Monday, April 18, 2005

A DovBear lesson in economics

MOChassid writes:

[I] asked whether people could name educators who had a lasting impact on their lives. I meant a positive impact. Most of the commentors had no such mentors. Many comments were about Jewish educators who had negative impacts (sometime incredibly negative and destructive impacts).

GOP-Jews insist that the market solves everything, and salivate eagerly for vouchers. "Vouchers will solve everything," they chorus, "and make the public school system functional!"

In a word: ha.

Our yeshivot have always operated on free market principles. You can send your kid anywhere you want. The different schools all compete for your business, and in mahy Jewish neighborhoods there are six or nine or 50 schools from which to choose. According to market dogma, all this free competition makes everything better. According to market dogma you'll get the best product at the best prices if you leave things alone.

So why does the Jewish education system, which is more expensive than ever, suck beans?

Simple. Education isn't a market, so market rules don't apply. Free competition can't improve quality and prices because, with education, we aren't dealing with a real market.

Why isn't education a market? See the comments.