Sunday, October 28, 2007

Vouchers, again


Some people say that vouchers are good because “a free market improves quality for everyone.” To that I say: wasn’t it a “free market” that created child labor? and mass pollution from factories? Even now “free market” means sweatshops in China and elsewhere to support our Wal-mart low prices. Free market is not always good for EVERYONE.

“OK then,” you say, “I mean, free market with some government-imposed standards.” Fine. That sounds reasonable, especially since government will be subsidizing them. Only let’s impose the standards fairly and unilaterally.

A true free market in education would mean that EVERY school would require teachers to be licensed, to meet certain standards, and to pass background checks. And EVERY school be required to accept whatever student wanted to come there, regardless of ability to pay, regardless of baggage they might bring like learning disorders, handicaps, behavior problems, poor parental support. Even regardless of inability to get, physically, to the school location. Let’s make it a true free market and require every school to bus their students who live too far to walk (and, if the student needs a special handicap bus, require that, too). I’m talking FREE buses, folks. (Oh, but then the parents who can afford to drive their kids will whine. I know! Let’s give them transportation vouchers!)