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Re: Education



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Administrative Note:
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Week's Agenda: Economy
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Parth's libertarian ideas re education is absolutely exciting. Perhaps, we
should skip what the great stalwarts had to say and build upon Parth's very
simple assertion that,'govt should do nothing
more and nothing less for education than what it does for pencils....Individuals
should be responsible for education as they are for bathing.  Both have external
effects'.

Milton's son David Friedman could probably justify Parth's view as well.

Looking forward to hear more.


PJShah wrote:

> Despite pressing deadlines, I can't keep off totally.
>
> 1. From a strictly libertarian point of view,  govt should do nothing
> more and nothing less for education than what it does for pencils. If
> people get the govt they deserve, then in the same sense, they get the
> education they deserve.  Individuals should be responsible for education as
> they are for bathing.  Both have external effects'.
>
> 2. However, many liberals/libertarians like Smith, Friedman, and Hayek
> have made an exception for education.  The consensus seems to be that
> govt may help finance education but it shall not be in the business of
> running schools and colleges (not in the "production" of education but
> in the "payment" for education).  They however have not been able to
> provide any permanent solution to the inevitable expansion of govt
> interventions under the guise of specifying conditions for financial
> support.  They have tried to suggest financing mechanisms that are
> uniform across the population and leave little room for govt discretion.
>
> 3.  Friedman's voucher program:  Govt gives a voucher of specified
> amount of money to each child which can can be cashed in by schools
> providing education.  Question:  Why should govt/public pay for rich
> children's education?
>
> 4.  Means-tested vouchers:  Give vouchers to the children of parents
> whose income is below the specified amount.
>
> Both types of vouchers still leave a lot of power in the hands of the
> govt in specifying what kind of schools can cash vouchers (non-English
> medium, non-religious, etc etc).  What now?
>
> 5.  Latest move is to simply let parents deduct the expenses of
> education from their income tax.  The percentage of deducation can be
> graduated by income group--the richer the parents the less they can
> deduct.  The govt doesn't really give out money; it simply takes in
> less.  For those who don't earn enough to pay taxes, they get the
> difference back--Friedman's negative income tax.
>
> But the govt can still specify tuition to what schools can be deducted.
> Back to square one!
>
> We agree that govt shouldn't be in the business of "producing"
> education.  But even if we were to restrict it to the "financing" of
> education, we still don't have a good, full-proof, workable scheme for
> govt financing of education.
>
> But that will be part of the next round of discussions...on actual
> policies, as opposed to the current one on general principles.  Until
> then ... good thinking!
> parth-
>

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