Free-Market Education Reform: Austerity vs. Choice
By Bryan Caplan
In response to my defense of austerity over “constructive” free-market reforms, Adam Ozimek blogs:
I find plausible his speculation that privatizing social security
could lead to policies intended to prop up the stock market, like TARP
x 100. However, I have a hard time imagining how more school choice
could backfire in a way that leads to more a more “statist” education
system, another example that he gives.
My challenge for Bryan is this: tell me a conceivable story where
more vouchers and charter schools lead to some sort of blowback that
results in an education system that is more “statist” than the status
How about: Once vouchers create a massive industry that is almost entirely dependent on vouchers, the industry incessantly propagandizes and lobbies for ever-larger subsidies? Public schools, teachers’ unions, etc. already do this, of course. But I’m worried that the private sector’s public and government relations would be slicker and more energetic.
Given a choice between choice and the status quo, I’d still probably choose choice. But given a choice between choice and austerity, austerity’s the way to go.
Update: Ozimek replies.