Brian Holtz: ‘School Vouchers Test Anarcholibertarian Strategy’

Posted by Brian Holtz at Libertarian Intelligence:

Anti-school-voucher anarchists are often so mired in their anarchist abolitionism that they can’t bring themselves to confront this simple question: would vouchers decrease the entanglement of school and state?

Even an anarcholibertarian like David Friedman has spoken favorably of vouchers as a way to start getting the government out of education — where (bad news!) it’s already completely entrenched.  For 89% of K-12 customers, the government already has total control of

  • service boundaries,
  • inter-district busing,
  • admissions policy,
  • capital spending decisions,
  • textbook selection,
  • curriculum standards, including treatment of creationism, the Bible, gay marriage, etc.
  • testing standards,
  • teacher hiring standards,
  • union rules,
  • teacher pensions,
  • prayer in school,
  • pledge of allegiance,
  • school uniforms,
  • religious calendar and observance,
  • zero-tolerance rules for toy weapons,
  • campus smoking,
  • drug testing,
  • PE requirements,
  • etc. etc.

With vouchers, the government’s bureaucrats would have much less control over the education industry, and (if done right) not much more control over schools than food stamps gives them over grocery stores.  Why is that prospect so horrible for anarchists to contemplate?

Anarchists need to make up their minds about which is more likely to herald the glorious dawn of anarchotopia: a minimal state that shows people how well markets work, or a maximal state that shows people how poorly governments work.  Some anarchists seem to fear small government more than they fear big government.  The LP is not the right party for anarchists whose plan is for the government to keep growing until it completely collapses under its own weight.  There are already plenty of other political parties working on that plan.

75 thoughts on “Brian Holtz: ‘School Vouchers Test Anarcholibertarian Strategy’

  1. Michael H. Wilson

    Brian you start by throwing gasoline on the fire by accusing “anarchist” of being against vouchers. Did it ever cross your mind that some who are not anarchist might be against vouchers because they don’t want to subsidize someone’s education.
    Maybe low income adults don’t want to pay for rich kids education.
    Maybe one religious group doesn’t want to pay for students to go to a school run by another religious group.
    Maybe those of us who are first amendment absolutist don’t think teachers should be told what to teach.
    Maybe some of us think students should learn at their own pace and their parents should pay for that education out of their own pockets.

    Not everyone who disagrees with you is an anarchist. It might help if you took that into consideration.

  2. libertariangirl

    B_The LP is not the right party for…

    me_ im so sick of hearing that argument. Brian you love to say youve never been pro-purge nor would you allow others to be.
    But that sure sounds like purge rhetoric to me.

    the LP is the right party for hard core anarchists , just as its the home for the disillusioned from the GOP .

  3. Michael H. Wilson

    Brian you may want to check, but I think the Arizona Supreme Court ruled against vouchers.

  4. Brian Holtz

    Michael, I obviously wouldn’t claim that all anarchists oppose vouchers, since my article says “even an anarcholibertarian like David Friedman has spoken favorably of vouchers”. This was originally written as a response to a particular anarchist, and the first sentence got garbled as I generalized the response into a standalone blog posting. I’ve changed “anarchists are mired” to “anarchists are often so mired”. The original said “Tom Blanton is so mired”.

    I’ve never suggested that opposing vouchers is un-libertarian; I’m just denying the charge that supporting vouchers is un-libertarian.

    Debra, you quoted me out of context. The whole sentence was: “The LP is not the right party for anarchists whose plan is for the government to keep growing until it completely collapses under its own weight.” I stand by this statement, and I’d be surprised if you disagreed with it.

    Cork, if I can’t get complete separation of school and state, I’ll take tuition vouchers as a first step. If I can’t get that, I’ll take tuition tax credits as a half-step. In fact, that’s the education plank of the campaign program that I suggest LP candidates unite around: http://libertarianmajority.net/marketliberal-campaign-program

  5. R. Swanson

    Vouchers how? In Florida Libertarians have driven vouchers that, while channeled through the state, are basically privately funded. Some interesting things have also been done in AZ and NZ. This might be a more productive line of discussion.

    Let’s remember anarchists are minimal statists, and mini-archists a form of classical anarchism. The Libertarian aim is neither a small nor non-existent government, which may be appropriate applications in various cases, but a voluntary government and public programs based on rights. Since completely or substantially non-coercive programs exist in all cases, should not the focus be on documenting them and spreading the good word?

  6. Tom Blanton

    Mr. Holtz asserts:

    “With vouchers, the government’s bureaucrats would have much less control over the education industry, and (if done right) not much more control over schools than food stamps gives them over grocery stores.”

    I take issue with this. Regarding admissions policy, textbook selection, teacher hiring standards, and curriculum standards, the government might wish to retain control by regulating how vouchers may be used. Teacher colleges also have a huge impact on education and vouchers would have no effect on that at all.

    My own son went to private school and was then home schooled. When a child does not go to school, the parents must arrange with the locality for a home schooling plan. In my son’s case, private tutors handled much of the instruction, text materials, and help with dealing with the government so that my son would receive a valid diploma.

    All of this was no easy feat and the government paid out no money. It is extremely naive to think that vouchers will be handed out with no conditions. Schools that do not conform to the government’s standards would not be entitled to accept vouchers.

    I also believe that the federal government should play no role in education, regardless of vouchers. Since education is generally provided by localities and paid for with revenue from real estate taxes, vouchers would also most likely be paid for from this same source of revenue. For property owners with children in private schools, tax relief similar to tax relief for the elderly might be an alternative to vouchers and for renters, a rent subsidy in lieu of tax relief. This type of program might possibly be handled by taxing authorities as opposed to a School Board.

    Mr. Holtz, a perpetual candidate for Congress, seems to feel vouchers are a good issue for him for reasons I don’t understand. First, vouchers shouldn’t be a federal issue as it would only entangle the federal government more with education. Second, I feel it is a poor issue for LP candidates because it is an issue that GOP candidates give lip service to and I believe LP candidates should concentrate on more important issues than local education when running for federal office – issues that represent a clear difference between the LP candidate and the GOP candidate. I believe I said the voucher issue is trivial – I’ll stand by that when there are issues like $56 trillion in unfunded liabilities and debt.

    Let’s be honest here. LP candidates rarely win elections, even on the local level. For that reason, I see nothing wrong with advocating (on the local level) actually selling off local school buildings and getting local government out of education altogether in jurisdictions where costs are extraordinarily high, student achievement is below par, and graduation rates are below average.

    This is not so radical in jurisdictions that have shown they are unable to provide children with a quality education even at a high cost per pupil. Of course, a substantial decrease in real estate tax rates would accompany such a program and assistance might have to be provided to low-income families.

