Friday, January 21, 2011

'If you are worried about socialism, start at the schoolhouse, not the White House'

In the January 24 issue of National Review, Kevin Williamson, author of the newly published The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism, discusses the "right of eminent domain over the lives of American children."
It would be difficult to find in the United States any profession so dedicated to socialism as that of educators, and difficult to find any argument for socialism as popular as the cause of public education. ...

The public schools constitute one of the most popular instantiations of socialism in American life, though Social Security and government-funded transportation systems no doubt rank nearly as high. But popular with whom? Certainly the educators and administrators who run the system are largely pleased with it, as they should be; the noncompetitive nature of government-run education provides them with salaries and benefits far exceeding what they plausibly could earn in the private sector. Some parents and property owners are very happy with the public schools as well. The well-off and well-connected tend to enjoy reasonably good public schools, which help sustain high residential real-estate values in the largely suburban communities that host them. But other Americans are much less pleased with their government schools, particularly the poor, non-whites, and those living in inner cities. Black families, in particular, consistently rate their government schools as performing poorly, and their subjective impressions are borne out by empirical data. The public schools are not a random or inexplicable failure. They are a classical socialist failure, with massively misallocated resources, an ensconced bureaucratic class, and a needlessly impoverished client class. ...

In the United States, we have an education system that already is socialized to a greater extent than Lenin managed for Soviet agriculture. ... If you are worried about socialism, start at the schoolhouse, not the White House.

No comments: