Freedom works

February 27, 2013

Most readers of this blog understand that freedom works. Entrepreneurs operating in a competitive market will outperform government monopolies (especially those that are heavily unionized).

Anyone with an iPod can tell you that music players keep getting cheaper and better. If music players had suffered the same cost/performance trends as public education, says Cato Institute scholar Andrew J. Coulson, “we’d all still be lugging around cassette boom boxes, but they’d now cost almost $1,800.”

Mercifully, free enterprise has made inroads into public education. As the state’s largest newspaper recently pointed out, “local school officials don’t construct their own facilities. They don’t write and print their own textbooks or grow all food for student lunches in a garden, or develop their own software for homemade computers. Private businesses supply all these goods and services. In the cited instances, market competition drives down costs, prevents price-gouging, and provides greater benefit to taxpayers.”

Faced with public education’s continuing productivity collapse (see chart below), it makes no sense to keep pouring more money into the same failed system. Especially when we know that freedom works.