Eighty percent of the high schools that produce the most dropouts can be found in a subset of just fifteen states. The majority of dropout factories are located in northern and western cities and throughout the southern states.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Markets don't solve everything
Or, at least philosophical claims about what the market can accomplish don't solve everything.
The appeal of market logic is compelling. I enjoy the wider availability of good things at low prices because of markets. The logic of free trade is ineluctable. Just read The Choice. But then read Politics and Markets, too, so you can think about the balances we as people strike when we organize our political economic systems.
Yes, I'm a free marketer, but at the same time I'm glad we have labor laws protecting children, and industrial laws protecting adults, for instance. These are choices we make in political society. The market would't 'care' (I use the quotes because the market doesn't have agency, so I don't really like to personify it) whether a child were put into dangerous working conditions, but people can and do care about just such things.
My point is that the claims of market supporters are well-founded--efficiency gains, maximization of production at lower prices, etc. But the moral choices we make as a society are a feature of social or political choices. Markets don't choose because they don't act. People act and choose.
So, all that to say, I find both the left and the right tiresomely ideological about so much of what they say in politics. But I'm most perplexed by the right, because that's the direction I incline. I'm toughest on those who sound and think like I do, or maybe it's that I think like they do, but I don't want to sound like they do at all.
Anyway, the Evergreen Freedom Foundation's market logic applied to schools--My comments in regular font.
Posted by Andrew Milton at 7:28 AM