Enough Already!

It’s been a rough weekend around here.  In the span of just a couple of days we’ve had two, two, mass shootings leaving in its wake dozens of families now having to think about planning funerals for the ones they lost rather then spending the time with them that they never will again.

And already the gloves have come off.

Almost instantly, people from both sides of the gun control issue have begun shouting their views and pointing their fingers and raging against each other.

Can we not stop for just a moment and let the families grieve before tearing at each other’s throats?

But I’m not here to talk about guns.

I’m here to talk about people.

I’ve watched in recent years as the rhetoric in our country has descended from civil debates to the level of drunken bar room brawls. Politicians, in their bids to gain support, constantly paint “The Other” as the source of society’s problems.

“If you have a different skin colour and espouse different views, you should go back to where you came from!”

“If you have a different skin colour, I’m going to call the police every time you walk your dog through MY park!”

“If you protest MY President I’m gonna jump out of my truck and punch you repeated in the face! I don’t care if you are 61 years old!”

Seriously? Is this who we’ve become?

We can debate guns until we’re all blue in the face, and I’m sure we will, but that’s going to solve our problem. The only way to solve our problem is to start treating people like people again.

We need to recognize the mental health issues that drive people to commit these acts and address them before hand…and that means getting involved in each other’s lives. Get to know the people who live around you and talk to them and with them. Treat everyone with the same kindness and compassion that you wish to be treated with.

If everyone did this, maybe you’d see incidents like ths weekend’s go down and possibly even stop altogether.  And the beauty of it is no governments need apply.  People being kind to people, people looking out for each other, people caring for each other enough to step in when they see a potential problem requires no special funding, no special agencies, no government oversight.  Just simple human kindness.

It’s time those who wish to lead us preach hopes and dreams and not hate and fear because hate and fear can only lead to violence.

And I’ve had about enough of that.

That’s my two-cents.

Ken Holpp, Communications Director, Franklin County Libertatian Party.

Libertarian candidate for Reynoldsburg City Council returned to November ballot

The Ohio Supreme Court determined the elections board abused its discretion in the matter by acting more than two months after the primary and that the protestor had standing to challenge the signatures as a member of the Libertarian Party.

Earlier this year Rob Bender, Libertarian Candidate for Reynoldsburg City Council, Ward 3, was illegally and inappropriately removed from the November ballot by the untimely action of the Franklin County Board of Elections. Despite vigorous protest by Mr. Bender’s Lawyer during the two separate hearings the Board convened to discuss their actions, the Board members voted to hear a challenge to Mr. Bender’s previously certified ballot petition.
Mr. Bender and his lawyer appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court, which, in an unusual swiftness, issued a unanimous rebuke to the Franklin County Board of Elections and granted Mr. Bender’s demand to be restored to the the ballot.

This is an unqualified victory for Libertarian Ballot Access in Ohio!

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Source: https://www.dispatch.com/news/20190723/libertarian-candidate-for-reynoldsburg-city-council-returned-to-november-ballot

THE STATE EX REL. BENDER v. FRANKLIN COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS.

III. CONCLUSION
{¶ 17} Because no evidence established the protestor’s standing and because the time for sua sponte action by the board had passed, the board abused its discretion by removing Bender from the ballot. Accordingly, we issue a writ of mandamus ordering the board to reinstate Bender as a candidate for the November 2019 general election.

Writ granted. O’CONNOR, C.J., and FRENCH, FISCHER, DONNELLY, and STEWART, JJ.,

concur.
KENNEDY and DEWINE, JJ., concur in judgment only.

http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/0/2019/2019-Ohio-2854.pdf

Government Laws Are Not Contracts

Reprinted with kind permission from Mises.org

Despite what you were taught in school, governance is ugly; in all forms, and at all times. Don’t believe me? Attend a meeting of a local governing entity. You will find the council — omnipotent by vote, omniscient by delusion — seated before you at the table. All night long, they’ll bicker and battle all the while proposing and dissecting plans and schemes with shouts and pounding shoes; Khrushchev moments indeed.

