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Author Topic: Government aid to education  (Read 13828 times)

UCCO2004

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Government aid to education
« on: June 25, 2006, 06:13:22 pm »

Everyone:

I would like to start a new discussion topic about government aid to education.

Government aid to education is one of the most hotly debated topics among Libertarians.  Most Libertarians oppose public schools and public colleges, because they are owned and operated by government, but many Libertarians also believe that there should be some form of government aid available for those who attend private schools and/or private colleges, whether such aid takes the form of school vouchers, student loans, college grants, or whatever else.  Other Libertarians are against such government aid, usually because people would be taxed to finance it under penalty of prison, but also because it might eventually subvert private schools and private colleges by requiring them to conform to government standards and teach government-approved curriculum in order to accept aid.  [Harry Browne and Marshall Fritz are two examples of Libertarians who have expressed this viewpoint.]

What does anyone think?

--UCCO2004
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Gabriel

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Re: Government aid to education
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2006, 11:31:46 pm »

I'm not aware of any Libertarians who would support government-paid school vouchers or other support programs except possibly as a transition from the current state of affairs to a fully libertarian society. Government-run handouts are fundamentally authoritarian whether they are for food, health care, school, or any other form of welfare.

Which is not to say that lots of people would go unschooled in a libertarian world, just as ending food stamps would not mean lots of people starving to death. Private, local, voluntary charity can easily (and generally did, before the New Deal) supply the educational needs of the children of the impoverished; people who can keep everything they earn have a lot more to share with others.
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ssawtell

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Re: Government aid to education
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2008, 05:37:01 pm »

[Resurrecting this thread instead of starting a new one]

I am also curious about the government aid to education issue.  Right now I would support vouchers as a step in the right direction, but ultimately a truly libertarian system would rely exclusively on private schools that each parent paid for independently without being taxed to subsidize someone else's child.   But I am wondering what people thought about the likelihood of private,local charity providing much help to schools in poor neighborhoods in light of:
1) the exponential increase in technology might mean that the cost of equipping poor schools to a level on par with wealthy schools might be surprisingly expensive.  This is in contrast to 'days of old' where perhaps a minimal amount of charity would have equalized quality of education.
2)we currently have a very culturally and economically stratified population that self-segregates into neighborhoods/suburbs.  so i'm not sure we would expect to see wealthier people taking a stakeholders interest in a geographically/socially separate area and donating to their schools. 

Again, these issues do not bear on the philosophical issue of not forcing someone to subsidize other peoples education (read: i would love not to get flamed).  any thoughts?
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John Edward Mercier

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Re: Government aid to education
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2008, 05:53:59 pm »

For many employment is the means to higher education.

But for the secondary years, I believe an increase in technology has made it cheaper to provide the means.
On-line studies have come a long way... a parent setting the curriculum and providing oversight I think would only further enhance them. In the past public schools provided access to education for those that could not afford private schools, much less private tutorial (homeschooling). Technology has placed the world at our fingertips.
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scamper_22

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Re: Government aid to education
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2009, 06:22:03 pm »

Let me way in on this as a new member :)

I don't know how pure a libertarian position this is.  But I thoroughly support school vouchers.

The reality is children are born to parents who might be good, bad, poor, rich...  The child is certainly not the property of the parents thus should not be needlessly burdened by the fiscal position of the parents.  The child is in the care of the parents as the child grows to adulthood.  This will always be a grey area... as it should be.  We should never go so far as to just leave children to the whims of their parents.  Nor should we decide to have the state take on the full burden of parenting. 

I 100% support direct school vouchers.

I actually advocate this voucher style system as a matter of transition for many issues.  Healthcare for example, we should all have a health spending account.  You're not going to get people to trust in freedom if they have never tasted it at all. 

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madeinmotown

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Re: Government aid to education
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2009, 06:34:10 pm »

Let me way in on this as a new member :)

I don't know how pure a libertarian position this is.  But I thoroughly support school vouchers.

The reality is children are born to parents who might be good, bad, poor, rich...  The child is certainly not the property of the parents thus should not be needlessly burdened by the fiscal position of the parents.  The child is in the care of the parents as the child grows to adulthood.  This will always be a grey area... as it should be.  We should never go so far as to just leave children to the whims of their parents.  Nor should we decide to have the state take on the full burden of parenting. 

