Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Comparing Education to Groceries

From Bastiat to Hazlitt, the better economic writers have endeavored to draw our attention to the unseen, to that-which-could-have-been. It's a difficult task, which is why I very much appreciated a recent column in the WSJ comparing public education to private grocery markets. I found it an excellent device to make the point. Here's the opener, but be sure to read the editorial in its entirety:
Suppose that groceries were supplied in the same way as K-12 education. Residents of each county would pay taxes on their properties. Nearly half of those tax revenues would then be spent by government officials to build and operate supermarkets. Each family would be assigned to a particular supermarket according to its home address. And each family would get its weekly allotment of groceries—"for free"—from its neighborhood public supermarket.

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