    I think many libertarians would agree that this would be far better than vouchers and if there is little chance of winning an election, LP candidates should at least use their campaign to advance libertarian ideas that voters would not ordinarily hear. They do ordinarily hear about vouchers.

    Ideas like closing the schools entirely should be put out for consideration. The ideas may not catch on immediately, but in some cases they may begin to resonate in time – especially in jurisdictions that have horrible school systems.

    By the way Brian, how’s the voucher issue working for you? Have you made it to Congress yet?

    Call me a radical anarchist, but I still maintain that Glenn Beck and Michael Savage ARE NOT libertarians and Wayne Root is a poor excuse for one. I still think the issue of the flat tax is a non-starter – just another GOP issue.

    The silly thing is that there is this old Republican guy who proposed eliminating the income tax by cutting government spending. He didn’t win his election either, but he started Campaign for Liberty and over 200,000 people have paid $35 to join. I don’t think they are all radical anarchists. A lot of them probably don’t even consider themselves libertarian, but the website is filled with all sorts of articles by libertarian and anarchist writers that are probably unknown to a lot of folks who go to the LP website.

    Of course the old Republican guy I’m talking about is Ron Paul. He says Glenn Beck is a demagogue. Now, Ron Paul may not be a pure libertarian, but compared to some of the LP candidates (and members), he’s pretty radical.

    Do the damn math, Brian.

    15,000 at $25 vs. 200,000 at $35

    Now give me your lecture again about how I’m “ignorant” and a crazed anarchist outside of the mainstream.

    I’m not saying you should quit the LP and join some other party, Brian. I’m not saying you’re not a libertarian either. I’m saying these things to refute in advance your accusations regarding what I didn’t say. What I am saying, and feel free to quote me widely, is that your strategies, tactics, and ideas are very unappealing to me – and apparently to the voters in your district.

    Here’s another quote you can attribute to me. Glenn Beck is not a libertarian and LP members that embrace this guy are out of their minds and an embarrassment to the entire libertarian movement – especially if they actually spent any amount of time listening to his tripe.

    For the record, I am an anarcho-libertarian that doesn’t worship Rothbard or any other person. I have voted for LP candidates exclusively since 1980 until Barr. I quit the LP, quit the LPVA, quit the LPVA Central Committee. I was the chair of the Boston Tea Party for a while and quit. No more political parties for me and it is unlikely I will bother to vote anymore.

    I only wish the LP would quit being an embarrassment to the libertarian movement by embracing people like Glenn Beck.

  7. Tom Blanton

    Reading Assignment

    (Milton) Friedman, The Father of Vouchers
    http://davidboyd.org/posts/1131627620.shtml

    The Weak Case for Public Schooling
    http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Libertarian/Public%20Schools/Public_Schools1.html

    Here’s an excerpt where David Friedman “speaks favorably” about vouchers:

    “Many of the disadvantages of government schooling could be eliminated, or at least reduced, by a voucher system. While such a system would be a great improvement over government schooling, there seems little reason to believe that it would be superior to an entirely private system. The great argument against it is that a voucher system must include some definition of what is or is not schooling, in order to determine what can be paid for with the voucher. Imposing such a definition on private schools implies the same sorts of problems of government control that would arise with a government school system, although possibly to a much reduced degree.”

    So, should a libertarian candidate advocate the better idea or the best idea?

  8. Robert Capozzi

    tb: So, should a libertarian candidate advocate the better idea or the best idea?

    me: That’s up the candidate, yes? If not, what’s the alternative, FORCING candidates to advocate Blanton-approved positions?

  9. Tom Blanton

    Well, Bob, besides you, nobody has mentioned forcing candidates to do anything, so don’t even try to put that on me – that is totally ridiculous and I would hope you know that.

    What issues a LP candidate chooses begins with the candidate. However, the LP can choose whether to endorse the candidate. LP members can choose whether to support the candidate and voters can decide whether to vote for the candidate.

    Some LP members may choose to not support a candidate that has no chance of winning and doesn’t promote libertarian issues, instead only promoting issues that the candidate THINKS will resonate with voters, thereby catapulting him or her to victory.

    Given the track record of the vast majority of LP candidates, perhaps some might consider promoting the best ideas instead of creating their platform based on an unrealistic strategy fed by their ego-driven delusions of winning an election when all odds are against them.

    If a LP candidate fails to win an election, fails to articulate solid libertarian positions by instead borrowing issues and rhetoric from the opposition, fails to recruit more than a couple of new LP members, and fails to learn from his or her last election, what is the point of supporting that candidate?

  10. Robert Capozzi

    tb, I’m pleased that you’re not suggesting a candidate-position-review board.

    Your view seems to depend on the notion of “best.” That is a subjective matter. What YOU think is “best” may differ from Candidate X who believes that, all things considered, advocating vouchers is “best,” given a variety of factors. Candidate X has a point, IMO.

  11. Eric Sundwall

    Has the anti-voucher faction officially replaced the personal nuke contingent ? Without vouchers, war becomes peace and personal secession can never be taught without union approval.

  12. Robert Capozzi

    es, hah! Can’t say I’ve got a headcount of private nuke enthusiasts vs. anti-voucher zealots. My guess is the latter are more numerous, given the states’ rights crowd over at lewrockwell.com frequently opine that vouchers are unL. Private nukes is such a loopy position that even those who believe it’s a “right” generally have the good sense of keeping their own counsel on that shocking view.

  13. John

    Before I get to vouchers..

    LP is a failed ideology.

    The use of negative terms like anarchist is a nice transparent ploy, a con, to make the carnival barker look honest.

    Liberatainism is based on the idea there are no crooks or system gamers. Freedom from government means simply if someone cons you out of your hard earned savings, there are no rules to stop them. An economy filled with bankrupt fleeced individuals and families will go broke fast, and is unsustainable.

    Everyone here seems to think private schools would be different than public schools. How so? List of public school responsibilities above would be the same for private schools. With large numbers of students, the costs of private schools would meet or exceed public school costs, since profit will have to be factored in.

    It’s sad you’re so repulsed by the general concept of our founding fathers. They pushed this horrific idea that the people would decide how much government they wanted. In order to get the constitition passed, they had to compromise with anti-government states, allowing the language in the constitution to be vague and flexable. But that flexability by no means advocates Libertarianism. Small government simply means less or no control by the people. Not individuals, but by everyone “united.” Hey, where have I seen that word before?

    I wish I could encourage you to pioneer off to a free market, Libertarian country, but oddly, there isn’t one.

    Libertarianism simply shifts the costs of society off onto the individual, a situation that will have devastating results for a majority of struggling Americans. But then, that’s their problem, isn’t it.

    If government can’t afford something, what makes you think an individual can?

