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No Government Vouchers for the Ron Paul Curriculum

Written by Gary North on December 24, 2016

“If you take the government’s nickel, you also take its noose.” — Gary North.
A GaryNorth.com site member posted this:

One of the policies Betsy DeVos is talking about is a form of voucherisation at all levels including university. It will be an up hill fight but if it occurred it would cut the ground out from under the lefts feet. Most parents allow the left to teach what they the left teaches because they think that while they are paying for things that the majority is subsidised somehow. They don’t know their a majority.

Tax credits, charter schools, vouchers and other tools are in her quiver. It marketizes the system. It turns schools, particularly in the inner-city into educational real estate. It makes the teachers compete for students and allows local school committees to be independent even in the most left wing state. Tax credits mean even those in the poorest city can send there kids where ever they choose and they can top it up in some cases to get a much better school. It breaks the lefts hold.

It is not perfect. My anarchist friends still point out that it’s tax funded but it can be transitioned from that to various forms of crowd funding based credits, etc. My preferred end state libertarian position would have crowd funding as the major revenue stream for all public goods but that is some way off.

Many of the other things the Dr Rushdoony advocated are in her plan. She will push hard for home schooling to be included in the tax credit system. Khan Academy and Ron Paul curriculum must be ready to apply too and there will be conditions to contend with.
The left will push back but so far everything they have tried has blown up in their face. I do not expect the democrats to hold their numbers in both the House and Senate. They have completely lost their base in organised labour and the black vote. If a few of Trumps policies work there will be Blue Dog Democrats that flip to the Republican party or become independents well before 2018.

If charter schools come to dominate a generation of students will hit universities and then what’s left of the media and academia with no time for the left and its ideas.

I joined Ron Paul’s Congressional staff in June 1976. In May 1976, The Freeman published my article, “Educational Vouchers: The Double Tax.” In it, I set forth a series of arguments. This article was my response to Milton Friedman’s proposal of vouchers, which he had presented in Capitalism and Freedom (1961). He said that parents should be given educational vouchers by the government, which private schools could then redeem for money. He argued that this would restore parental control over their children’s education.

My first line of reasoning was theological-moral. Where is the locus of sovereignty over education? My answer: parents.

Where is the locus of sovereignty? And the answer must still be the same: the civil government. The voucher program violates the most important principle of education: parents are responsible for the financing of their children’s education. He who is responsible is also legally sovereign, and vice versa. Operationally, the source of the funding determines the locus of sovereignty. The goal of all those who would defend market arrangements must be to determine the moral locus of sovereignty in any particular circumstance, and then see to it that the sovereign agent be made legally and economically responsible for the exercise of his power. By failing to demand that parents be the source of funding for their own children’s education, the promoters of the voucher scheme have abdicated their responsibility in extending the principle of voluntarism and its concomitant, personal responsibility.

In the voucher system, the source of the funding is still the taxation system. The financing is based on the principle that it is legitimate to use political power in order to grant benefits to one group at the expense of the other. The principle of coercion is still dominant. The dominant principle, over time, will thwart the elements of voluntarism in any pseudo-market scheme. The state is still the operational sovereign over education, simply because the threat of violence, which is the state’s legal monopoly, is the source of the funds for education.

(For the rest of my article, click the link.)

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