This is the reality of man lording over man, and it’s been that way for eons. Ugly, just plain ugly. And it doesn’t matter the span or purpose of the governing entity. This ugly reality holds equally true for the fist-fighting Taiwanese legislator as for the insult-hurling band booster. Power corrupts at all levels.

One other aspect of governance appears to be consistent at every level: the broader the scope of the proposed plan or idea, the further they reach beyond the stated bounds of the entity, the more receptive a hearing that the entity’s council will give to the idea. Everyone dreams grandiose dreams, whether during solitary reflective moments or while monopolizing the public microphone. But it’s the bully at the public mic, entertaining the media and sparse audience, whose dreams we must fear.

Given that these aspects are inherent in the essence of power, the issue is not how to improve systems of governance, but how to control their scope.

Because enforced contract law and full property rights are the foundations of freedom, governance systems should be based on enforceable contracts that defend property rights. The concepts of general welfare and public good have no place in such systems, as the intent of those ideals is to break contracts and trespass on property.

Governance — government — must be limited in a manner that is akin to a legal, binding contract, where rights are understood and unchanging. While a contract-based system will not change the ugly aspects of the lording class, it will limit the effects that the omnipotent and omniscient have on your pursuit of happiness.

The best way to compare the current systems of unbounded authority with that of contract-based systems is to attend meetings of a homeowners association and meetings at a local township hall. Both entities have documents that define the span and purpose of their respective assemblies, yet only the contract-based system shows any real restraint. Certainly, both dream of utopia, but only the homeowners association must accept the inherent realities of signed agreements.

In Ohio, townships can pass comprehensive plans and zoning codes in order to create orderly communities. Zoning codes are supposed to provide hard, fast rules akin to a written contract between community members with township officials acting as enforcers. Yet, zoning codes are perceived by the marginal vote getters and their appointed minions as something else entirely. In the hands of the township officials, zoning codes are, in the words of Barbossa from Pirates of the Caribbean when referring to the concept of parley, “…more what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules.”

Consider this situation: You moved into an area that is zoned as a conservation district where developments are limited to 1 home per acre, with natural exteriors, and abundant green space. You desired to live in your neighborhood since it is within the conservation district, an area that meets the development standards you prefer. You had assumed that the zoning codes in place would protect you from development based on subjectively lower standards.

After living in your new home for a year or so, you catch a notice in the local paper that your township is considering a proposed development on the fallow farm fields and woods that abut your backyard. So, you attend the zoning hearings to see what will become of your backyard vista. At those meetings you quickly remember the prescient words of Barbossa.

The zoning commissioners are willing to trade homes per acre, natural exteriors, and green space for a donation of an offsite piece of land for a future community park or fire station. Sure, you hold the zoning codes — still in force — in your hands as if it is a contract to be enforced by the township, yet the zoning commissioners and township trustees see that document as the starting point for exactions and extractions; what the developer considers extortion by other means.

You can complain and shout, but the governance system that you have encountered has no consideration for your assumed contract. The commissioners and trustees only care about their grandiose plans for a utopian community. Your long-term vision of your local neighborhood, based on current regulations, just met their long-term vision of posterity; the one where future residents sing praises to the plans and vision of the current ruling elite.

Now, consider the homeowners association (HOA). Certainly, the same taste of power has corrupted the key players. They have dreams too, but their dreams are limited by the restrictive covenant that governs use of the property covered by the association. Sure, they send out a monthly newsletter with words of wisdom regarding how residents should live their lives, but they can’t do anything about it. The concepts of general welfare and public good are not defined on the deed filed at the county offices as purposes of the association.

Now, I’m not saying that some residents will not suffer the occasional annoyance as HOA trustees hold the color pallet against your mailbox to verify the hue of the stain which you applied, but they can’t change the usage of your neighbor’s property from residential to commercial. Nor can they subdivide properties or dig up sidewalks. The HOA members have utopian dreams, but contracts limit their reality to mending fences and mulching entrance ways.

