Monday, April 14, 2014

Rand Paul: A Friedmanite Statist

Next week, Rand Paul will travel to Chicago and Milwaukee to host School Choice roundtables with local parents, teachers, students, community leaders and school choice advocates.

"Parents should have a role and a voice when it comes to their child’s education. These roundtable discussions will focus on raising standards, adding competition and strengthening our nation’s education system – a system that is broken,” Rand said. “By nurturing the ideals of choice and individual freedom, we can find education solutions that direct our children toward success. We hope these discussions will begin the process of finding a solution.”

It's not that parent "should have a voice," as much as government should be out of the education business entirely.

WaPo in March reported on what Rand is up to:
Sen. Rand Paul, a rising star in the Republican Party, is pushing for a federal voucher program that sounds similar to one advanced by Mitt Romney when he was running for president.
Paul, from Kentucky, co-sponsored an amendment to Senate budget legislation with Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Republican from Tennessee who was once secretary of education. The “school choice” amendment calls for using $14.5 billion in current Title 1 funds, which are targeted to students who attend high-poverty schools, to cover 11 million students, at $1,300 per child. The money would follow a student at any accredited public or private student a family chooses.
This is a totally Friedmanite statist idea. His Murray Rothbard on the topic:
 It is for this reason that Friedman endorses government supplying funds for mass education, for example; since the education of kids is supposed to benefit other people, then the government is allegedly justified in taxing these people to pay for these "benefits." (Once again, in this area, Friedman's pernicious influence has been in trying to make an inefficient State operation far more efficient; here he suggests replacing unworkable public schools by public voucher payments to parents – thus leaving intact the whole concept of tax-funds for mass education.)

And here's even more from Rothbard:
 [Friedman] favors a voucher plan which would leave the state solidly in control of the educational system. These things are quite blatant; there is no secret about it. I think it is pretty clear that Friedman is a statist. I mean, if you are in favor of the state having control of the money supply, control of the education system, and a guaranteed annual income, that's it. There is not much more that can be said. The fact that the Friedmanites are against price control is all very well, and I hail that, but the fundamental aspects of the state remain. The state still commands the highposts of the economy.


  1. Total Federal Government control is the ultimate goal. A boost to the Education Industrial Complex.

    1. Total Federal Government control is not the ultimate goal. Federal govt exercises very little control over an individual. If you want to use drugs, rob a bank, commit crime over state lines, then the federal govt tries to exercise control. Otherwise, they generally leave you alone.

    2. Except that we (at least those of us who don't spew drivel in blogs for a living) have to spend half of the working life in indentured labor for the benefit of Our Benevolent Masters.

      JW: Genuine Idiot.

    3. Re: Jerry Wolfgang,

      -- Total Federal Government control is not the ultimate goal. --

      Then what is the point of it all? I don't think you gave the issue much thought, JW. Your assertions show that you only think at the very superficial level, like a teenage girl.

      -- Federal govt exercises very little control over an individual. --

      Depends on what you mean by "little". Counting only the way the government (through the agency of the Fed) robs people of their savings, that amounts to a lot of control over a person's life.

      -- Otherwise, they generally leave you alone. --

      Famous last words.

  2. "It's not that parent "should have a voice," as much as government should be out of the education business entirely."

    Which it never will because most people are not anarcho-capitalists so Rand's proposal is likely the best realistic solution.

  3. And when Rand proposes we vote for Jeb, because most people are not AnCaps, that is likely the best realistic solution.

  4. Why are parents allowed to tell their children what to do? The non-aggression principle is violated. Why is a child forced to live with the parents? The freedom of association principle is violated. Family is slavery (which is not so bad since you can pick cotton, sing songs, eat gruel).

    1. Re: Jerry Wolfgang,

      -- Why are parents allowed to tell their children what to do? --

      Do you want to make the argument that grown adults are like children and the government is like a parent?

      -- Why is a child forced to live with the parents? --

      A child isn't being forced to live with his parents. Children do want to live with their parents.

      -- Family is slavery --

      Yes, yes, and up is down, there are those more equal than others and there are five lights when I can see four, because the government said so. I understand the usual proggie canards, JW. You have showcased them very keenly.

  5. Dave: It is not a "realistic" solution at all, because it is not a solution. The State should not be in command of education for precisely the same reason that it is barred from religion and the press. A State that presumes to dictate religion or to control information is not free. Similarly, a State that presumes to educate the children is ruled by an aristocracy, not the people. In the instance of Rand Paul's "solution" you're talking about a difference analogous to one where the proposed "solution" is that, instead of legislating that politicians and bureaucrats write each and every approved news story personally, it is proposed that they merely license "responsible news outlets" and forbid all others. The proposed "solution" only has the superficial appearance of being "more reasonable" and hence, "more realistic," it is neither.

    Obviously, Ron never read Tolkien to his son. Rand seems incapable of grasping the idea that to attempt to use the Ring is to make oneself as bad or worse than Sauron. There is no "win" when the "solution" is government. Rand is the libertarian's Boromir. Despite the possibility that "his heart is in the right place," he has the potential of damaging the actual prospects of liberty in his efforts to advance them.

    As for the benighted Wolfgang, the question is not so much where parents get their authority to raise their children but where anyone else gets the authority to interfere in anyone else's family. Either the government is master of the people or the people are masters of the government. Obviously, in Jerry Wolfgang's universe, some animals are "more equal" than others and magically have some right to rule over others, possibly because some mystical plurality of the human herd believe that these "statesmen" have this magical property, or that the sacred herd somehow has the power to bestow it, even if no individual member has any such authority himself. It is a "secular religious" delusion of the statist flavor of collectivism.

  6. Rothbard endorsed George Bush for president. Remember him, the Education President?