One of my many fun books is one by Donald J. Boudreaux called “Hypocrites & Half-Wits.” It’s a series of letters, one per page, to the editors of major newspapers.

In one of these letters Boudreaux makes the following argument about schools and supermarkets. I’ve paraphrased his argument below.

My property tax bill comes in and I pay it. The legislators in Washington and Helena would use my hard earned money to build, maintain, and operate our supermarkets.

Are you beginning to feel a little uneasy about your culinary choices?

Federal Department of Supermarkets

Like our public schools, a small group of faceless bureaucrats, would decide which grocery store you would attend and how much free groceries to which you’d be entitled.

Like our current education system the poorer counties would have smaller markets with smaller selections and perhaps higher prices.

Pastries and name brands might be in short supply.

I think you get Boudreaux’s drift.

Can You Name A Federal Program That’s Raised The Bar?

I guess there’s a very good reason why there’s no Federal Department of Supermarkets.

We, as a society, would not put up with federally controlled supermarkets but we have no problem running our schools in the same manner.

I’m not anti-education by any means. The better the education the better we all benefit.

But when education drops the ball as it does in many inner city neighborhoods then school choice is often the loudest cry.

Would we not be screaming for supermarket choice as well?

I’m racking my brain trying to think of any government program that’s raised the bar for anyone.

Welfare would be great if the incentive to get off welfare was more powerful than the incentive to get on it.

Some Final Thoughts

Our quality teachers are trapped between Washington bureaucrats and teachers unions.

Their ability to do a good job is restrained by standardized tests and union restrictions as to how far they can go to help a child.

Is it any wonder that parents are considering another choice? Even if that choice might be more costly.

I’m glad that my supermarket has a large selection of both health food and crap because I do buy both.

Too bad there’s not that level of choice in our schools. Comments below.