Other than showing excessive exuberance at times, the HOAs are typically indicted in the press when the singular property owner wants to turn his front yard into a memorial for the flag, replete with search lights and a continually repeating sample of Taps. What’s worse, the property owner knowingly agreed to such restrictions prior to purchasing the property. The homeowner, attempting to trample on the agreement, is hailed as the last defender of Lady Liberty herself, while the HOA, defending its contract with all homeowners, is perceived as evil incarnate.

Such inconveniences and annoyances are nothing compared to the damaged resulting from unbounded governance. As you move up the governmental food chain, you will find that each subsequent level reaps more damage, more ills. At the federal level, it is as if no bounds exist anymore. Sure, the separate branches mention the Constitution, but only as a means to pervert its moral authority.

Some will claim that the Constitution is our written contract, binding rule of law, and restrictive covenant, yet its perversion would seem to imply that contract governments, whether constitutional public or anarcho-libertarian private, are bound to fail.

But, not so fast. For the private supplier of governance, the entrepreneur across the street offering a similar service is enough of a threat to keep private governing bodies in line.

On the other hand, the political class simply requires rumblings from the masses. Rumble, and they shall fear. Shout, and they shall bend. Scream, and they shall wither.

The ilk that sit at the head of the table, whether local, state, or national, are most concerned about keeping their power and status. These are not men and women of principles. They are simply power seekers. They will wither and do as told once this great nation says, “Stop! Respect the Constitution.” They would rather flip and flop than risk the next election.

The ruling elite know this, that’s why they utilize a coerced education system to perpetuate their nonsense. Yet, a simple booklet such as the comic version of Hayek’s Road to Serfdom can turn enough minds to shake the tables of power. But, just because many have lost sight of “Don’t Tread on Me,” doesn’t mean all is lost. A little more education, a stronger tug on the collar of the elected, and the direction toward socialism could reverse overnight.

So, whether your concept of government is constitutional public or anarcho-libertarian private, contract governments will work. They’ll be messy, the public version will take conviction of the governed, but their scope will not creep onto your property and liberty.

Jim Fedako, Contributer

Celebrate Pride and Libertarian Party History

Since our founding in 1971, the Libertarian Party has held true to the platform of promoting civil liberties which inherently include same-sex marriage and individual expression and relationships. Our statement of principles reinforce and remind us of our primary purpose, liberty in our lifetime.

“The protection of individual rights is the only proper purpose of government. No conflict exists between civil order and individual rights. Both concepts are based on the same fundamental principle: that no individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government. The government is instituted to protect individual rights. The government is constitutionally limited so as to prevent the infringement of individual rights by the government itself.”

In our first national convention the Libertarian Party nominated the openly gay John Hospers to be our candidate for President of the United States. Hospers, and running mate Tonie Nathan, received an electoral vote by a faithless elector from Virginia, making him the first LGBT candidate (and Nathan the first female) to do so.

The 1976 presidential campaign further expanded on this position calling for a repeal of all laws governing consensual sexual relationships between adults.

After 40 tireless years promoting equality in opportunity the Libertarian Party is pleased to see so many of its positions adopted and enacted to protect and embrace our wonderful LGBTQ community.

Hate To Say I Told You So

One of the few perks about being a third party candidate after an election is the eventual collective realization that your campaign was right about most of the things you said, despite the fact this realization happens too late for it to matter. Of course, by “perk” I mean sometimes it’s just nice to say “I told you so” after everyone seemed to ignore your contribution to the political discussion. Whether it happens to be our various stances on an assortment of issues or what we predicted that our establishment, two-party opponents would eventually do if elected (despite what they said they’d do) it’s something third party candidates from local to federal office often get used to in the year after the dust has settled.

