JonScholar wrote:Education Won't be Available for Many in Market Anarchy
For a simple reason: they won't be able to afford it. The current education system, functions because higher income earners subsidize the cost of education for those who can't afford it on their own. In the current system those of lower incomes pay little to nothing for their education. Because of this, the US is capable of giving an education to just about everyone in the country, giving us an educated and much more diverse market.
This system is by no means perfect. A dependence on property taxes makes it so that rich neighborhoods tend to have better funded and better quality schools. This leads to the poor having an inherit disadvantage when it comes to competing in the market. There is definitely a problem, but the system proposed by Anarcho-Capitalists exacerbates the problem rather than resolving it.
In MA, the funding that was once redistributed to schools in low income to subsidize the costs of schooling, now reside in areas populated by upper class persons. All schools now require a tuition, so now poor folks who were essentially getting a free schooling have to make a decision between spending their limited resources on education or something else that might be more essential. In the vast majority of cases, low income earners simply won't be able to afford school for their children.
I'm sure the Anarcho-Capitalists here will argue that competition will drive down costs to the point where all poor families will be able to afford them. The empirical evidence strongly contradicts this. In the neo-liberal economies of Africa, we witness some of the worst educational enrollment rates in the world. Why does this happen? Because educating everyone in a country is not economically viable from a free market perspective. Many times it's not profitable to provide education in low income areas (though sometimes it is), other times the lower class simply isn't willing to pay tuition opting to use that money for other things instead. Whatever the causes, the empirical evidence is clear: privatization of education leads to drastically reduced enrollment.
And that's just enrollment, we haven't even begun talking about the quality of education in schools that exist in poor areas vs those that exist in rich areas. Of course, this is already a problem in the current system, but it bears repeating that these issues exist, perhaps even to a greater extent, in MA. In the end, even if 40%-50% (the average in African countries with high levels of privatization in schools, as opposed to the 90%-99% we have now) of the country ends up enrolled in private schools, it's pretty obvious that not all of these schools will be giving the same quality of education. Those who go to rich, well funded schools will be much more competitive in the market than those from poor areas. So basically life becomes a giant lottery. If you're born into a rich family you get a good education and a high paying job, if you're born into poverty you get little or no education and end up in the lower rungs of labor pyramid.
And life in an undereducated society, while luxurious for those near the top, is a living hell for the lower class. Lack of proper education essentially assures that the unskilled labor market will be in perpetual oversupply. Wages and working conditions are thus terrible for the people working in the unskilled labor market. You'll have people working below their means, starving to death, most likely resorting to crime before the end of it all. It will be a repeat of the labor oversupply crisis during the great depression. If you've ever read the Grapes of Wrath you'll know what to expect from MA.
Look, I'm not a communist; I have faith in the markets. I honestly believe that liberalized markets and Minarchism could function for the most part if there weren't gigantic barriers to entry (education, existing wealth) on certain professions. But the fact of the matter is there are. If we honestly want capitalism to function as it should, we need to insure that everyone has access to affordable, quality education. The largest problem with privatization of education is... it simply cannot provide that.
An interesting resource for those who haven't heard of this economic system before: http://mises.org/ . In a nutshell, Anarcho-Capitalists believe that every aspect of society should be managed and regulated by the private market. This includes legislation, security, education, etc.