Fri, 02 May 2003

Vouchers drain money

Barbara Miner recently complained in a Knight-Ridder op-ed column, that vouchers drain money from public schools, and that a priori this is a bad thing. Well, I'm sorry, Barbara, but tough titty. The whole point behind a voucher system is to let money flow to those who provide service. If people chose private schooling for their children over public schooling, it is because the public schooling is inferior.

One aspect of a free market that leftists (and you don't get much more leftist than government-paid schooling) don't like is the fact that it creates winners and losers. They don't like competition, preferring instead, cooperation. Cooperation is so much better, they say, because it doesn't make for winners and losers.

What these idiots completely fail to see is that competition is not a replacement for cooperation, but is instead the precursor to cooperation. Once the sale has been made, the competition stops and the cooperation begins. Without cooperation, there is no sale, no trade, and no profits.

Here's how you can put these people in their place (the trashbin of history, one hopes): ask them what their plan is for optimizing cooperation. Ask them how they would create the largest amount of cooperation. After all, not every offer of cooperation is equal. If I offer to cooperate with you by paying you $3 for a blinky light, that's different than if I can pay $1 for a dozen blinky lights from someone else.

Which is better? Which causes more cooperation? Not obvious. Only way to find out is to let everyone make their offers, and allow the participants to decide whose cooperation they prefer.

So when vouchers take money away from public schools, and Barbara Miner whines "For the sake of our nation's children and our future, we must save our public school system", spit in her eye and say "I want more cooperation than I'm getting from the public school system."

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