Naturally, as the Libertarian candidate for governor of Ohio in 2018, these “I told you so” moments keep popping up as my once-opponent Mike DeWine continues to live up to what I told people he would do and more. Yes, when DeWine said that his Democratic opponent Rich Cordray would raise taxes to pay for road repairs, many of us knew this was just another trick in DeWine’s political bag, as he’s been a “tax and spend Republican” himself for decades. I called him as much at multiple Tea Party meetings last year to little fanfare or recognition. Sure enough, one of DeWine’s first big acts as Governor was to advocate for an 18 cent increase on Ohio’s gas tax. At least Cordray had the courtesy to tell the truth, saying he’d put a bond issue in front of the voters, in comparison to DeWine’s boldfaced lie.

Then there’s the issue of guns, a real soft spot in DeWine’s political record that we tried to exploit in 2018 and once again were proven correct. DeWine has since announced that he’s going to look into a “red flag” law that would take guns away from “high risk” individuals in Ohio — obviously something that he chose not to bring up on the campaign trail. Whatever your stance is on gun rights, even the most vocal criticsknow that “red flag” laws can result in a slippery slope of accusations without merit, as evidenced by several instances in states where these laws have gone into effect.

But DeWine’s eventual turnaround was just another chapter in his 40+ year stint in politics, one that the more politically astute knew was coming after the election. We tried to warn people on both sides, whatever their political beliefs, to no avail. Now both conservatives and liberals have to live with the consequences while we third party candidates can only post eyeroll emojis on social media.

Of course, it’s not just the third party soothsaying that applies to DeWine — there have been plenty of policy positions that I advocated for that have come to fruition in some form or another as well. The state legislature is thankfully taking up criminal justice reform, which has been badly needed in Ohio for decades, especially with the opioid crisis ravaging our state. Republicans and Democrats, perhaps with some encouragement because of the Issue 1 campaign, are looking to treat Ohio’s drug problem as a health issue, not a criminal issue. This was something I advocated for throughout 2018, especially as people across the state told me their own stories about how the opioid crisis was impacting them.

Similarly, Ohio’s medical marijuana program is finally rolling alongslowly but surely, as dispensaries across the state are opening despite the state’s backwards way of doing things. Growers and producers of marijuana products are now somewhat operational, leading to a less-than-largesse rollout of products for patients. This was something I said needed to be fast tracked since the program was approved over two years ago, especially because marijuana has been proven to help fight such things as opioid addiction. Thankfully things are now moving in the right direction, albeit slowly.

Again, this is the bittersweet aftermath of being a third party candidate, no matter what election you run in. You can be right as much as you’d like, but likely no one will realize it until it’s too late. I used to watch Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson talk ad nauseam about the need for criminal justice reform and the benefits of legalizing marijuana in America. The pain of knowing we were right while we didn’t have any chance of winning didn’t seem to phase Johnson, to his credit. But in my case in 2018, I knew I was advocating for policies that would have affected many voters in a positive way, whether they knew it or not. It is this mere sliver of joy that makes telling people “I told you so” after the fact worth it, although I’m starting to hate to have to do it.

Travis Irvine, 2018 Libertarian candidate for Governor

RE: LIBERTARIAN PARTY STATUS CHALLENGE – FRANKLIN COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF OHIO
DATE:  MAY 29, 2019

The Franklin County Board of Elections met on May 28, 2019, at 2:00 pm to consider a challenge to the candidacy of Libertarian candidate Rob Bender for Reynoldsburg Ward 3 City Council Representative.

The pretext of the challenge to Mr. Bender is the validity of his candidate petition signatures and the Minor Party status of the Libertarian Party to field candidates under Ohio law. The Ohio GOP has a long history of challenging Libertarian candidates in order to preserve the two-party system.

The Administrator for the BOE verified, in the May 28 hearing, that the signatures are valid and sufficient for the candidacy. Unhappy with that answer, Board Member Doug Preisse (R) asked his employee if he would like to “change his mind.” The answer was, “no.”

Too bad Mr. Preisse.