  14. paulie Post author

    Freedom from government means simply if someone cons you out of your hard earned savings, there are no rules to stop them.

    Why do you think an unnatural monopoly is the only, or best, way to deal with this problem? Is it because it is so efficient at everything it does? I guess that’s why a 100% government run economy so dramatically outperforms mixed economies, and why economies that are mixed more in favor of government control do so much better than ones with less government control. Oh, wait….

  15. Tom Blanton

    Bob, there already is a candidate review board and the candidate’s positions certainly play a role when the local, state or national LP selects a candidate – whether by membership vote or by committee.

    Keeping in mind what I wrote in the last paragraph at #11, I fail to see why some candidates who do the same thing over and over are taken seriously by the LP membership or the general public. The LP cult, or culture if you prefer, seems wedded to a paradigm that doesn’t work.

    I’m not the one who has some explaining to do. It seems to me it is up to those who fail over and over to explain why their model is correct.

    That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it. Now, where do I send the bill for my political consulting fees?

    If you want professional help to overcome the group-think caused by co-dependent relationships with political collectivists suffering from personality disorders, you really need to talk to a shrink.

  16. Tom Blanton

    John, I am a carnival barker. Now step right up, give me at least 50% of your earnings, and if you recite the pledge of allegiance you’ll win a lifetime of total security, the freedom to do everything I tell you to do, and this plastic American flag. Honest, I swear.

    Wait, don’t go to that guy’s booth – he doesn’t have the plastic flags.

  17. robert capozzi

    tb, yes, we agree that a paradigm shift is indicated for the LP. I advocate the St Louis Accord.

    I’m open to adjustments to candidate selection as well.

  18. Brian Holtz

    Tom Blanton objects that “government MIGHT wish to retain control by regulating how vouchers may be used”. What he doesn’t dare say is “government will have just as much control over education as they do now when they own the schools, choose the textbooks, choose the holidays, hire the teachers, and pay for their pensions”. Unless he dares to say that, he just isn’t disagreeing with my point. In fact, he strengthens my point by quoting David Friedman: “Many of the disadvantages of government schooling could be eliminated, or at least reduced, by a voucher system.”

    His claim that vouchers don’t “represent a clear difference between the LP candidate and the GOP candidate” is, once again, reality-impaired. The 2008 GOP platform plank on education thoroughly assumes continued government ownership and operation of K-12 schools, and only mentions vouchers in a throwaway line that also nods toward home-schooling. Here in California, even the libertarian-leaning GOP gubernatorial candidates Tom Campbell and Steve Poizner have backed off from vouchers. I asked Poizner in person about vouchers a few years ago, and he said that position was politically unrealistic.

    Blanton says there is “nothing wrong with advocating (on the local level) actually selling off local school buildings and getting local government out of education altogether”. I completely agree! I don’t criticize LP candidates who say that. By contrast, Marc Montoni wants to disaffiliate any state LP that endorses a candidate like me (or Michael Munger in NC) who supports tuition vouchers.

    Blanton asks “should a libertarian candidate advocate the better idea or the best idea?” My answer is: candidates can do both, or either, according to their judgment. What’s wrong with that, Mr. Blanton?

    Nobody has called Michael Savage a libertarian, so Blanton is arguing with voices in his head. He also hears voices “embracing” Glenn Beck, but what’s really happening is that Libertarians are welcoming Beck’s entry into our quadrant, and hoping for more progress.

    Another voice in Blanton’s head exhibits “ego-driven delusions of winning an election when all odds are against them”. It can’t be my voice, because I’ve always said that the purpose of partisan LP campaigns is to INCREASE AND PUBLICIZE the amount of support for both more economic and personal liberty. I’ve never said that freedom will come from the voting strength of Libertarian-controlled legislatures, or even from the swing votes of Libertarian legislators.. I’ve always said that if the LP can move public policy, it will be by getting the incumbent parties to adopt our positions in order to co-opt our votes.

    Yes, Mr. Blanton, I know all about Ron Paul. He’s the Republican who used his 30 minutes of national network TV time to deny he would “abolish public schools, welfare, Social Security and farm subsidies”, and instead protested that “I’m the one that has saved” Social Security. Yes, Paul advocates repealing the income tax, but my campaign was more radical — on the front page of my campaign site I said “End taxes on income, production, sales, gifts”. Paul also opposes open borders, denies that markets can provide national defense, and insists on a “vital constitutional role in overseeing monetary policy”. So remind me, how is Ron Paul supposed to be your poster child for abolitionist campaigns?

  19. Tom Blanton

    Brian, let me remind you that Ron Paul is a Republican, not a LP candidate. He’s no poster child for me. What he has done has proven that the general public is far more receptive to some radical ideas than you give them credit for. He has also been a good advocate for some issues that many LP candidates seem to shy away from, like the war, abolishing the fed, etc. for fear of appearing too radical.

    Maybe you should start a group called the Campaign for One Step In The Right Direction and see if you can get over 200,000 rubes to fork over $35 to you. I don’t belong to Ron Paul’s group, but if you can get 200,000 to join your group, I’ll send you $35 and become 200,001.

    Apparently you have never heard of LP candidates claiming the ability to win elections based on their sure-fire watered down moderate platforms. One LP “poster child” comes to mind. He was featured on the front page of the LPN website and there was a nationwide push to support him. His name was Bob Smither from Texas. He claimed to be a “true conservative”. Let’s see you deny that, tough guy.

    When affiliated with the BTP, I reviewed every, repeat EVERY, website of every LP candidate running for Congress. What a pathetic mess. I have some idea of what I am speaking about. Many of them concentrated on local issues and didn’t even bother to mention the wars. Some didn’t mention any issues. Many were laid out worse than your website.

    Oh, and excuse me for saying LP folks shouldn’t embrace Glenn Beck. I didn’t realize they were merely welcoming him in to the magic quadrant of Brian’s Special Test that Glenn Beck never took

    Let me clarify my opinion for you, the voices in my head are telling me that LP members that welcome Glenn Beck into the libertarian quadrant of Brian’s Special Test that Glenn Beck never took are knuckleheads and should be forced to spend a weekend with Brian Holtz as punishment.

    Now, go push for vouchers with moderate zeal! Maybe you can get the GOP to adopt your voucher thing to co-opt all those votes you’ve been getting. I won’t stand in your way.

    But, there is a better way – your guy David Friedman talks about it in the article I linked above.

    I’ll even tell my homeboy Montoni not to kick your ass and take your lunch money the next time I see him.

