Monday, May 9, 2011

If groceries were supplied like K-12 education

A post by Don Bodreux at Cafe Hayek begins with this.
Suppose that we were supplied with groceries in same way that we are supplied with K-12 education.
He goes on to describe an imaginary scenario where our groceries would be managed and distributed by the government in way similar to our system of public education.  He concludes:
Does anyone believe that such a system for supplying groceries would work well, or even one-tenth as well as the current private, competitive system that we currently rely upon for supplying grocery-retailing services?  To those of you who might think so, pardon me but you’re nuts.
To those of you who understand that such a system for supplying grocery-retailing services would be a catastrophe, why might you continue to count yourself in the ranks of those who believe that government schooling (especially the way it is currently funded and supplied) is the system that we should continue to use?
The 233 comments offer rebuttals and further debate on this issue.  I haven't read all comments, but I did see where one reader made the point that many poor urban residents do not currently have much choice in grocery stores, so how would a free market school system be any better than what we have now.  A response was that "ghetto" grocery stores still serve the public better than their public schools do.  Additionally, for urban residents who care about these things, the obstacles to shopping at a higher quality market are much less formidable than those blocking residents who desire that their children attend a school other than their local dropout factory.

An interesting discussion on this over at Kitchen Table Math.

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