If the people have their own trucks, and more importantly their own guns, printing presses, and voting rights, it's quite a bit harder.
That's a good point. But presumably, if we're willing to give the gov't the resources to mount an effective National Defense operation, we're giving them sufficient resources to oppress us.
Now anyone could make a good case that, particularly in the inner city, the people who need the most help are getting the least; the people who can opt out of the system have done so, taking with them the will and power to improve the system, leaving the crappy "public" setup for only the least powerful and most needy.
Of course if you believe by definition that "public" equals "good", the conversation can end right here.
I didn't really sign on for a public vs. private school system argument. These things can go on for days.
Just let me say that I don't understand your implication that by dismantling the public education system, you guarantee those inner city kids will get an education equal to the rich-and-powerful's children. It seems to me that leaving education entirely to the private sector virtually guarantees that the quality of education received will be a function of wealth. And I can't imagine that the wealthy and powerful will care at all about the prospects of the poor, once the voters have been taken out of the equation.
Of course, if you believe by definition that "private" equals "good", the conversation can end right here.
Seriously, though. The Libertarian approach to this problem (actually, it's not strictly Libertarian) appears to throw the baby out with the bathwater. A lot of the problems with our system can be traced to a combination of selfishness and apathy (on the part of parents and voters.) If you change "parents" and "voters" to "customers", I don't see the straight-line guarantee that all of our societal problems will be solved. It takes one look at GM and Ford's vehicular contributions from the 1970s to realize that consumers and private business can revel in mediocrity.
If, under an ideal Libertarian society, every American suddenly begins to fight daily for his or her freedoms, and the best opportunity for their children... Then yes, it'll be a dream. On the other hand, if they continue to behave as they do now (allowing Congressman to take money, letting education funds be squandered on endless testing), I can't imagine that we'll get a better situation. It'll just be a little bit easier for the wealthy and powerful to get their way.
For example, public education is also public indoctrination, whether the parents are in favor of that or not. Now you will argue that mandatory cultural socialization and indoctrination is a good thing, and the conversation will have to end again.
Just as an addendum, what makes you think that the Government is the only force capable of indoctrination? I'm much more comfortable with my education's clumsy "USA is good, USSR is bad" indoctrination than with Coca-Cola's recent attempts to force kids to drink Coke from grade 5 up. Or with Disney's "Intellectual Property is good" indoctrination experiments.
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