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Briefly consider a mantra of the progressive left: “that if people had to provide for the education of their own children, many children would go without schooling.” Regular readers know that the history of education in this country certainly does not bare this idea out. But what of today? We seriously cannot run any policy experiments today on this – since schooling is government run in a way that would make the Soviet Commisars envious.

Is there another way to think about such a thing? Well, people argue that education is essential, and that some (many?) people are either too inconsiderate or too stupid to put their kids to school. If I buy that argument, then should it not also be applied to other things which are important to children and families? Is food as important as schooling? Food, the last I looked, was mostly privately provided and purchased, and yet I have rarely, if ever, seen or heard people speculating about people being too selfish or too short sighted to provide food for their children. So, if you you agree that people would provide something as essential as food, and if formal education is as important as you claim it to be, then how can you make the claim that people would not try to educate their children adequately?

One Response to “Anti-Capitalism in Many Lessons”

  1. Harry says:

    Excellent point, WC.

    Most parents care for their children, and the existence of those who do not is not an argument for government-run schools dominated by the Dewey educationist establishment.

    Let me alter the question by relating a local controversy between a school tax official (whom I will refer to as Jane) and two owners of public golf courses (in the school district).

    Those two owners have filed appeals to have their property assessments reduced, and have documented their claims with appraisals to support their claim. Jane has asked the school board to fight the matter in court. Last week the school board voted on the matter, and failed to get enough votes to support Jane’s, er, appetite for revenue.

    Unremarkable, so far, right?

    What is remarkable is that each of these owners of public golf courses have school tax bills in the neigborhood of $50,000 per year.

    Now, I can agree to the proposition that impoverished families should get our help, somehow, to educate their children. But in our school district most people have jobs and they are not impoverished. They may make twenty or thirty thousand less than the teachers do, but are by no means poor.

    Their annual school tax bill I would guess runs from $1500 to $3500, depending on the value of the property.

    The result is that no one even whispers about sparing a dime when it comes to spending on education. (Don’t get me wrong — Local control is far better than having the county, or the state, or the Feds decide.)

    This fall the football team will play on a new million-dollar artifical surface.

    Government-run education is great when you use somebody else’s money.

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