I recently injected my studied opinions upon government education in an editorial arguing against a local school levy referendum in Stillwater, Minnesota. My arguments, as you will see, have little to do with any so-characterized merits, financially speaking, of the proponents. In fact, I make no reference at all to how or why the proponents would spend the money they are advocating for… The issue of sanctioning the continuation of virtual government school monopolies is the real issue here.
Audio version with added explainations:
Just Vote No
WHY [STILLWATER] VOTERS MUST VOTE NO
Any system of education that is premised upon, firstly, the sacrifice of individual rights to the collective benefit of “society” will not simply reverse its premise and commit suicide down the road – there is no altruism towards the rights of the individual from the collectivist’s viewpoint. In fact, individual rights, as envisioned by our founders, is anathema to the collective will, euphemistically referred to as “the common good.” To argue that there is a logical funding mechanism to support a virtual government monopoly by simply shifting to either all property tax funding, or all state redistribution of a portion of sales and income tax revenue completely misses a fundamental point.
Economic educational choice has to be, logically, the first premise and priority. The rights of parents are either primary or they are subordinated, and once subordinated gradually become non-existent over time. Without economic choice as primary you will never get real choice, because choice and ANY government monopoly (regardless of funding source) are logically and practically incompatible. Their ends are justified by their means. And their only means are the restrictions of your liberty with regard to your own children AND the coerced expropriation of your wealth to pay for their ends. The fact that it is done through a so-called democratic process does not make it moral.
Beverly Petrie, the leader of this current gang of looters running amok in Stillwater, is simply clamoring for more self-sacrifice and is engaging in a profound act of hypocrisy. She argues that the system is unjust because the state only contributes 80% and therefore she is “forced” to “work” 40 to 70 hours per week to propagandize for the passage of a levy which threatens to take yet more money from people at the rhetorical point of a gun.
The active supporters of the Stillwater levy referendum represent a mindset (and a system) which claims to be “for the children,” yet is advocating for the one system that is as anti-child as one can get. When you separate children from their parents by law, and then separate parents from their property to pay for it, by law, you are arguing for an immoral act to pay homage to the initial immoral act. And you do so because if people were not coerced into it, they would not voluntarily support it. To justify the madness all sorts and kinds of rationalizations are attempted. In no case do these supporters dare to submit for examination the moral case for their cause, nor do they ever honestly appraise legitimate, rational, alternatives (such as market forces and real parental choice) to the financial black-hole they have created. The reason? Because their moral case is unsustainable, and their cause, ergo, would fail miserably if exposed to such an examination by a candid public. Support of government school monopoly referendums are, profoundly, a savage’s desire for fruit which he aims to obtain by cutting down the tree.
These people argue that they are supporting the system of “free education,” the most incredible contradiction of facts by language imaginable. Everything about government monopolized education is compulsory, inherently inefficient, and profoundly costly, and these people know it but dare not expose it for the horrors it implies. What the voters in Stillwater need to understand is that the questions on the ballot have real meaning, and it is:
1. Should education continue to be compulsory, monopolized, and tax-supported?
2. Should the government be permitted to remove children from their homes by force, with or without the consent of their parents, and subjected to curriculums and training that they may or may not approve?
3. Should hard working citizens have their earnings expropriated by the threat of property conversion, without any recourse, to support an educational program and philosophy which they may or may not sanction?
For any referendum which comes before the citizens as regards additional (any) funding purpose, please understand that the above three questions are the real issues, regardless of what may be printed on the ballot. Please, good people of Stillwater and elsewhere, understand that if you are committed to the principal of individual rights as so profoundly illustrated in America’s founding documents, the answer to all three is an emphatic NO!
A tax-supported, compulsory educational system is the complete model of the totalitarian state. The only difference, the reason that the full and final implications of such a system are not yet completely realized (although we are getting closer, referendum passed by referendum passed) is that parents are allowed to send their children to private schools or to home school – although they are still required to financially support the [effective] government educational monopoly. The obscene result is an environment where only the wealthiest among us can afford private schooling for their children. This is not choice in any sense of the real economic meaning of the concept.
When the state assumes financial control over education it becomes self-serving and evident that the state will assume control over what is allowed to be taught, and which values it will promote. When the government thus enters the realm of ideas and the controlling of content thereof over the minds and aspirations of our children and their parents THAT is the death of a truly free society – is this not precisely what Ms Petrie is petitioning for in the end? Your Yes vote will be your individual sanction of this immoral system and you cannot run or hide from that fact.
Of course, the looter mentality put on display by people of Ms Petrie’s ilk is stunning but the solution certainly cannot be to support her thesis, nor would I support exclusively taxing private property under the notion that this would cause fundamental change – the degree of dependency which has arisen would never allow for that to occur. The single solution here is to vote NO as often as possible, and bring the system to its knees until and unless this looter mentality ceases and real economic educational choice is put forth firstly. There can be no compromise with these people, their intransigence is clear and we have allowed them to enjoy it by our unwillingness to stand firm for our own inalienable rights! They have arrested their minds and concluded that the state has sovereignty over the individual in the realm of education. There can be no greater threat to all of our liberty than this, yet few seem to understand this reality. Fewer still willing to take up the fight for individual rights in this arena.
Education must be liberated from the control and intervention of government, and the only way that can happen is to institute real economic educational choice – market education and direct, real, competition. What needs to be challenged directly, and I believe I have done this implicitly here, is this pernicious and false idea that education is some sort of natural right, a “free education.” The powers of statism foster this delusion in order to confuse the issue of whose freedom is really being sacrificed here to pay for this leviathan that actually costs, in the case of the State of Wisconsin, approximately 45% of all revenues (and growing) – and this does not include local property tax levies! The reality is that there are no such free gifts.
Lastly, I will leave you with a quote from a very strong woman of immeasurable common sense. Isabel Patterson wrote: “Do you think nobody would willingly entrust his children to you to pay you for teaching them? Why do you have to extort your fees and collect your pupils by compulsion?”
Why, indeed. My advice to the good people of Stillwater – JUST VOTE NO.