by P. L. Thomas, The Becoming Radical, 4/5/13
Free market advocates have sought a series of talking points and justifications for an equally wide array of school choice formats over the past twenty to twenty-five years, primarily because the public has been resistant to school choice plans.
One tactic common among choice advocates is to associate the Invisible Hand of the market with Lady Justice, blurring the essential nature of choice and competition as sorting mechanisms with the goal of equity among educators seeking social justice: “People in poverty deserve the same choice affluent people have,” goes the claim.
American capitalism has a long history of demonizing the Commons as “government” and idealizing corporate America as the “free” market, and part of that narrative includes ignoring the place of the Commons as a foundation upon which a free market can thrive.
The Invisible Hand, however, driven by choice and competition always sorts and never attends to social justice or equity….
People in poverty deserve essential Commons—such as a police force and judicial system, a military, a highway system, a healthcare system, and universal public education—that make choice unnecessary. In short, among the essentials of a free people, choice shouldn’t be needed by anyone.
No child should have to wait for good schools while the market sorts some out, no human should have to wait for quality medical care while the market sorts some out, no African American teen gunned down in the street should have to wait for the market to sort out justice—the Commons must be the promise of the essential equity and justice that both make freedom possible and free people embrace.
And then it is upon this Commons beyond choice that the Invisible Hand may create an economy that a free people deserve.
read the whole post at The Becoming Radical