Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It can't be done!

When free market reformers suggest a market solution to any of the multitude of unwieldy, underfunded, unaccountable "public systems" The perennial answer from the unions, big government and their hapless drones in the public is "it can't be done!".

This statement is followed closely by its fellow travelers "what about the poor?", "what do you have against <insert 'protected' group/ideal here>?" and finally... "It could never work!" all of which are accompanied by the usual arguments from intimidation... "Certainly you don't mean..." "You couldn't possibly be saying..." "I know you don't intend to..."

Indeed... I do.
A fisherman with an understanding of economics that would put union officials to shame, who had moved his daughter from state to private school, told me that the private school proprietor needed to satisfy parents like him, otherwise he would go out of business. “That’s why the teachers turn up and teach,” he told me, “because they are closely supervised.”

One father, living in the Kenyan slum of Kibera, summarised it like this: “If you go to a market and are offered free fruit and vegetables, you know they’ll be rotten. If you want fresh produce, you have to pay for it.”

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