Kling on vouchers

Arnold Kling has a new column up at TCS on the topic of school vouchers.

"I'm a geneticist," the woman said, as she began an impassioned speech against vouchers and school choice. "I don't want to see schools where students are not taught evolution. And I want to make sure that they get sex education and learn to use a condom." [...]

"I'm an economist," I wanted to reply. "I don't want to see schools where students are not taught libertarianism." Unfortunately, mandatory libertarianism is too much of an oxymoron. But if I could propose a required course in libertarianism for all Americans, here are some ideas that I would want students to take away.

He argues against the rigidity of government involvement and the benefits of markets and self-motivated individuals. Although I agree with him on the basic message of his column, I am not optimistic that vouchers will lead to a free market in education. If a free market is desired, then privatize the whole thing. Completely. Vouchers are simply tentacles by which bureacracy can rule so-called 'private' education.

The worst outcome of all will be if half-way measures resulting from vouchers result in the same problems prevalent in today's public school system but will be labeled private failures, much like the Great Depression is often seen as caused by speculators only to be ended by Keynesian policies.

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