With the degree of animosity and disdain for reasoned debate that we see within our political class, it is small wonder that those everyday citizens, who disagree about political matters, have difficulty finding the ability to remain calm as they discuss issues with those with whom they disagree. Maybe the real problem lies in the desire to win an argument/score points (in your own mind) rather than learn what works best for you and your family.
As we allow our emotions to rule, we seem to forget the profound, life-changing ways these confrontations influence all of society. We become entrenched with our ideas and long-held beliefs without thought of what profoundly positive ways other ideas might change our lives and the lives of those whom we love.
One such idea is the notion of school-choice for our students — especially the least advantaged. Just imagine what you would find in price and quality at any supplier you use, let’s say a grocery store, if a specific grocer had the sole right to sell groceries to the public. Initially, you’d probably see little difference in the quality and cost of your groceries. But, as time went by and the store owner and employees realized you had no other choice, human nature would tend to send your grocery prices up and the store service & product quality down. They know if you want to eat, you’ve got to come back to them. (A major problem with politicians is that they do not consider human nature or logic when creating laws.)
That, in a nutshell, explains the foundation of a free-enterprise (also known as “capitalistic”) economy — the economy on which the United States is built. What could possibly give you a better opportunity to secure those goods and services which you desire than having innumerable businesses constantly competing with each other for your patronage by trying to offer you the best price, quality and service?
The realization of this most basic factor throughout our economy should lead one to the awareness that free enterprise, the competition among suppliers for your business, for every product or service, makes the most profound difference between the ability to secure the goods and services you wish to enjoy or not being able to afford them or not wanting them because the quality or service is too poor.
This brings us back to the current situation in public schools around the country. The teachers’ unions are determined, with the help of some politicians, to do everything they can to abolish school choice. They want to require every student to attend traditional public schools. And, very often, those same politicians who want to force other children to attend traditional public schools will send their own children to the best private schools.
Just think for yourself: “Why would I want to deny the right of students and parents to choose the school that works best for them?” And, if I do feel each student and family should be able to make that choice for themselves, why wouldn’t I agree that what the government pays (from taxes) for education per student, should follow that student to the school of her/his choice. Why would I deny the better schools created by competition and the breadth of choice that would provide? And, if I don’t agree with that, what is the logical reasoning for my disagreement?
Craig Clodfelter is a resident of Henderson.