3rd February 2013
In the long run, children who participate in the taxpayer-funded program do no better than similarly situated children who don’t. But even in the short-run, the benefits of participation are virtually non-existent, as a study earlier found….
Like ethanol in gasoline, once a ‘social’ program is in place, the special interest group that benefits from it typically quickly becomes politically stronger than any opposition.
When a third party (like taxpayers) is paying for something, wasteful spending is almost inevitable. Much federal education spending is wasted, like the $130,000 in stimulus money spent on a book that demonized white people and promoted racial stereotypes. Chicago has rotten schools despite high school spending, and poor-quality teachers. Yet, “Chicago teachers” had “the highest average salary of any city at $76,000 a year before benefits [worth another $30,000 a year on top of their salaries]. The average family in the city only earns $47,000 a year. Yet the teachers rejected a 16-percent salary increase over four years at a time when most families are not getting any raises or are looking for work,” and went out on strike to extract even more money from city taxpayers.
As Jerry Pournelle is fond of saying, the first function of government is to hire and pay government workers. My corollary is that the second function of government is to work toward making the entire population government workers, so as to deepen the moat around the first function.
Growing public disenchantment with dysfunctional public schools and desire for change has triggered a backlash among progressive legal scholars and academics who do not want children to be able to escape failing public schools. For example, a prominent progressive law dean and law professor, Erwin Chemerinsky, is urging the courts and lawmakers to ban private schools and homeschooling in order to force everyone to attend the public schools. In his view, this is the only way to “desegregate” the schools and achieve racial and social equality. (He admits that doing this would severely burden constitutional rights, but argues that doing so would nonetheless be justified to advance a “compelling government interest.”) UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh criticizes this proposal as dangerous and ill-founded, and argues that it is an ill omen for other constitutional freedoms, like freedom of speech and freedom of the press, that could likewise be restricted in the name of promoting equality.
Of course. That’s why ‘progressives’ are so fond of Federal laws and programs — all the better to insure that people can’t escape merely by crossing a state line, as thousands are doing every year by moving from, say, California and Michigan to, say, Texas. The Iron Curtain wasn’t built by Republicans.