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In India, Private Schools Succeeding, Government Schools Failing
Dr. Reisman posted a link on the Mises blog to a New York Times article about the success of private schools in India:
To all the people who argue that a completely private education system would fail because parents are too irresponsible to care for their own children, I say, "Look."
There's also this:
Public schools, losing out to the competition, adjusting their curriculum to retain customers? It's incredible what a little competition can do! Ask yourself this: Would this change, clearly desired by the parents, have occurred under a system where the public schools were better-financed and therefore better able to prevent the encroachment of private schools? No? Then don't tell me the way to improve our own school system is to pour more government money into it. That would only make it less responsive than it already is.
We need to end the system of public education, not reform it. I want parents to face the responsibility of making informed choices about their children's education. I can think of no other area where the customers have such a vested interest in monitoring the long-term quality of what they're buying. Competition would be fierce and everyone would benefit. The willful ignorance of the opponents of private education on this point is appalling.
Eliminating public education would also end the shamefully immoral practice of taxing people who have no children, to pay for the education of others, and also of taxing people who send their children to private school, so they must pay twice.
I consider the argument that even the childless should pay for education because they benefit from it indirectly to be wholly without merit, and I dismiss it contemptuously, because the great benefit of capitalism is precisely that people are net beneficiaries of the system. To call for taxing away the net benefit is to advocate the destruction of the value of the system and must be repelled in the strongest terms possible. (I have not "paid for" the medical technology that allows so many people to live longer and more productive lives, but I benefit from it indirectly all the time. The indirect benefits of economic competition are, in fact, one of the primary reasons to support it, as I elaborated in my globalization essay. The only consistent way to pay for all indirect benefits is to establish socialism.)