Super-naive

by Don Boudreaux on August 25, 2010

in Competition, Complexity & Emergence, Education, Reality Is Not Optional

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wants to improve public education in the U.S. by summoning into action “supermen and superwomen.”

Relying on the intervention of superheroes is indeed one way to go.  A far better way, however, is to introduce consumer choice and competition.  Although much more mundane than the prospect of altruistic action heroes sweeping in to teach our children, giving parents choice (say, through tuition tax credits) will spark the many ordinary men and women working in K-12 schools to work harder and more creatively to educate their students.

We successfully rely upon consumer choice and competition rather than super heroes to keep the likes of supermarkets, restaurants, and hardware stores ever-dedicated to serving their customers well.  Let’s do the same with schools.

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