The Libertarian Party of Ohio gained Minor Party status in July 2018 after submitting over 100,000 petition signatures as required under Ohio law. Minor Party status remains valid if either the party’s gubernatorial or presidential candidate earns at least 3% of the vote. Ohio law allows a Minor Party two election cycles to reach this threshold.

The 2016 Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson received 3.17% of votes in Ohio, yet was ruled to not have achieved the required 3%.

Libertarian Party attorney and Capital Law School professor Mark Brown represented Mr. Bender at the hearing. He directed the Board to the facts that the challenge on ballot access was made outside the time allowed for such challenges and the elector bringing forth the challenge is not a Libertarian. The challenger to the petition was not present at the hearing.

Franklin County Libertarian Party Chair, Michael Sweeney, said of the challenge,

“We know the law is on our side, but the Republican and Democratic Board Members are not. They appeared unprepared for this hearing, baffled by their own rules, and casually claimed the benefit of ignorance that they zealously deny others who come before them.”

The BOE will meet again on Monday, June 3, 2019, at 3pm to consider this matter, which was continued at the request of BOE attorney to review Ohio law.

The Libertarian Party of Ohio annual Conference will be held in Toledo on May 31 – June 1 and is open to the public.

For more information on ballot access laws or the GOP history of ballot censorship contact:

Franklin County Libertarian Party  614-412-2026

Political Director, Kryssi Wichers 740-808-2158


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Franklin County Libertarian Party strongly opposes Ohio House Bill 6.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRANKLIN COUNTY LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF OHIO
DATE:  MAY 29, 2019

Ohio House Bill 6 will negatively impact Franklin County residents and businesses by raising electric bills and unjustly subsidizing corporations with taxpayer money. It is for these reasons that Franklin County Libertarian Party strongly urges the Ohio House and Senate to reject this legislation.
House Bill 6 intends to repeal Ohio’s current clean energy Renewable Portfolio Standards and create a new program; the Ohio Clean Air Program.
This bill will increase electric rates for consumers by $1.00 per month to supply The Clean Air Program’s fund. This “Clean Air Fund” would then use its revenue to subsidize two unprofitable nuclear power plants in Northeast Ohio.
House Bill 6 also intends to legislate permission for two coal plants, one in Southwest Ohio and one in Indiana, to charge Ohioans in their regions an additional $2.50 per month fee to ensure the plants’ profitability.
The Franklin County Libertarian Party stands for free market principles, and this bill is in direct contradiction to our beliefs. This bill artificially inflates electricity costs for consumers and businesses. This bill also artificially props up unprofitable energy producers who have spent years lobbying for government subsidization. Taxpayers should not be held responsible for poor business decisions that have led to these four power plant’s financial trouble.
We urge our members and partners in opposition to speak out against this harmful legislation, and we urge legislators to stand against cronyism and vote against House Bill 6 and it’s Senate companion.


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For The People By The People

Despite its hypocrisy on many levels, the American Government’s stated principles are a great design for managing the necessity of government.  It facilitates a “free market” while keeping the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of its citizens the primary purpose.  We have lost that primary purpose of the American Government.  The American Government is now just a king, his court and the rich “nobility” (aka large corporations) trying to figure out how to make themselves richer.  The average citizen no longer has any rights other than to support the cause of the rich getting richer.

We have been lulled to sleep and distracted by America’s newest scandal (The Apprentice- The Presidential episodes) while the actual pillars that make America great have crumbled only to be replaced by the same system of inequality and injustice America was “created” to avoid.

Every politician in the state of Ohio is among the rich and elite.  In Ohio the estimated net worth of the richest politician was $23,005,561 in 2015 with a median net worth of $3,813,525 (according to opensecrets.org) .  Meanwhile, the median household income in Ohio is less than $55,0000  and the median net worth for US citizens is $81,850 (2014).  This means that from a financial point of view, we no longer have a government of the people.  Our government now serves the needs of large corporations with huge market value and rich political donors, exclusively.  This includes the lobbyist-regulator-lobbyist revolving door.

