- Capitalism and Alternatives -

I'm sorry, but I defend vouchers on socialist grounds

Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( DSA, MA, USA ) on January 11, 19100 at 15:33:35:

In Reply to: Fruitcake. posted by MDG on January 11, 19100 at 10:35:43:

: Vouchers, as in for religious-based schools? That's contrary to the Separation of Church and State. The left recognizes that; the right, or at least you, overlook that (or dismiss it, Doc?).

MDG, as much as I agree with you on some things, I must disagree here. I must defend school vouchers on socialist grounds.

As things stand, private schools currently offer what is often a stellar education to those who can afford it (upper middle class and above). Some, like the high school i went to, manage to achieve a good degree of racial and socieoeconomic diversity by affirmative action and recruiting in inner cities. My class in the private high school I went to was roughly 14% black, comparable with the national average. However, it is indubtable that there are many deserving kids who cannot attend bevcause their families are neither wealthy enough to pay, nor are they stellar enough to merit a scholarship. This situation, I believe, is not fair.

The goal of socialism, communism, social democracy, and even redistributive capitalist liberalism, is to divorce, as far as possible, one's claim to and enjoyment of the goods of society from one;s financial wealth. The goal of conservativism is to oppose such divorcement. It's for this reason that I support subsidized housing, free health care, price controls on food, etcetera. In an ideal socialist society, one would receive according to need, not to monetary wealth. Different societies, to tehd egree that they are socialist, will achieve the ideal to different degrees. Currently in America we are very very far from such an ideal. But that does not give us license to throw up our arms in defeat. On the contrary, any measure that contributes to divorcing one's enjoyment of a good from one';s ability to pay increases equality and fairness, and therefore, I believ, should be supported. I support vouchers for the same reason I support rent control, because they allow poor children to enjoy a good of society (private schools) that they could not before.

I went to a private school. I woudl be a damned hypocrite if I DIDN"T support vouchers whioch would make it possible for anyone to do the same.

Your church and state argument is interesting, and important, but not, i believe, sufficient. It's unforntuate that creationist evangelists will eb able to indoctrinate kids with public money. Hwoever, that's the price we must pay for equality.

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