An audience of about 100 gathered at this month's Lehigh Valley Tea Party meeting to see Andrew Bernstein, author of “Capitalist Solutions: A Philosophy of American Moral Dilemmas,” published in October by Transaction Publishers, give his book talk and lecture “Free Market Education” Friday evening at the in Palmer Township.
Bernstein claims there has been a “horrific decline in educational quality since 1850” and says the public school system should be abolished in favor of private, for-profit educational institutions.
“Almost 90 percent of American children are forced to attend abysmal public schools,” he said. “Our education system is in a shambles.”
Taxes make it impossible for many to send their children to private schools because they can't afford to pay twice for their children's education, he said.
“Public education is government schooling. Do you want to trust the government with the schooling of your children? I think not,” Bernstein said.
Public schools lack educational quality because they are “funded with wealth taken coercively, in a manner more like Nazis, communists and Islamists” and therefore do not have to compete for students or tuition dollars, he said.
“This is what the [public] school system does,” Bernstein said. “We have to get our children's minds out of the hands of those government schools and that evil teachers union — those freakin' Commies...They're more supporters of the Communist Party, just like all Democrats. They must be crushed.”
He said the more “market-like” or profit driven private schools are the most successful.
“Private schools are academically superior to public schools,” Bernstein said. “They have to earn their customers and money. If they want to do that, they have to compete...They have to be significantly better than public schools...The practical solution is to totally privatize all government schools.”
Bernstein suggested existing public school buildings should be auctioned off to the highest private bidder, and free public schools could be phased out over a five-year transition period.
“Property and income and sales taxes should be repealed,” he said—with the money, parents would be free to send their children to private schools. “Anyone who sends their kids to private school should not have to pay tax, sales tax, property tax, or whatever funds schools.”
Poverty, he added, would not be a barrier if free public education no longer existed, as private schools would undoubtedly let “worthy poor students” attend anyway through scholarships.
“The few families [that could not afford to educate their children privately] would find no shortage of scholarships and charities,” Bernstein said, adding, “The socialist mentality is, 'only the rich will be educated and the poor won't be.' Well, that's the way it is today.”
Additionally, private, for-profit schools would be able to offer more choices for parents than public school does when it comes to curriculum, moral values and future educational and vocational opportunities for their children, he said.
“These solutions are moral because they protect individual rights,” Bernstein said. “Capitalism is the only solution that is both practical and moral in our day.”