stat counnnter

Monday, December 09, 2019

Two bad ideas

The Sunday  Dec 8th Detroit Free Press had a oped by Freep writer Nancy Kaffar titled "How Michigan can make right-to-read suit go away."It says:
" The students filed suit in 2016, asking a federal court to recognize that a right to literacy is implicit in the U.S. Constitution and integral to participation in a democracy. They contend that the Detroit school district's failures are so widespread and so consistent that it's clear the system is at fault, and that it's up to the state to fix it."
There are several bad ideas in that paragraph not the least of which is the notion that America is a democracy. The founders wanted little to do with a democracy. They knew from history that democracies always collapsed into some form of dictatorship. They wanted a Constitutional Republic where the government was limited to a list of precise powers enumerated in a written Constitution.

There is some debate about the alleged difference between a 'pure democracy' and a republic where representatives are elected by a democratic vote. It's been my understanding that in a 'pure democracy' everything can be put up to a vote, where a majority can vote away the rights of minorities.

This was tried in ancient Athens and led to its collapse. Our founders knew this. To prevent majority rule from voting away the rights of minorities they knew they had to put restrictions on what may and may not be put up for a vote. To their credit, that's where the concept of a constitution devoted to the protection of individual rights came in.

But since those days our government has been tirelessly trying to remove those limits on its powers through the use of regulations. And it's been successful to the point where the government can now do almost anything it wants through regulations while us citizens can't budge without getting permission from permission grantors aka regulators, controllers, and various planning commissions.

In closing the issue of democracy I want to point out how obvious are the attempts by Progressives to do away with those constitutional restrictions on the government's power.

We can see how the Democrats have been trying to limit (regulate) free speech, freedom of association, do away with religious freedom, the second amendment's right to keep and bear arms and the 4th amendment's right to privacy. And by constantly referring to our nation as a democracy, today's intellectuals will wipe out in the minds of the young the existence of a constitutional republic and thus vote away those constitutional restrictions.

Now about that law suit by the students. They are right in attacking the utter failure of the government controlled Detroit school system. It is a disgrace. But they are wrong in seeking a Constitutional right to literacy.

There can be no such thing as a right to a thing before one does something to earn it by either buying it, receiving it as a gift or creating it yourself. A right is a government protection to the freedom of action, the freedom to pursue one's own life, liberty and one's own happiness. A right does not mean the government must provide one with those things.

And so it is with education. If one has a right to be taught to read then someone must be forced to teach him. It is true that a child needs to be taught by his elders how to survive and reading is just one of the skills needed.

 But if the government contracted with the people to educate students and have failed to do so then the governmentis guilty of a breach of contract, a violation of students and parents rights for which they-in government-need to be punished. But government isn't going to punish itself.

So if we want a better educational system we need to get government out of it completely. Just as government is not an economic entity and cannot regulate an economy without disastrous results, so government is also not an educational entity and cannot produce educated students without equally disastrous results.

Government is an institution of legalized force. By its nature it will always want to grow itself. When mixed with education it will teach all its students the value of government, how government control and government money will be the solution to all of their future problems.

The students then as adults will have been indoctrinated with the notion that when something goes wrong the proper action will be to turn to government and cry "do something!" Just what the government craves. Now is the time to start auctioning off one school or district at a time to private  entities whether for profit or non-profit, doesn't matter. But I caution the students to reconsider making reading a Constitutional Right to be forced on teachers who in reality want and enjoy teaching.

The best corrective measure for reading failure is to privatize all of education. The sooner the better.

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