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Saturday, June 13, 2009

"Is public education socialism?"

In defense of a single-payer health care system, possible U.S. Senate candidate and state Rep. Bill Kortz (D-Dravosburg) asked, "Is public education socialism? No. This is the same thing."

Kortz is certainly right, that single-payer health care is akin to public education. But is he correct about it not being socialism?

An honest look at American "public schooling" reveals that it is indeed the most socialistic institution in our country. Most people are surprised to learn that "free" public schooling is one of the "Ten Planks" (key tenets) of the Communist Manifesto.

Funding for public education is clearly organized around the Marxian principle of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" as we take wealth from those who have it (in the form of property, income and consumption taxes at the local, state, and federal levels) and we redistribute it to the schools based upon "need" as determined by Washington, Harrisburg, and District officials.

Of course, the "education" of each public school child -- from the teacher training to the curriculum to the standards -- is also determined and planned by political agents at those various levels of government. It is not the parents or the students who control their education, it is the "state." Sure, we give lip-service to parents and students as "customers", but the reality is that they are at the very bottom of the totem pole...if at all.

Then when these schemes utterly fail, the response from these public education central planners is ALWAYS "we just need more money" to make it work. That's what Gov. Rendell's "Tax You More Bus Tour" was all about this past week.

And so it would be with Kortz's desire to "public educationize" our health care system.

Call it whatever you want, Representative, but the results will be the same -- ever-increasing costs, never-increasing quality, and excuses galore from the political officials in charge.


Elizabeth A. Male said...

Public education is, without a doubt, socialism.


Would you allow the government to assign the grocery store you patronize on the basis of zipcode?

How about the church or shul?






If we wouldn't tolerate government dictating our choice of grocery store, professional, hair stylist........

Why do we tolerate government dictation of the education of our children? Have we not become the "flock of timid and industrious animals" about which De Tocqueville warned in his essay on "Administrative Despotism"?

Why do we tolerate this?

Nathan Benefield said...

To paraphrase Miracle Max from The Princess Bride, public schools aren't socialist...they are only "mostly socialist".

A completely socialist school system would be controlled by a centralized planning authority. Fortunately, wealthier families have some choice in education - either choosing private schools or "voting with their feet" and moving to areas with better local schools. And at the same time, the school choice movement has added increasing options for low income families - tax credits, vouchers, charter schools, cyber schools et. al.

Unfortunately, the educational establishment is working to make public schools more socialistic - actively undermining school choice programs (in both Pennsylvania and other states), suggesting a national curriculum, and proposing consolidation of school districts to take away competition and choice between districts.

We see the same thing in countries in which we have government health care - denial of choices outside the system, and moving to more centralized control. You can even see that with current government health programs in the US - not only do they want new and expanded gov't health care, the left wants government to purchase drugs directly through Medicaid to eliminate the private sector, they are working to eliminate Medicare Advantage, and above all, they are increasingly regulating and issuing mandates on private sector health care.

So indeed, this is why we fear a health care system which is only "partly socialized", because it will soon become "mostly socialized" and likely even "completely socialized"