  20. Michael Seebeck

    It’s a lot simpler than that. The order of ideas, from worst to best, is roughly this:

    – Public school monopoly
    – Some private schools and homeschooling (status quo)
    – Vouchers
    – Property and income tax credits for private schools and homeschoolers
    – Property and income tax credits for private schools, homeschoolers, and non-attendees (people with no kids, seniors, etc.)
    – Pure public vs. private school competition, no taxation, pay per pupil by those who use it
    – Pure private school competition with no public schools (separation of school and state)

    Sure, some ideas are better than others, but anything better than the status quo (or statist quo) is a step in the right direction)

  21. Brian Holtz

    Right on, Mike.

    Mr. Blanton, try re-reading the title of this thread. It’s about replacing government-owned schools with tuition vouchers. When Ron Paul was asked point-blank on national TV about closing the government’s schools, he said that wasn’t his position. By contrast, here’s what I told the voters in 2008:

    Government owning schools to improve our children’s education is like government owning supermarkets to improve our children’s nutrition. Education is best provided by the free market, achieving greater quality and efficiency with more diversity of choice. Schools should be managed locally to achieve greater accountability and parental involvement. Recognizing that the education of children is inextricably linked to moral values, Libertarians would return authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government. In particular, parents should have control of and responsibility for all funds expended for their children’s education.

    You know very well that Bob Smither was a special case. The Texas 22nd is a Republican district next to Ron Paul’s, and in 2006 Tom DeLay’s resignation meant that no Republican could be on the ballot. Saying that Smither might have been able to beat the Republican write-in effort has nothing whatsoever to do with saying that the LP can win in arbitrary 3-way races. But hey, thanks for so dramatically re-confirming how badly you need to distort the truth here. So pardon us for not taking your word for it when you hand-wave about how you’ve allegedly reviewed LP candidate web sites. The fact remains that my 2008 campaign site advocated positions more radical than those of LP anarchists Tom Knapp, Susan Hogarth, Morey Strauss, and Dan Grow. Don’t take my word for it; see for yourself using the Internet Archive.

    We’ll just have to agree to disagree about whether it’s a good thing for Glenn Beck to say he’s becoming more libertarian and to apologize for his past disagreements with libertarians.

  22. paulie Post author

    Tom Blanton objects that “government MIGHT wish to retain control by regulating how vouchers may be used”. What he doesn’t dare say is “government will have just as much control over education as they do now when they own the schools, choose the textbooks, choose the holidays, hire the teachers, and pay for their pensions”.

    I’m not sure what the point of all the rancor he is.

    Brian points out that 89% of students are now in the government schools and that presumably vouchers will allow a greater percentage to be in private schools.

    On the other hand, that means 11% are in private schools now (I am assuming those stats are correct). The concern, which I believe is legitimate, is that those schools serving most of those 11% will lose a lot of their independence when they come to rely on government-controlled money for most of their income.

    It’s obviously a trade-off, and I can see legitimate libertarian arguments for both positions.

  23. Brian Holtz

    Paulie, the rancor is coming from people who call it unlibertarian for our candidates to propose tuition vouchers as a way to move policy in a libertarian direction — and who call for disaffiliation of any state LP that endorses such a candidate.

    Food stamps haven’t caused grocery stores to lose their independence. The best thing about tuition vouchers is that they offer a dial for reducing school/state entanglement. That dial is already set at 100%, because even though 89% of kids go to government schools, 100% of parents are paying for those government schools.

    With vouchers, we could follow the Tom Knapp model of cutting welfare from the top down, by means-testing the vouchers. What’s the analogous strategy without vouchers — close public schools in the wealthiest school districts first?

  24. Tom Blanton

    I’m sorry I didn’t review your 2008 website in 2006, Brian. I guess I must have missed it. Judging by what you claim to have said regarding education on your site, it sounds like you agree that vouchers aren’t the best way to go.

    I’ll be the first to admit that vouchers may be a slight improvement. I’d also admit that slashing government spending by 1% is better than cutting it by 1/2%.

    Yawn.

    As I recall there were 2 Republicans running against Smither as write-ins. I also recall Smither did in fact run as a “true conservative”. I recall that LPHQ pushed nationally for contributions to Smither and that he was featured on the front page of the LP website. I recall Smither didn’t have the balls to take a clear position on the war. I recall being told that he had a real chance of winning (but not by you, Brian), and I recall he lost. Nothing I said was untrue – it was just an example of the worst of the worst.

    I also don’t see where I claimed Ron Paul said he favored closing government schools. But, I don’t see where you’ve indicated that any government schools have ever been closed where vouchers have been tried, either.

    Maybe all the rancor is about how I view Holtz as a moderate and he now views himself as a radical. Maybe he’s ticked off that I don’t view him as a visionary genius. Perhaps he’s angry because I won’t admit that he is right when he reads my mind and tells everyone what I am actually thinking even when I didn’t write it.

    Maybe he’s just run out of drugs. I don’t know. But since he’s been so cranky, I’m going to tell Montoni it’s OK with me if he takes Brian’s lunch money.

    I think it must be nap time now, Brian.

  25. Thomas L. Knapp

    I don’t particularly have my knives out for libertarian candidates who support vouchers. On the other hand, I fail to see how vouchers would “move policy in a libertarian direction” or “reduce school/state entanglement.”

    The latter part is particularly counter-intuituve. As you write: “[E]ven though 89% of kids go to government schools, 100% of parents are paying for those government schools.”

    Vouchers would

    a) Increase government involvement in private schools; and

    b) Put 100% of parents on the hook to subsidize private, as well as public, schools.

    How does that “reduce school/state entanglement?”

  26. Robert Capozzi

    tb: I quit the LP, quit the LPVA, quit the LPVA Central Committee. I was the chair of the Boston Tea Party for a while and quit. No more political parties for me and it is unlikely I will bother to vote anymore.

    me: Some might suggest this is the pattern of a malcontent. Which is of course your prerogative .

    Radical inquiry can lead one to be a political moderate…quite easily.

    Whining from the sidelines is also your prerogative. Employing logic leaps of an Olympic long jumper are impressive on some level and interesting to watch. And illustrative for onlookers!

  27. Brian Holtz

    Mr. Blanton, you were the one who brought up Ron Paul’s campaign in 2008 as an example of a “pretty radical” campaign, even though I quoted him denying he wants to “abolish public schools, welfare, Social Security and farm subsidies”. Don’t try to change the subject to 2006 just because you don’t want to compare Paul’s 2008 statements on education with my 2008 statements on education.

    You’ll be glad to know that 100% of government schools have closed in every jurisdiction where parents have been given complete control of their children’s tuition money.

    I didn’t say you lied about Smither; I just said that you misled readers here by cherry-picking a unique example. Thanks for in effect confirming that.

    “Radical” is a relative term. If not being an anarchist makes me a “moderate”, so be it. If disagreeing with Ron Paul and saying that we should end government ownership of K-12 schools makes me a “radical”, so be it.