I 100% support direct school vouchers.

I actually advocate this voucher style system as a matter of transition for many issues.  Healthcare for example, we should all have a health spending account.  You're not going to get people to trust in freedom if they have never tasted it at all. 



I'll give you vouchers as a decent transition proposition.  I fully agree that there are many people who cannot actually define the term freedom and since they have no experience with it, don't miss what they never had, and therefore will not take a risk for something better.  You make a good point in your last sentence.

However, I disagree wholeheartedly with your comment that we should never go so far as to leave children to the whims of their parents.  You are kidding right?  Children are their parents' responsibility period.  That's not to say that you shouldn't volunteer to help out children you think could use the benefit of your tutorage - assuming their parents are interested in your assistance.   
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scamper_22

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Re: Government aid to education
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2009, 07:04:02 pm »

"However, I disagree wholeheartedly with your comment that we should never go so far as to leave children to the whims of their parents.  You are kidding right? "

No I don't kid you.  If you believe libertarianism is the all about individual rights and responsibilities, one individual cannot own another.  A parent cannot murder their child as that child is granted the rights of a person.  Yet that child is not a fully formed individual yet.  They are an individual in progress.  The child does not get to choose their parents and does not have the mental capacities to make informed choices to leave or live an independent life.


I completely disagree with your black and white assertion that children are solely the responsibility of parents.  So it is a messy situation (as it should be).   The parents are there to care for the child as he/she transitions from being completely dependent on the parents as an infant to a fully formed adult. 

The rest of society has a role to play in ensuring limits are not crossed.  A parent should be allowed to spank their kids as a form of discipline.  Yet, the state must be there if this turns into daily beatings for no good reason.  Who do you propose protect the child as an individual in such circumstances?  Do you just leave the child in the hands of bad parents who whip him on a daily basis?  What about that child's rights as an individual?  Let's not pretend things like the Ameircan Crime (Sylvia Likens) do not happen.

Similarly, if parents are unable to provide adequate education, the state should provide it, via vouchers.  The vouchers should be in the child's name, not the parents.

« Last Edit: March 29, 2009, 07:05:56 pm by scamper_22 »
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madeinmotown

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Re: Government aid to education
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2009, 03:20:17 pm »

"However, I disagree wholeheartedly with your comment that we should never go so far as to leave children to the whims of their parents.  You are kidding right? "

No I don't kid you.  If you believe libertarianism is the all about individual rights and responsibilities, one individual cannot own another.  A parent cannot murder their child as that child is granted the rights of a person.  Yet that child is not a fully formed individual yet.  They are an individual in progress.  The child does not get to choose their parents and does not have the mental capacities to make informed choices to leave or live an independent life.


I completely disagree with your black and white assertion that children are solely the responsibility of parents.  So it is a messy situation (as it should be).   The parents are there to care for the child as he/she transitions from being completely dependent on the parents as an infant to a fully formed adult. 

The rest of society has a role to play in ensuring limits are not crossed.  A parent should be allowed to spank their kids as a form of discipline.  Yet, the state must be there if this turns into daily beatings for no good reason.  Who do you propose protect the child as an individual in such circumstances?  Do you just leave the child in the hands of bad parents who whip him on a daily basis?  What about that child's rights as an individual?  Let's not pretend things like the Ameircan Crime (Sylvia Likens) do not happen.

Similarly, if parents are unable to provide adequate education, the state should provide it, via vouchers.  The vouchers should be in the child's name, not the parents.



So your point in a nutshell is this?  "Since slavery is no longer legal, the goverment/society should step in and raise children when we don't agree with the job the actual parents are doing."   
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scamper_22

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Re: Government aid to education
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2009, 03:40:43 pm »

"So your point in a nutshell is this?  "Since slavery is no longer legal, the goverment/society should step in and raise children when we don't agree with the job the actual parents are doing.""

If you wish to view it on that level.. then yeah.  If the parents are doing such a *crappy* job raising their kids, then yes... the state should step in to protect the individual rights of the child. 

