About This Blog

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the greatest economist of my time. His greatest works can be accessed here at no charge.

Mises believed that property, freedom and peace are and should be the hallmarks of a satisfying and prosperous society. I agree. Mises proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the prospect for general and individual prosperity is maximized, indeed, is only possible, if the principle of private property reigns supreme. What's yours is yours. What's mine is mine. When the line between yours and mine is smudged, the door to conflict opens. Without freedom (individual liberty of action) the principle of private property is neutered and the free market, which is the child of property and freedom and the mother of prosperity and satisfaction, cannot exist. Peace is the goal of a prosperous and satisfying society of free individuals, not peace which is purchased by submission to the enemies of property and freedom, but peace which results from the unyielding defense of these principles against all who challenge them.

In this blog I measure American society against the metrics of property, freedom and peace.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Laura Ingraham Just Doesn't Get It

Laura Ingraham strikes me as a New England, Ivy League conservative, which stands to reason because she was born in Connecticut and graduated from Dartmouth College. Laura is just too much into the game of politics and not enough into principle. I'll give you an example.

On her program today she interviewed Louisiana "Superintendent of Education John White and President of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers Steve Monaghan." The audio of the interview is here.

Why did Ingraham interview these gentlemen? Because the new Louisiana school voucher program is under attack by teachers' unions. The tactic being used by the unions is to sue the individual private schools that accept the new vouchers. This tactic is pure financial thuggery, of course, because what private school has the resources to go to court with a statewide teachers' union?

Ingraham asked Monaghan why the unions are depriving poor children of the chance to attend better schools. Monaghan was amazingly disingenuous in his response. He said the teachers' union is suing to protect the interests of the students. He claimed some of these "private" schools are below standard. Basically, he said the motive of his union was altruism. Ingraham let Monaghan get away with this BS.

I would have liked to have heard Ingraham challenge Monaghan's alleged altruism.

Isn't another, possible and more plausible motive of the union protecting the financial interests of public school teachers by preventing private school competition? Why should we believe that a union would spend millions of its members dues to protect the interests of students, when the financial interests of the members themselves are clearly at stake?

Moreover, the union is alleging that parents could pull their children out of a superior quality public school in order to enroll them in an inferior quality private school. Why would parents do that? Do the unions know better than parents what is in the child's best interests? Or perhaps the unions simply believe that parents are stupid. If that's the case, then the teachers union is stepping in to protect children from their parents' stupidity.I'll bet this is an argument Monaghan wouldn't want to make.

For the sake of argument, let's assume Monaghan is correct and the private school of the parents' choice is inferior academically by some accept objective metric. [By the way, many of these private schools Monaghan criticizes as substandard are, by his own description, "Bible" schools.] Does this mean that the teachers' union still has the right to step between the child and his parents?

The parents might have all sorts of good reasons for selecting a school that is inferior academically. Perhaps, the location or hours of the school facilitates the parents' work schedule and is thus worth the tradeoff. Or, perhaps, the parents put a higher value on morality training and character building than on academics.

The point is, who gets to determine what is best for the child? The individual parents, or the collective "state?"

As you'll discover if you listen to the interview at the link above, Ingraham ignores this argument for the rights of the individual versus the collective. Apparently, she just doesn't get it.


Jim at Conservatives on Fire said...

Ingraham is not a very good interviewer and she isnot agressive. What do bet that her children go to private schools?

Sherman Broder said...

I listen to her show quite regularly, but lately it's been getting old fast. Lately I've been tuning in Chris Plante who is well-grounded in principle and common sense. He's a solid libertarian-conservative.