Wednesday, August 30, 2006

"But, who's going to run this thing?"

For many, the assumption is that only government can run a school system. But why is government the assumed solution to the problems that it alone creates?

Most of us don't want government running any operation since we know intuitively, and have seen empirically, that government operations fail to produce efficient results. Simply look at the former Soviet republics or review the operations of any state agency. Yet, many continue to advocate for government in education. Why?

The following is a reponse to a listserve post from a gentleman posing questions regarding who would run the schools if they were privatized. His line of questions are more statements of his belief in a government solution than a true attempt to gain additional knowledge.


Your questions are similar to those posed almost two decades ago by citizens of the former Soviet Bloc as they faced new lives of freedom. When you ask these types off questions, you are not thinking "out of the box." Your questions are central-planning-centric in that you ask questions that are laced with doubts; doubts that lead to the response that the solution can only be realized through government planning. Your weakness is your refusal to believe in the free market that makes the wonders of this world possible, including this listserve.

When the internet exploded a decade ago, were we asking, "But, who is going to run this thing?" Sure, some asked that question simply because they sought government control over all forms of information, others because they feared change. The rest of us marveled at the ingenuity of the entrepreneurs who continue to improve the delivery of information and entertainment. No planning required

When you no longer ask your questions, you will find your answer.

note: Tom was correct in his use of the term "moron." I sit as a moron on a school board since I have no knowledge as to the real solution that will improve education for our future students. That knowledge is not available to me as a member of a government bureaucracy, though it is available to entrepreneurs who seek it. In addition, I cannot calculate whether the decisions I make will satisfy the desires of the consumers. It is the calculation question that destroys centrally-planned endeavors. Books by FA Hayek will explain the knowledge issue while books by Mises will explain the calculation issue. These books can lead to "out of the box" thinking if you are willing to let go of your current biases.

Jim Fedako
Member, Olentangy Board of Education
Skype: antipositivist

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