    Now the voices in your head suggest to you that I think I’m a “visionary genius”. I tell you what: if you promise to stop assigning my name to those voices, I promise to stop butting in to the debate you’re trying to hold with them.

    Mr. Knapp, I’ll just cut and paste the arguments you didn’t answer: The best thing about tuition vouchers is that they offer a dial for reducing school/state entanglement. That dial is already set at 100%. With vouchers, we could follow the Tom Knapp model of cutting welfare from the top down, by means-testing the vouchers. What’s the analogous strategy without vouchers — close public schools in the wealthiest school districts first?

    And this: With vouchers, the government’s bureaucrats would have much less control over

    * service boundaries,
    * inter-district busing,
    * admissions policy,
    * capital spending decisions,
    * textbook selection,
    * curriculum standards, including treatment of creationism, the Bible, gay marriage, etc.
    * testing standards,
    * teacher hiring standards,
    * union rules,
    * teacher pensions,
    * prayer in school,
    * pledge of allegiance,
    * school uniforms,
    * religious calendar and observance,
    * zero-tolerance rules for toy weapons,
    * campus smoking,
    * drug testing,
    * PE requirements,
    * etc. etc.

    But of course, the issue here isn’t whether every single LP radical or anarchist agrees with David Friedman that tuition vouchers would be a step in the right direction. The issue here is whether LP candidates should be free to agree with Friedman without worrying about Tom Knapp’s “knives” or Marc Montoni disaffiliating any state LP that endorses them.

    And lest we forget, the reason for this thread’s article was Mr. Blanton’s question about why big-name libertarians don’t associate with the LP. I cited the LP-radical reaction to tuition vouchers in my answer explaining why Cato keeps its distance from us. The discussion that has raged here since then underlines my explanation. Tuition vouchers are too libertarian for demopublican candidates to advocate, and yet not libertarian enough for the LP. No wonder Cato washes its hands of us.

  28. Tom Blanton

    Being a malcontent with voices in my head is rough, I tell ya, You don’t get no respect. Just let me whine from the sidelines some more.

    The Holtz writes:

    “The issue here is whether LP candidates should be free to agree with Friedman without worrying about Tom Knapp’s “knives” or Marc Montoni disaffiliating any state LP that endorses them.”

    He also wrote:

    “The fact remains that my 2008 campaign site advocated positions more radical than those of LP anarchists Tom Knapp, Susan Hogarth, Morey Strauss, and Dan Grow.”

    David Friedman wrote (about his Dad’s issue – vouchers):

    “While such a system would be a great improvement over government schooling, there seems little reason to believe that it would be superior to an entirely private system.”

    Brian, relax, Knapp says he doesn’t have his knives out and Montoni isn’t authorized to kick California out of the LP. And, if you agree with David Friedman, then you think there would be “little reason to believe that it (vouchers) would be superior to an entirely private system.” That isn’t a ringing endorsement of vouchers.

    Again, I only mentioned Ron Paul to make the point that radical ideas don’t alienate people as much as some moderate libertarians suggest. But that wouldn’t apply to you, Brian. You are more radical than Knapp or Hogarth. I didn’t come to the conclusion that you were a radical by comparing you with Ron Paul. The reason I referenced the year 2006 was because that was the year I reviewed too many websites belonging to LP candidates.

    Your hallucinations must be making it difficult to comprehend what I’ve written.

    It might surprise some folks in here but lots of anarchists don’t vote and quite a few libertarians don’t think so much of CATO – they ain’t the only libertarian organization anyway, just the best known among conservative policy wonks.

    Where does Glenn Beck stand on vouchers? I bet he’s for ’em.

    Anyway, LP candidates should be free to agree with Friedman that vouchers aren’t the best way to go. Of course they should not be allowed to disagree with Friedman. They should be shanked and kicked out of the LP for disagreeing with Friedman.

    Heh.

    Before responding to this Brian, let the hallucinations subside and read what I’ve written 5 or 6 times so you understand what I’ve actually written. However, it would be entertaining if you would rant and rave about what I am thinking right now.

  29. Brian Holtz

    Readers here can decide for themselves

    • whether “a great improvement over government schooling” is a “ringing endorsement” or not; and
    • whether a libertarian campaign is “pretty radical” if it denies it wants to “abolish public schools, welfare, Social Security and farm subsidies”.

    As for me, I’ll just quit while I’m ahead.

  30. Tom Blanton

    Brian, Brian, Brian.

    Readers probably have already decided. They might even wonder why you don’t include all of David Friedman’s quote:

    “While such a system would be a great improvement over government schooling, there seems little reason to believe that it would be superior to an entirely private system.”

    I think most people would conclude that Friedman thinks an entirely private system would be superior. Hardly a ringing endorsement of something his own dad has pushed since the 50s. But you seem to be the only who really cares about what Friedman thinks.

    As to whether a libertarian campaign is “pretty radical” if it denies it wants to “abolish public schools, welfare, Social Security and farm subsidies”.

    My answer would be no. However, I’d say that an old Republican guy advocating eliminating income taxes is pretty radical – which was my original point before your hallucinations twisted it into something else.

    I think I know why your Congressional campaigns have met with such little success. We can deal with that topic later.

  31. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    As usual, you keep looking for disagreement when agreement is right in front of you. When I say “I don’t particularly have my knives out” for libertarian candidates who advocate vouchers, I mean that I agree with you that candidates who advocate vouchers shouldn’t be expelled from the “libertarian tent.”

    The disagreement boils down to you asserting that “with vouchers, the government’s bureaucrats would have much less control over” a bunch of things that vouchers, so far as I can tell, would give the government MORE control over.

  32. Brian Holtz

    You mean, like food stamps gives the government control over grocery stores — where they’re built, who they hire, what hours they’re open, their holiday schedule, etc? 🙂 In the case of schools, I guess these are counterfactuals that we’ll just have to rely on our readers to evaluate for themselves.

    My mention of your “knives” was to draw attention to the fact that you have them — all sharpened up and ready for Libertarians whose reforms you deem non-compliant with your abolitionist agenda.

    I would suggest that Libertarians should generally be tolerant of an LP candidate’s proposals for incremental reform if it is supported by any of the leading libertarian think tanks — Cato, LvMI, Reason Foundation, Independent Institute, PERC, PRI, Heartland Institute, Friedman Foundation, and Institute for Justice. It’s ludicrous that LP candidates get excoriated by other Libertarians for advocating reforms that our libertarian think tanks are working so hard to promote.

  33. Tom Blanton

    Holtz, I just ran across this crap:

    http://more.libertarianintelligence.com/

    It is some sort of juvenile log that chronicles your side only of this so-called “debate” we have had on this site. What the hell is your problem, dude?

