Rooted in Reason: Nurturing the Seeds of Liberty


No Ice-Cream for You, Sir. by grassroothawaii
May 9, 2011, 4:05 pm
Filed under: Education | Tags: , , ,

by Frances Nuar

In case you missed it, there was a great article published last week in the Wall Street Journal comparing grocery stores to public education.

Suppose that groceries were supplied in the same way as K-12 education. Residents of each county would pay taxes on their properties. Nearly half of those tax revenues would then be spent by government officials to build and operate supermarkets. Each family would be assigned to a particular supermarket according to its home address. And each family would get its weekly allotment of groceries—”for free”—from its neighborhood public supermarket.

If you didn’t want the corned beef and cabbage, too bad, that’s what you were getting. If you wanted ice-cream for dessert instead of fresh fruit, tough luck. The nanny state would dictate what you ate and when you ate it. Of course, if you were especially well-off, or valued your health more than your budget, you could always shop at a private supermarket, but you wouldn’t see your taxes go down. So what’s the solution?

Groceries and many other staples of daily life are distributed with extraordinary effectiveness by competitive markets responding to consumer choice. The same could be true of education—the unions’ self-serving protestations notwithstanding.

There is always talk of reforming public education, as the system we currently have in place is dismally below par. Repeating the status quo while expecting different results is the definition of stupid. Maybe it’s time we tried something new?

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