The Uncompromised Case for Capitalism
Ayn Rand Institute®
July 18, 2012 by Don Watkins
As soon as Don mentioned schooling until 15-16 and learning a trade, my blood boiled. That sounded naive, and someone odd combination of elitist and backward thinking. Then I really thought about it. I graduated HS at 18 (was done at 17 and screwed around for a year). I went to college for 6 years while struggling to work through, yet ended with debt and 80% of a biophysics degree I will probably not use (not to mention an AA in Liberal Arts). I will graduate medical school at 28 while there are students who graduate HS early and get into combined B.S./M.D. programs and are doctors at 24. The education indoctrination, perpetuated by government policy geared towards equalization down to the lowest denominator, keeps kids in school much longer than necessary and progresses them at a pace which ultimately burdens them with massive debt. I don’t have the answer, but getting government out of schooling, at all levels, gives the private sector the opportunity to structure a schooling system that moves kids along at an appropriate pace. It gets them into the workforce as soon and as equipped as possible because each system is competing with the value of the results each produces. “Rich” kids will always have some sort of advantage of opportunity because money can buy tutors and smaller class sizes and review courses etc., but a government that protects private property and individual freedom is one that, through its hands off approach, allows the bright and industrious, no matter what socioeconomic level, to progress to the extent of their ability. The opposite goes for rich slackers. Equality, when pursued by intention, is done with a gun against those that are talented above the norm. If government thinks this is unfair, it can point a gun at private tutors and ban review courses while the people wait longer for the next great technological achievement. At least everyone will be equal.
I am so glad someone is finally acknowledging that college is not the answer for everyone. It certainly wasn’t for Bill Gates. I learned nothing about being a lawyer until I left school altogether.
To the previous commenter: Mark: you do have the answer; it is, as you said, getting the government out of the education system altogether.