    If you want to re-post what has transpired here, with both your comments and mine, that’s fine, but to put up a web page where you comment on my comments and your own as if you are reporting on this is so bizarre and twisted that it would appear you truly do need psychiatric care.

    You truly need to grow up and get a life. Maybe spend some time with your kids instead of obsessing over what I’ve got to say and your own nasty diatribes slandering me.

    Please remove these idiotic rantings from your site or at least remove my name. Your inaccurate and selective ramblings amount to slander.

    I’m calling you out, bozo. I always thought you were an asshole, now I know you are an asshole and you will be on my shit list from now on.

  34. Brian Holtz

    It’s a feed of all the comments I post anywhere in the blogosphere, allowing those comments to be searched and archived in one place. Every posting links back to the conversation where it was originally posted.

    It’s hilarious that you think this practice constitutes slander, and that you can control how/where/whether I publish my own writings.

  35. Tom Blanton

    This one is especially rich, Holtz:

    Blanton Runs But Cannot Hide

    “Blanton’s parting shot — if he can actually stick to his pretense of being done here — is that he’s “playing” Bob and me. But I’ve already said here that Blanton is somebody who is “staying in character”, and he’s served as a wonderful foil for me, as shown in the first paragraph of this comment.”

    I think my comment was that you clowns don’t have the street smarts to know when you’re being played. I guess I was right. I was talking about people like Root playing you and others within the LP that have agendas that you are incapable of recognizing.

    Is all of this some sort of personal diary? Who are you writing this crap for? Your puppy dog Carpozzi?

    You are one twisted little freak, Holtz.

  36. Tom Blanton

    These aren’t the comments you post here, Holtz. They read as if they are your notes or your reporting on the comments posted here. You lie once again, you sick little punk.

  37. Tom Blanton

    You must be the most anal retentive creep I have ever run into, Holtz. That you take yourself so seriously is what is truly hilarious.

    “he’s served as a wonderful foil for me”

    Man, that is truly out there.

  38. Tom Blanton

    Running into your little personal diary of your “exploits” on the web provides great insight into the mind of a truly neurotic little geek boy.

    Post some more of those links so everyone can enjoy them.

    The Life Of Brian (Through Brian’s Eyes).

  39. Tom Blanton

    This stuff is obviously not a feed. These are writings apart from your posted comments. You must realize how crazy this stuff is or you wouldn’t lie about it.

  40. Tom Blanton

    Ah, I see some of this stuff is verbatim posts, that I never saw before about my fantasies (that you found out about by reading my mind ?).

    God, you are weird

  41. Brian Holtz

    I invite anyone who is really really really bored to try to find a posting on M.L.I. that I can’t show is a re-posting from elsewhere. I occasionally forget to include the backlink, but I never post content to M.L.I. that isn’t copied from somewhere else, precisely because M.L.I. is only for searching and archiving.

    I got the idea for such a feed from seeing Charles Johnson do it at http://elsewhere.radgeek.com.

    Readers can judge for themselves how “weird” it is for me to write this: Blanton says he has no interest in voting for a Barr or a Holtz. What he still doesn’t comprehend is that his brave and daring act of non-voting isn’t interpreted by the political world the way that he fantasizes that it is. His not voting doesn’t yell “smash the state!” It simply whimpers that he doesn’t care whether public policy moves to the left vs. to the right vs. toward freedom.

  42. Thomas L. Knapp

    “You mean, like food stamps gives the government control over grocery stores — where they’re built, who they hire, what hours they’re open, their holiday schedule, etc?”

    No, I mean like grants, subsidies, tax preferences etc. have historically given the government over education.

    The Clery Act, for example, which requires colleges “receiving federal funding” to compile and report local crime statistics.

    Or the various Solomon Amendments, which have required colleges “receiving federal funding” to do everything from enforcing Selective Service registration to opening their campuses up to military recruiters.

    Or Title IX. Or Public Law 93-112. Etc., etc.

    Let’s go through your laundry list:

    * service boundaries,
    * inter-district busing

    How long do you think it will take, subsequent to adoption of a voucher or tax credit program, for the EPA to assert a public interest in reducing emissions and pressure DOE to limit vouchers/credits to institutions located within X miles of the student’s residence?

    * admissions policy

    I seriously doubt that any voucher or credit law will even make it to a president’s desk without extensive regulations in that area, including but not limited to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    * capital spending decisions

    This will likely go in the other direction — rather than exclusions, I’ll expect to see bonuses, increased credits or voucher amounts for schools that build in designated “economic development zones” and such.

    * textbook selection,
    * curriculum standards, including treatment of creationism, the Bible, gay marriage, etc.
    * prayer in school
    * religious calendar and observance

    That one may be interesting to watch play out. Since evangelical Christians seem to be on board with vouchers or tax credits, they’re probably not going to want any restrictions …

    … until First Church of Satan Elementary School and Aryan Nations Middle School and Lambda High School start filing voucher claims or the parents of students at those schools start claiming credits.

    At that point, we’ll start hearing screams about how “God-fearing Christian folk shouldn’t be forced to subsidize Heresy, Hitlerism and Homosexuality.” Which way it goes after that is anyone’s guess.

    * campus smoking,
    * drug testing,
    * PE requirements,

    Those may be left unaddressed in the original bill. I’ll give it a maximum of two years before the Department of Health and Human Services and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness start leaning on DoE to set “health and fitness” standards for schools receiving voucher money or producing tax credits for parents.

    * teacher hiring standards

    Read up on how effective teachers’ unions have been at getting their way in the past. If money starts flowing out of their usual domain (“public” schools) and into putatively private schools, it won’t be a hot minute before NEA goes to work to impose a set of requirements on the latter which closely matches those required for certification to teach in “public schools” (but which doesn’t constitute such certification).

    * testing standards

    It may take a couple of years to implement those, but they’ll be in process by the end of the first semester of any voucher or credit program, driven by hysterical media claims that “we can’t know if these kids are learning without testing.”

    * union rules,
    * teacher pensions

    Those vary from state to state even in “public” schools at the moment. I won’t be surprised if NEA turns the situation to its advantage there, too, though.

    * pledge of allegiance,
    * school uniforms

    These are also areas where, so far as I know, the feds don’t even regulate “public” schools yet.

    * zero-tolerance rules for toy weapons,

    Anyone’s guess. I see you left real weapons out of your list, though, which I assume means that you know that the feds already apply the Gun Free School Zones Act to private and parochial schools.

