Are Vouchers A Capitulation For Libertarians?

I really want to say yes, but I’m torn.

Dr. Boudreaux gets to the heart of the matter with this.

“Friedman’s assessment was that the prospects for totally separating school and state are so minuscule that holding out for that outcome would be to let the perfect stand in the way of the good.”

I concede that as piker, if I ever find my thoughts on public policy to differ from Drs. Friedman, Williams, (and of course Boudreaux), I had better take a good long look at things. Because I will most likely be wrong.

But while I once supported the idea of vouchers I no longer do. And I have had all three of my kids in private (Catholic) school since about 1998. So I would have loved to have gotten my neighbors to help foot the bill.

I’m against vouchers for two reasons:

  1. Regardless of how much I despise nearly everything about government (nee ‘public’) schools, I still find it morally objectionable to force my neighbors at the muzzle of a gun to pay for the education of my children.
  2. I also fear that once the govt. got its hands into private schools, they would never get out. And they would begin to mandate all kinds of things in them, ultimately ruining them.

But do read Dr. Boudreaux’s entire column. It’s excellent and thought provoking.

Vouching for Freedom – Online Library of Law and Liberty: There is no right or wrong here. If it’s true that unjustified state intrusions prevent children from being as well-educated as they could otherwise be, and if it’s also true that the best practicable means of improving education is vouchers, then, indeed, why not vouchers? What libertarian (or other) principle demands that the welfare of indeterminate numbers of children today and tomorrow continue to be sacrificed until and unless the ideal libertarian arrangement is adopted? Is not some improvement in education better than none? And is it not possible that the improvements achieved through vouchers will spark movements for further reducing the state’s role in education?