Friedman, Vouchers And Katrina
December 7, 2005 - 3:13pm ET
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In Wrong Vouchers, Dr. Friedman , Greg Anrig Jr. of TPM Cafe says what Katrina survivors need most is not vouchers for private school, but public housing. And he chides Friedman for using the Katrina tragedy to push his political agenda of starving public education.
<!--StartFragment -->Anrig writes :
The unwillingness of Friedman and many of his followers to pay much more than lip service to a market-oriented policy like housing vouchers in the wake of Katrina is revealing. What are the big differences between school vouchers and housing vouchers at a time when the need for housing is far more urgent?
1. School vouchers advance the right's goal of undermining the public school system; housing vouchers serve no such purpose, particularly now that government is basically out of the business of building low-income housing projects -- thank goodness.
2. If the public comes to recognize housing vouchers as an effective strategy for alleviating poverty, where will it all lead? More federal spending on the poor! School vouchers only involve moving state and local money from the public sector to private/ "faith-based" hands.
3. Housing vouchers have evolved over time largely through bipartisanship - a silly, anachronistic concept. School vouchers are identified much more closely with the conservative movement.
Helping real people in the real world or advancing the cause no matter what? Where Milton Friedman leads, the right will continue to follow.
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