"[T]here are, at bottom, basically two ways to order social affairs, Coercively, through the mechanisms of the state -- what we can call political society. And voluntarily, through the private interaction of individuals and associations -- what we can call civil society. ... In a civil society, you make the decision. In a political society, someone else does. ... Civil society is based on reason, eloquence, and persuasion, which is to say voluntarism. Political society, on the other hand, is based on force." ~ Ed Crane
Public Money, Public Destruction
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One example of the great success of public education in this country is the overwhelming number of people who believe that some of the money they earn is 'public money.' Individuals work many hours, put in overtime, work weekends, and sacrifice time that could have been spent with spouse and children; and yet, they shrug their shoulders and accept that some portion of that sweat automatically belongs to the public at large. Many people would challenge the notion that this is theft, and instead, defend it as necessary and proper for economic and social stability. That the state uses this money to subsidize such destructive ventures as mass murder, illiteracy, illegitimacy, monopolies, and assorted schemes for social engineering, is unfortunately lost on many American taxpayers.
The Arizona legislature recently debated vouchers that can be used towards a private school education. The governor, a Democrat, is being accused of giving in to pressure from the legislature, controlled by Republicans; they wanted some level of vouchers for private education use and she wanted funding for all-day kindergarten statewide. You give a little, you get a little. That's politics.
Predictably, an editorial in a local paper is headlined, 'Public money shouldn't go to private schools.' Once again, present is the notion that somewhere under the benevolent trust of the state exists some community chest of cash that must be used to promote the public good, with no consideration given as to the source of those funds.
Reflected in the editorial is the general attitude common among liberals and Democrats that any monies collected by the government and then 'given back' in the form of tax breaks, tax cuts, or vouchers, results in a 'loss' at taxpayer expense. If one taxpayer gets a coupon to send his kid to a private school, another taxpayer suffers because he might have to pay higher taxes. To make matters worse in the minds of the editorialists and their allies in opposition to the governor, the subsidized private school education might be taken at a religious-based school.
With all that the state subsidizes, a partial religious education, at public expense, seems hardly something to worry about, except maybe if you're a socialist, Christian Zionist, member of the teacher's union, or any one of the hundreds of sucklings that continuously suck at the public teat, the public school system being just one runt attached to that bloated sow.
The teacher's union pointed out that the state constitution bans the use of state funds for religious instruction. In the end, it would be hard to prove that any state funds (that public money that theoretically belongs to all equally) are being used specifically for religious instruction. The teacher's union lobbies government to ensure that public funds are dropped into the public school system, preferably into higher salaries. Teachers, most of whom are as ignorant about economics as the general population, instinctively know enough about the 'dismal science' to realize that when you have a virtual monopoly on a good and captive clients, the last thing you want is competition to threaten your way of life.
The socialists, which by the way includes many teachers, can't let anyone but fellow statists decide how to spend public monies. If parents of one religious preference are allowed to send their kids to the school of their choosing at public expense, then others will want to do the same. How can we hope to create a level and pluralistic society, trained that the larger whole matters more than its constituent parts, if everybody can choose where and how children are educated? Sounds like a recipe for chaos to me.
To claim that the Christian Zionist crowd might be a partner with the state controlling public monies might seem hard to swallow. Normally, these people would seem the most rabid in getting education funding and curriculum out of the hands of the state and into the hands of parents and local communities (coincidentally dominated by core Christian Zionist groups). However, if they could call the shots by controlling the political process, protecting those public funds from private intrusion would be okay.
Since some of the finest of God's chosen people would control the public funds in those states and communities, to allow some parents to opt out of the system would threaten the harmony and unity of Zion . Besides, what better way to teach the masses the virtues of patriotism, flag-worship, military service, and facilitating the gathering of the Jews in Israel to usher in the Rapture. They might be thinking, 'Hey, the liberal, commie-pinkos controlled the school system for decades and turned out generations of illiterate, welfare-dependent, humanistic, psychotics; why can't we turn the ship around and create a God-fearing army of crusaders willing to die for righteousness, rid the world of evil, and create a thousand years of peace and paradise on earth?
Still, some people demonstrate confusion on this issue. One woman wrote a letter to the editor, self-righteously proclaiming that the state could 'keep my $192.' Poor, noble-minded fool. She just doesn't get it. That $192 was never hers to begin with. She might have worked hard for it, but she was clocked in for all of us. As one of my colleagues likes to say, we're all in this together. We all must pay our fair share of perpetuating the system that keeps us from tearing each other to pieces.