The Role Of Government In Education Friedman – Our period has focused on the general trend of increasing state intervention in economic affairs and created conflicts in areas where new interventions have been proposed and which until now were self-evident and irreversible. The current break in the collective trend, perhaps a setback, provides an opportunity to re-examine current government practices and re-evaluate those that are illegitimate. This paper has attempted such a theory of education.

Today, education is often funded and managed almost entirely by government agencies or non-profit organizations. This condition has developed slowly and is now so self-evident that little attention is paid to the causes of particular attitudes to education, even in countries which are largely free enterprise in organization and philosophy. As a result, there has been an arbitrary expansion of government authority.

The Role Of Government In Education Friedman

The Role Of Government In Education Friedman

The role assigned to government in a particular case depends, of course, on the principles adopted for the organization of society in general. In this context, I will consider a society that takes the freedom of the individual, or more realistically the family, as its ultimate goal and seeks to achieve this goal primarily through voluntary exchange between individuals. to regulate economic activity by relying on In such a free private enterprise barter economy, the primary role of government is to uphold the rules of the game by enforcing contracts, preventing coercion, and maintaining free markets. In addition, there are only three main reasons why government intervention is justified. One is a “natural monopoly” or similar market disorder that prevents effective competition (and thus purely voluntary exchange). Another important is the existence of “neighborhood effects”, that is, one person’s actions impose significant costs on others that cannot be eliminated, or offer significant benefits to others that cannot be eliminated. He is being compensated – a situation that again prevents voluntary exchange. The third arises from the ambiguity of the ultimate goal and the difficulty of achieving it through voluntary exchange, namely the parents’ concern for children and other irresponsible persons. Freedom of belief is for “responsible” units, not including children or the insane. Generally, this problem is avoided by treating the family as the basic unit and thus the parents as responsible for their children; However, such an approach is often based on merit rather than principle. The problem of drawing a reasonable line between actions and actions that conflict with the freedom of responsible persons on this matriarchal basis clearly cannot be answered satisfactorily.

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In applying these general principles to education, we find it useful to treat separately (1) general civic education and (2) special vocational education, although in practice it may be difficult to draw a sharp line between them. The basis for government intervention in these two cases is very different and justifies different types of action.

A stable and democratic society is impossible without the widespread acceptance of certain common values ​​and a minimum level of literacy and knowledge among the majority of citizens. Education helps both. Consequently, a child’s education benefits not only the child or his parents, but other members of society; My child’s education contributes to the welfare of other people by developing a stable and democratic society. However, it is not possible to identify specific individuals (or families) who receive or appreciate the benefits and thus charge for the services provided. So there is a significant “neighborhood effect”.

What government action is warranted by this impact on the neighborhood? The most obvious thing is that every child needs at least one kind of education. Such a requirement can be imposed on parents without government action, as owners of buildings and most cars must adhere to certain standards for the safety of others. But there is a difference between the two cases. Later, those who cannot afford to meet the required standards usually sell the property in question to others, so the requirement can easily be implemented without government subsidies – although here, if the property The cost of insuring is more than that. With market value and the owner lacking resources, the government may be forced to pay for the demolition of a dangerous building or the removal of an abandoned car. Separating a child from parents who cannot pay for the minimum required education is clearly inconsistent with our reliance on the family as the basic unit of society and our belief in individual freedom.

Nevertheless, if large families in a community can easily bear the financial burden imposed by such educational demands, it may be possible and desirable that parents bear the direct costs.

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Extreme cases can be dealt with by special clauses, as is now done for houses and cars. The current system provides a close analogy for children who are abused by their parents. The advantage of imposing costs on parents is that it equalizes the social and private costs of childbearing and thus promotes a better distribution of household size.

Differences between families in wealth and number of children—both the causes and consequences of the different policies we pursue—also impose educational standards at high cost, but make such policies impossible. Instead, the government assumes the financial cost of providing education. In doing so, he paid not only for the minimum education that is necessary for everyone, but also for the higher level of additional education that young people have but do not need – for example, in state and municipal colleges and universities. Both measures can be justified by the “neighborhood effect” mentioned above – payment of costs is the only possible means of enforcing the required minimum; and to finance further education on the basis that others may benefit from an education that is more useful and interesting as a means of providing better social and political leadership.

On this basis, only certain types of education will be eligible for state subsidies. Of course, they do not specifically justify subsidizing vocational education, which increases the student’s economic productivity, but does not train him for citizenship or leadership. Obviously, it is extremely difficult to draw a sharp line between these two forms of education. Most general education contributes to the economic value of students – in fact, only in modern times and in some countries does literacy no longer have market value. And many vocational courses broaden students’ perspectives. But it is very clear what the difference means. For example, subsidizing the training of veterinarians, beauticians, dentists, and a host of other specialized skills—as is commonly done in publicly funded educational institutions in the United States—is tantamount to subsidizing basic education. Cannot be justified on grounds. Advanced, liberal education. Whether this can be justified on completely different grounds is a question we will discuss later in this paper.

The Role Of Government In Education Friedman

Of course, qualitative arguments from “neighborhood effects” do not decide whether individual children should be subsidized in education and how much they should be subsidized. The social benefits of education are greatest at the lowest levels of education, where there is the closest approach to consensus on the content of education, and decrease steadily with increasing levels of education. But even this statement cannot be accepted – many governments subsidized universities before they subsidized lower education. What form of education has the greatest social benefits, and how much of the community’s limited resources should be spent, will be determined by the decision of the community, expressed through its recognized political channels. The role of economics is not to decide these questions for the community, but rather to explain the issues that the community decides in making choices, especially whether the choice is appropriate or necessary in the common cause. Rather on an individual basis.

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We have seen that both the introduction of a minimum required level of education and the financial support of education by the state can be justified by the “neighborhood effect” of education. The third justification of these conditions is more difficult

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