How can we demand a government provide a free market system that works for and protects citizens when the people who make up the government, financially, only reflect the top 10% of the population?   Didn’t we have a revolutionary war to fight against the tyranny of kings and the filthy rich who tax, extort and abuse everyone else?

Protecting the citizens is not an obstruction to free markets but rather it is the essential essence of free markets.  Our country is knee deep in an economic conflict that will determine if the principles of our country remain consistent for generations to come.  It is imperative that our elected officials truly reflect the citizen population they represent and in 2019, they do not.

In conclusion, we need to return to the small government, representative democracy: for the people, by the people.  That’s what truly Makes America Great! The new “American Oligarchy” run by the unholy trinity of the elite, Big Business and Big government does not make America Great, it makes America suck.  This new oligarchy only serves its own interests and hinders the prosperity of the American people.  It traps the freedom and wealth of America in the top 10% causing the 90% to struggle to make ends meet with subpar wages and the nearly impossible task of navigating through miles of red tape and astronomical fees (with no mention at all of the capital needed) just to start a small business and actually participate in the free markets.  We need to return to real free markets and the small government, representative democracy spelled out in the Constitution of the United States of America. A democracy where WE THE PEOPLE of the United States govern ourselves.

Vote Libertarian!

By James and Jira Simpson, FCLPO At-Large Member 

FCLPO Endorses Candidates

Franklin County Libertarian Party of Ohio Central Committee, at the recommendation of the Executive Committee, is pleased to endorse the following candidates for election in Franklin County.

Tricia Sprankle, running for the office of City Attorney for Gahanna, Ohio

Jennifer Flower, running for the office of Trustee for Prairie Township, Ohio

Rob Bender, running for the office of City Council Ward 3, Reynoldsburg, Ohio

If you are interested in donating or volunteering for these candidates you can fill out our volunteer form, and we will forward you to the appropriate campaign resource. You can also donate directly to FCLPO using the link below and indicate a preference for the candidate we should forward your support.

Donate to FCLPO

The Freedom to Reject the Best

Posted to Mises.org 08/08/2006

A new study suggests that private schools are not inherently better than public schools. Surprised? Enough people were such that the study, funded by the US Department of Education, has created a stir in the education arena, as well as in the national news. But I want to argue that the results are meaningless, and for reasons not having to do with the methodology employed in the study.

The authors of Comparing Private Schools and Public Schools Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling analyzed math and reading scores of nearly 7,000 public schools and more than 500 private schools on the 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress at the fourth and eighth grades. NAEP was the chosen assessment tool since it is considered to be the national achievement test and is used to assess student academic performance against national standards.

Though the title sounds impressive, the findings simply suggest a conclusion. Nothing has really been proven and no new truths exposed. I could begin by questioning the whole concept of empirical studies that suggest this or suggest that. I could ask, “What truths have been brought to light by any study that is couched in such a vague qualifier?” I could attack all the assumptions that went into the model and then list those that did not. Had I gone that route, I hopefully would have raised enough doubt in the reader that the study would be discarded as worthless.

But the real error here is more philosophical than empirical. Studies such as these simply show that a deeper ill exists, a malaise caused by government interventionism.

Consider Consumer Reports

The popular magazine reviews consumer goods based on a proprietary set of standards. They test, analyze, test, analyze, etc., until they are satisfied as to the quality of the products under review. CR then assigns individual product ratings and notes one product as a best buy. Though most Americans accept CR’s results as being of excellent quality, the noted best buy is not usually the market best-seller. Yes, I will occasionally look at CR prior to purchasing a good, but I almost never buy the best buy. I agree that the CR results are scientifically valid based on their standards, but that doesn’t mean I am in the market for the scientifically valid, CR best-buy product.

Though it may only last six months, I want the new hairdryer complete with the latest features, bathed in the hottest colors. That’s my choice. My preference rank for features and colors is above that for durability. Who is to say that I am wrong? In a free market, anyone. But, they cannot force me to act otherwise.

