Vouchers are Socialism

by | Sep 1, 2004

Vouchers effectively turn private schools into public schools.

In a letter to the NY Sun, Edwin D. Schindler suggests that I am a shill for the teachers’ unions [“Blaine in Florida,” Letters, August 26, 2004]. Yet under a voucher system such as he favors, teachers’ unions would dominate private schools.

Consider the parallel case of national health insurance, where the government picks up the tab for health care costs, with doctors’ offices and hospitals remaining private.

Under such systems, formerly independent doctors join unions, as they have in Germany, Israel, Canada, France, etc.

Just as national health insurance is socialized medicine, regardless of whether or not private hospitals and doctors’ offices continue to exist, so vouchers effectively turn private schools into public schools.

Education vouchers mean a shift from having most schools operate under socialism, to having all schools do so. This is not progress.

As for the issue of religious freedom, suppose the courts recognize that public financing of elections violates the free speech of those forced to contribute.

Would it be any less a violation to force them to contribute to providing “campaign vouchers” to voters, who could then spend them on the candidate of their choice?

All this constitutional moneylaundering shows is that the Supreme Court does not intend to protect individual rights. “Neutrality” is not freedom. Individuals do not disappear just because one aggregates them.

If people are left free to spend their money on supporting the views they agree with, taxing them is superfluous.

The purpose of state subsidies is that they give some people funds that they wouldn’t have received on a purely voluntary basis.

The idea that the First Amendment requires only “neutrality” means, in effect, that any religious activity is eligible for government subsidies as long as it is characterized in nonreligious terms.

If the churches start characterizing the holy Eucharist as “performance art,” should this entitle them to “religion-neutral” grants from the National Endowment for the Arts?

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Paul Blair is former editor of The Intellectual Activist.

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