The Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman died yesterday. His New York Times obituary below describes his willingness to go the whole way toward antistatism. His example of expressing an underlying conviction is the sort of breath of fresh air that energizes the coming “perfect storm” Todd Richmond predicts is about to hit education. Dr. Richmond said last month that “the educational sector will be dragged into the future kicking and screaming by the next perfect storm.”
I am opposed to public education. It is fine to have public institutions for children for day care, sports, communications programs, community service—and perhaps for practicing their French. But the virtual, digital commons has become a better place for them to engage what is known by humankind and to interact with learners and teachers—most importantly to do so beyond the cubicles of public education space and ideas.
Instead of a tempered postion on this point, as an advocate I am one of the somebodies that henceforth goes the whole way—with a salute and farewell to Milton Friedman:
As a libertarian, Mr. Friedman advocated legalizing drugs and generally opposed public education and the state’s power to license doctors, car drivers and others. He was criticized for those views, but he stood by them, arguing that prohibiting, regulating or licensing human behavior either does not work or creates inefficient bureaucracies. Mr. Friedman insisted that unimpeded private competition produced better results than government systems.“Try talking French with someone who studied it in public school,” he argued, “then with a Berlitz graduate.”
Once, when accused of going overboard in his antistatism, he said, “In every generation, there’s got to be somebody who goes the whole way, and that’s why I believe as I do.”