grocery stores.” Public education will phase into Pro-Choice
Free Market Education. There exist many free market choices such as Home
Schooling, K12 Internet Education, and other private and parochial options
that you and I have never thought of – yet.
Parents need to accept
the responsibility for choosing their child’s education. You currently
spend more time shopping for a new car than for your child’s education.
Public education will soon be bankrupt so you should start shopping now.
It’s up to parents to make the transition. You already know how to shop for
cars, homes, computers, CDs, life insurance, which movie to go to, and how
much butter to pour on your popcorn, right?
You say Idaho can’t
afford the transition? Idaho owns $70 billion of public school real
estate. If we sold it and spent $1 billion per year, Idahoans could finance
their children’s free market education transition for the next 70 years. Is
that long enough for a transition? Start selling it off and refund the
money to all Idaho citizens so parents can spend it on free market
One last thing.
Notice that free market education solves all the current church-state
debates regarding tax credits, tax vouchers, saying “One Nation, Under God”
at school, placing the Ten Commandments, the Bible, or the Koran in school
hallways, passing out “free” condoms (or not), teaching sex education (or
not), and a host of
other debatable curricula. Free Market Education also does not
differentiate between "resident" and "non-resident" students since there
will be no school taxation, only private enterprise.
Market Education solves
the problem of seniors, non-parents, and parents whose children are out of
school being forced for life to pay for the education of other people’s
children on the flakey premise that everybody benefits from little Johnny
becoming a brain surgeon one day. Note that one does not receive a tax
refund if little Johnny becomes a wino instead.
Finally, no $1.3
billion in taxation, fraud, and tax abuse for questionable public
education excesses in Idaho. It’s not for lack of good intentions that
public education has failed; it’s
simply basic economics.
What a savings for the taxpayer! Time to give education control back
to the parents and teachers.
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