  43. Brian Holtz

    Lots of uses of the subjunctive there, spiced liberally with fatalism about how reforms would inevitably be undone. Again, it’s all about the counterfactuals here, and my intuitions agree less with yours than with the libertarian scholars at Cato, Reason Foundation, Independent Institute, PRI, Heartland Institute, Friedman Foundation, and Institute for Justice. Each one of these libertarian think tanks supports vouchers (e.g. Why Conservatives and Libertarians Should Support School Vouchers), leaving the anarchists at LvMI as the outlier. What a coincidence.

    Like I said, some anarchists seem to fear small government more than they fear big government.

  44. Robert Capozzi

    This conversation reminds me of the Law of Unintended Consequences. Vouchers COULD lead to the State controlling private schools more, therefore vouchers should not be supported.

    If a step toward liberty COULD unleash an unintended consequence, we’re in the wrong business. Exiting S Korea COULD lead to a missile launch on Hawaii, therefore exiting S. Korea should not be supported?

    Politics requires some risk taking.

  45. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Like I said, some anarchists seem to fear small government more than they fear big government.”

    “If a step toward liberty”

    How do vouchers constitute “smaller government” or “a step toward liberty?”

  46. Tom Blanton

    Brian, it is your fantasy that your vote yells “smash the state”, not mine. That I don’t vote simply means “ignore the state”. Your little vote merely signifies your consent to be ruled by thugs with no legitimacy.

    You are so twisted you are delusional, Holtz. A sick little man.

  47. Brian Holtz

    Tom B., I’m not an anarchist, so it’s silly to claim that I’m trying to say “Smash the state!” with my vote. It would be delusional to think that ruling political elites count all non-voters as anti-statists. For more on the topic of anarchists not voting, see http://libertarianintelligence.com/2009/01/advice-for-young-anarchist.html.

    Tom K., for fully thirteen of the aspects of government control of education that I listed above, you yourself seemed to concede that vouchers would be an initial step toward liberty, and your only argument was to predict that the step would be undone later. That logic works against any proposal to reduce government.

    I quote the paper linked above published by the Independent Institute: Their faulty assumptions are that the Hayekian “road to serfdom” is a one-way road for all time and that any proposed reforms that still involve public funding—even proposals that dramatically reduce government’s capacity to commit evil and set the stage for further privatization—will lead to dependency, government control, and decline. If such were the case, however, why did Hayek even bother to write The Road to Serfdom? Why do conservatives and libertarians bother to fight Leviathan if they are convinced it cannot be defeated? In “Trends Can Change,” Mises wrote: “One of the cherished dogmas implied in contemporary fashionable doctrines is the belief that tendencies of social evolution as manifested in the recent past will prevail in the future too. Study of the past, it is assumed, discloses the shape of things to come. Any attempt to reverse or even to stop a trend is doomed to failure. Man must submit to the irresistible power of historical destiny”. The “contemporary fashionable doctrines” Mises refers to are the theories of history and progress advanced by Hegel, Marx, and Comte, but they just as easily could be the doctrines of antivoucher separationists. The “cherished dogma” is the same for both: a helplessness to stop the trend toward greater government power and control. An obvious consequence of this dogma is paralysis. The antivoucherites are afraid to dismantle the government schools because any such effort “is doomed to failure.”

  48. Robert Capozzi

    As a theoretical asymptotic anarchist/applied lessarchist, I too would not want to “smash the state.” Smashing the state would likely such cause such a dislocation to our way of life that that is simply too great a risk.

    One can be an anarchist without being a nihilist. Smash the state is the cry of a nihilist.

  49. Tom Blanton

    Why push for a step toward liberty instead of pushing for liberty itself?

    In the case of vouchers, Milton Friedman and others have pushed voucher plans for 50 years. Actually, over 50 years. Now, suppose that we get vouchers tomorrow. Are we to spend another 50 years for one more step toward liberty?

    The “baby step” strategy has failed to win the hearts and minds of voters and the incrementalism promised by the moderate pragmatists has not materialized.

    You might get what you claim to want once you have convinced people that what you claim to want is correct. Advocating something that MAY lead to what you want at some point in the distant future is something entirely different.

    In the case of Holtz, I’m not sure what his agenda is. As a perpetual candidate/politician, his lips move a lot and we all know what it means when a politician’s lips move, even LP politicians.

    Is it any wonder that some people might think that advocates of “one step at a time” are tools being played by statists posing as freedom lovers?

    It’s not just the vouchers, it is everything with these “one-steppers”. With these people it seems to be

    Give me liberty in 100 years or give me statism.

    Folks that want freedom need to learn to resist the state instead of participating in it. How’s voting working for you so far, Carpozzi?

    Send your kids to private school or home-school. You whine about paying taxes and tuition? Tough. You voted and you agreed to accept the outcome – so shut up and pay your taxes. You played the game and lost, again. If you refuse to advocate for liberty and refuse to resist, you’ve only got yourself to blame.

  50. Tom Blanton

    Carpozzi, I’m not crying “smash the state” – that is pretty much like pissing in the wind. That’s what you guys do.

    So, I stand corrected. Your vote screams “reform the state” – but who is listening?

  51. Robert Capozzi

    tb, thanks for your thoughtful feedback. In my case, I vote quietly when I vote. No need to make the act of voting into a grandiose spectacle! 😉

    And I generally piss downward into the bowl! 😉

  52. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    You write:

    “Tom K., for fully thirteen of the aspects of government control of education that I listed above, you yourself seemed to concede that vouchers would be an initial step toward liberty”

    Um, no. Decentralization and menuization of compliance options for government mandates may or may not be good ideas, but saying that they’re good ideas is not the same thing as saying that they are steps, of any size, “toward liberty.” In the case of education, they seem at least as likely (based both on historical trends and obvious likely outcomes) to increase government control over education as they do to decrease it.

    All that said, we seem to be talking past each other yet again, mainly because you persist in your error of assuming that because I’m an anarchist, I’m looking to gut any non-anarchist proposals that come my way, e.g.:

    “My mention of your ‘knives’ was to draw attention to the fact that you have them — all sharpened up and ready for Libertarians whose reforms you deem non-compliant with your abolitionist agenda.”

    Yeah — that’s why I ran a non-anarchist campaign for Congress last year, and why I’ve worked on no fewer than three non-anarchist LP presidential campaigns (Russo, Badnarik, Kubby), and why I’ve offered a less radical, more incremental tax cut proposal than Root’s.

  53. Brian Holtz

    “Why push for a step toward liberty instead of pushing for liberty itself?”

    Some people are just awesome enough to do both. And others are wise enough to recognize that they’re the same thing.

    People have been “pushing” for anarchism for longer than people have been pushing for vouchers. “How’s that working out?”, indeed. I can point to signs of tangible progress for the meliorist-minarchist strategy. Where is there a shred of evidence that anarcholibertarianism is anything other than a consumption good, rather than a means to an end?