What would happen if Consumer Reports had legislative and regulatory authority akin to government? We would all be forced to purchase the best buy and we would all spend our lives unsatisfied. On the surface it sounds great to have a leading research organization controlling the market for “the general good and welfare,” but consider your own actions vis-à-vis CR’s best buys.

The same holds for a government-run education system. Even if the federal government mandated a set of standards that were scientifically valid according to the DOE national outcomes, the set of standards and outcomes would not be the standards and outcomes most Americans would choose as acting individuals.

Scientific research can create goods that are bigger, smaller, faster, slower, etc. But just because research can create the good doesn’t mean that there is a market for it. No one wants a hypodermic needle that is rougher, wider, longer, etc. The superlatives associated with improvements and innovations from scientific research are not always desired by consumers.

In education, the best that DOE could be is a truly benevolent authority. It could gather the nation’s greatest thinkers to divine standards of education outcomes and employ the top psychometricians, statisticians, etc., to create assessments that are mapped to those standards. At its hypothetical best, this brain-trust would simply function as CR does in the products market. The assessments would be scientifically valid and could rank achievement and note the educational best buy — based on the arbitrary set of DOE standards. But parents and students, as well as community members, teachers, and radicals, etc., would be unsatisfied; just as the consumer would be unsatisfied having to always purchase the CR best buy.

So, what’s the solution? Simply, let the market reign. [1] A free market system of education would create for those who seek different options a system that encourages the implementation of the spectrum of educational choices — best viewed as experiments, just as each new product, service, store, etc., is a market experiment. The successful experiments become the market standard that new entrepreneurs seek to surpass.

These choices would involve all aspects of education — including pedagogies, methodologies, etc. — which would afford all parents the ability to satisfy their desires for their children’s education. Each idea would be evaluated by the parent, the education consumer, ex ante over the summer according to individual preferences and ultimate goals, and once again ex post at the end of each school year.

Parents would choose their standard of results and they would seek out entrepreneurs who would then hire teachers and administrators that could deliver the parents’ vision. The entrepreneurs would purchase products to implement the vision and the science community would be engaged to improve old products and innovate new ones — all due to the market pressures of the freely acting parents, the consumers. This is the proper direction of improvements and innovations, from the consumer back to the scientist, engineer, researcher, etc.

The standards set by the parent would drive the research that would deliver the product, not the reverse. [2] Currently we have a system where the standards are set by a myriad of governments and agencies — standards no one wants or agrees with — and we have a spectrum of research whose real goal is to drive the standards and grab the tax dollars.

There are scientific winners in the field of the delivery of quality, basic education, such as Direct Instructions, etc., but we know a significant number of parents, teachers, and administrators don’t give a hoot about reading, writing, and arithmetic. They want affective learning — the feel-good, Progressive educationist-babble currently in favor — and long for the ideal child, the product of the latest version of Trotsky’s proletarian paradise .

I disagree with them, but their solutions may actually end up being correct, or they will fail. Only a market can show whether a solution is right or wrong.

That said, we have to keep in mind that Consumer Reports creates valid ratings that we mostly ignore, and we are all better off because we continue to make our own choices. Our individual wants drive improvements and innovations to provide for our greater satisfaction. Why should education be any different?

Notes

[1] The free market is the only economic system where we can disagree yet live peacefully. My wife likes Coke while I prefer Pepsi. In fact, I’d rather drink a glass of baking soda than a glass of Coke (OK, a little hyperbole for effect). Due to the free market in soft drinks, my wife and I can live happily ever after. Under interventionism, or plain socialism, the fight becomes which bland flavor will be served by the scowling apparachik wearing a faded Babushka. Choose freedom every time.

[2] Certainly a scientist could act as an entrepreneur prospector and create a product even though no current desire exists. But if they fail to meet future needs, they will suffer financial loses. The current system does not discipline the scientist since government purchases the product whether the education consumer wants it or not.

Reprinted with kind permission from original source.

Posted to Mises.org 08/08/2006