A parent is allowed to hit their child.  This is not something one individual can do to another against their will.  It is a special privilege given to the parent-child relationship.
 
Now we have to define crappy.  Which is where the messy work of democracy and legislation and the courts comes in.  You cannot run from messy work when it comes to government.
You cannot just close you eyes and say that parents can do what they want with their children.  As much as the state has a horrible record of raising kids, the crimes of parents upon children cannot be ignored either. 

By default, what the parent wishes should be allowed.  However, if it crosses a line... then yes, the state should step in. 
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lobstah

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Re: Government aid to education
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2009, 03:52:05 pm »

this thread could have really helped me two weeks ago, when i had to decide between furthering my education and accepting a govt loan, or not being able to afford to go back to school at all. in the end, i decided id hold my nose and take the loan. maybe with my degree, i can make up for my transgression somehow by doing something great :).
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Keyser Soce

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Re: Government aid to education
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2009, 05:32:38 pm »

However, if it crosses a line... then yes, the state should step in. 

Who determines where the line is? How do you propose to fund the enforcement of your line? How will you deal with those who believe the line is somewhere else? If there was no state, would you take it upon yourself to step in?
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scamper_22

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Re: Government aid to education
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2009, 05:53:59 pm »

"Who determines where the line is? How do you propose to fund the enforcement of your line? How will you deal with those who believe the line is somewhere else? If there was no state, would you take it upon yourself to step in?"

Funding enforcement would be the same as funding a police force. 

We deal with the 'line' the same way any line is drawn.  The democratic process makes laws.  The courts ensure no line is crossed.  Any libertarian society is going to have to have a solid court system to ensure the government does not overstep its bounds.  The courts must be immensely pro-individual rights or the liberty of the society will be eroded anyways.  So you will have to count on the constitution to make it clear the preference is for the parent's judgment and the judges to act accordingly.  There's no perfect legal writing that can ever substitute for good judgment.  Any libertarian society will depend on the steadfastness of the courts.   I know many libertarians wish they could do away with the whole governance process.  That it gets messy concerning grey areas that require judgment.  Nonetheless, it is inescapable. 


You should really try and look at this not just from the rights of the parent, but also concerning the individual rights of the child.   I am well aware of the implications and potential harm of the state looking into the lives of families.  However, we cannot just ignore the individual rights of the child.
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Keyser Soce

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Re: Government aid to education
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2009, 11:46:52 pm »


Funding enforcement would be the same as funding a police force. 


I choose not to fund a police force.


We deal with the 'line' the same way any line is drawn. 

We who? This is not our line, this is your line.


The democratic process makes laws. 

No thanks! Democracy = two wolves and sheep voting on what's for dinner. Wrong is wrong no matter how many people vote for it and what's wrong is you deciding how to spend my money.

The courts ensure no line is crossed. 

Yeah, that's worked out well.

Any libertarian society is going to have to have a solid court system to ensure the government does not overstep its bounds. 

Says you. There are plenty of libertarian writings to the contrary, unless your court is system is voluntarily funded, which is not the impression I was getting.


I know many libertarians wish they could do away with the whole governance process.  That it gets messy concerning grey areas that require judgment.  Nonetheless, it is inescapable. 

Inescapable? Because you can't think of the answer, it must not exist?


You should really try and look at this not just from the rights of the parent, but also concerning the individual rights of the child.   

I'm sorry for looking at the world all wrong but I am neither a parent nor a child and you've failed to explain from whence you derive the authority to punish me for the sins of another.


I am well aware of the implications and potential harm of the state looking into the lives of families.  However, we cannot just ignore the individual rights of the child.

You're ignoring the individual rights of adults when you steal their productivity to create bureaucracies which will have questionable benefits. 
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scamper_22

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Re: Government aid to education
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2009, 12:37:50 am »

"I choose not to fund a police force. "

well... not much more to say there.  Unless you have a voluntary police force.   In which case the protection of children would be done the same way.


Otherwise, we're just a little too different in our view points.
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madeinmotown

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Re: Government aid to education
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2009, 07:16:12 am »

So Scamper, are you ok with this view?  http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=55d_1238426896
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