    You obviously didn’t read http://libertarianintelligence.com/2009/01/advice-for-young-anarchist.html, nor are you familiar with Rothbard’s demonstration that the voting-is-consent argument completely undermines the anarchist case.

  54. Michael H. Wilson

    Voucher are still some else money. Often they don’t like parting with it and if they do have to give it up they don’t want it to go to “those people with those ideas”.

  55. Brian Holtz

    Tom K., you apparently didn’t catch the distinction I intended when I said “your abolitionist agenda” instead of “your anarchist agenda”. I’m not accusing you of always being upfront about wanting to raze the building — on the contrary, you’re one of my poster children for how LP anarchists don’t campaign on their beliefs as forthrightly as I do. Rather, I’m accusing you of opposing any reduction in the building’s size that might involve hammering a nail and not just swinging a wrecking ball.

    I can tell we’re almost done here, because this is the point where you say there are already enough people willing to hammer nails, and then I say that’s the difference between a libertarian and a CleanHands-itarian.

  56. Tom Blanton

    No, Brian, I obviously don’t care what your flawed opinions are and I don’t really care what Rothbard had to say at some particular moment in time.

    I’m only thankful that most people don’t care what your opinions are.

  57. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    You write:

    “I’m not accusing you of always being upfront about wanting to raze the building — on the contrary, you’re one of my poster children for how LP anarchists don’t campaign on their beliefs as forthrightly as I do.”

    That’s just another matter of you seeing what you want to see rather than seeing what’s actually there.

    I used to know a guy who was:

    a) a Pentecostal or Baptist (I don’t remember which) lay volunteer; and

    b) steward at a union shop.

    So far as I know, he didn’t issue altar calls at union meetings, nor did he attempt to organize his congregation for the union. I suspect, however, that:

    – He found justification for his union work in his interpretation of scripture, without believing that that union work would usher in the second coming and the millennium; and

    – He brought some of the union’s “social justice” agenda with him to his church activities, without expecting that his church would be the instrument which broke capital once and for all to the leash of labor.

    I do not consider anarchism to be a “hammer” for driving political “nails” through partisan politics, nor do I consider partisan politics to work as a “wrecking ball” for knocking down the building in which partisan politics takes place.

    For purposes of partisan politics, I am an incrementalist reductionist, with hope for abolition of some of the state’s worse schemes.

    That’s what I’ve been since my first run for office in 1997, when my platform for city council included abolition of only one city activity (a bus system so heavily subsidized that it would have been cheaper to buy, fuel and insure a decent used car for each and every able-bodied rider and issue up to two median-fare cab vouchers per day to disabled riders), Houston-style demonopolization of another (the local utility), and reduction in a third (marijuana arrests by local law enforcement, through a “lowest law enforcement priority” ordinance).

    All I’ve ever asked of the Libertarian Party is

    a) that it not exclude anarchists by explicitly precluding a stateless society as an acceptable end; and

    b) That it actually pursue REDUCING, rather than merely RECONFIGURING, state power.

    You have no room to talk about nails versus wrecking balls in any case — the programmatic items you so vociferously advocate require only thumb tacks and paint brushes, since all you propose to do with things like vouchers is put a new coat of latex and some different posters up on the same walls.

  58. Robert Capozzi

    tk, does the LP currently engage in “explicitly precluding a stateless society as an acceptable end”? If so, how so?

    And do you OPPOSE reconfiguration schemes that create improved conditions for actual reductions? I’d say vouchers do this. I’d suggest that tax reform that increases visibility does, too.

  59. Michael H. Wilson

    re: rc @ 63 NORAD may or may not be a good idea. However when it comes to education a government run schools is a propaganda prison for little people. And frankly I don’t want my money going to them. If you like what the government preaches go for it! Send em all your bucks. And don’t forget to smile.

  60. Michael H. Wilson

    @ 67 I wrote: ” schools is a propaganda prison for little people”. Accidently I put a “s” on school, but I also stole that line from my wife.

    I ran into a lawyer a few months back who said teachers always reminded him of POW camp administrators. Interesting comment if I do say so.

  61. Brian Holtz

    OK, time to pop up a level and consider:

    • Education is perennially one of the top four or five voter concerns.
    • Replacing government ownership of schools with tuition vouchers is considered too radical a decrease in the size of the nanny state that GOP legislative majorities don’t attempt it, and GOP candidates (like even the “libertarian-leaning” ones for governor here in California) dare not advocate it.
    • Seven out of the eight leading libertarian think tanks that take a position on vouchers support them, and even an anarcholibertarian academic like David Friedman says they would be a “great improvement”.

    Nevertheless, the Libertarian Party has never spoken positively about tuition vouchers even as an incremental reform. WTF!?

    This is emblematic of why prominent libertarian policy analysts and policy shops want nothing to do with the LP. And it’s also demonstrates how, even now, the LP’s vocal abolitionist minority retains an effective veto power over the official policy positions of the LP.

  62. Robert Capozzi

    mhw, I don’t want tax dollars going to propaganda prisons, either. But a lot do. I’d like to unwind that situation, while at the same time I don’t believe it’s helpful to a peaceful and free social order to have large numbers of children’s education disturbed or prematurely ended.

  63. Robert Capozzi

    bh, some would say that the 7 think tanks aren’t L. The 8th, LvMI, regards vouchers with derision, almost as much as neocons and the Fed.

    The good news is the current platform COULD be read as supportive of vouchers. It also COULD be read as a holding high the black flag.

    This leaves open the possibility that an L candidate CAN advocate vouchers. At least the platform is no longer a block to engaging the center where it is.

  64. libertariangirl

    the 2006 platform for the VoteForAChange caucus in Nv had a school choice plank . We avoided the word voucher itself because of the negative connotations attached. but the essential meaning is the same.

    We will have a similar plank this coming season.

  65. morey

    Brian, what’s this ‘more radical than thou’ claim against my campaign? Yes, I ran on issues (minarchist, if you like) rather than trying to spit out the big picture on the first date. Less chided me for that, but I wouldn’t expect you to have a problem with it. What exactly did you find lacking?

  66. Brian Holtz

    No charge, Morey — I was just defending myself from Blanton’s complaint @21 that “the general public is far more receptive to some radical ideas than [I] give them credit for”, and that I may be one of the “many LP candidates [who] seem to shy away” from such ideas. My defense was that my campaign site included a range of specific positions that on the whole were more radical than those of Ron Paul or of several prominent LP anarchists.

    I have no problem whatsoever with anarchists running moderate campaigns. In fact, I’ll repeat that your TV commercial was hands-down the best Libertarian commercial I’ve ever seen. That’s why it’s first on my playlist of LP commercials:

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