I frequently am sent commentary from the anti free market crowd to prove how cruel the market is and why some form of collectivism is so much better. The most recent article was from a group called "Truthout" which seems to be a run away favorite with the Democrats. It extolled the virtues of "free" public education and the terrible horrors of decreased funding for public education. This particular screed by the Truthout group, extolled the value and, most important, the very necessity of public /government/political education. It was a classic example of the narrow and limited thinking of the majority of the Democrats and even many Republicans.
This insistence on retaining a bloated, clumsy, inefficient, corrupt and failed manner of education, is reminiscent of the people with whom I became acquainted in the 60's from the Soviet Union. These visitors to America were allowed to come over as exchange teachers. Of course a member of the family had to stay there to be certain they did not defect. We had many interesting conversations about economics and politics. There was no "Libertarian Party" politically, but libertarians were discussing, debating, writing and excited about philosophical, political and economic issues, so having an opportunity to meet and speak with people living in the Soviet Union was an interesting opportunity.
Although these visitors usually hated their fear-based government, nevertheless they could not conceive of any way to have food unless the government provided it. As inefficient as their government was in providing food and handling distribution, they simply could not grasp any other means of food production and allocation except in a top down, government-directed manner until they saw it with their own eyes. The abundance and plenty in the three grocery stores in our small college town was utterly astounding to them.
Even then, several still could not fully comprehend that no one governmental bureau was directing every step in the process from the top. They would insist that here in this country we had, somehow, figured out how to have a more honest and efficient bureaucracy than the Soviet government.
Grasping the concept of millions of decisions and choices, all coming together to provide the bounty on our grocery shelves is, indeed, almost miraculous. This same perception exists now for many areas where government has become the regulator and decision maker. In education the free flow of price information and voluntary exchange would result in more choices and a greater emphasis on student success. This multiplicity of schools and types of schools, is almost beyond the comprehension for many people.
Imagining the results of a market system by removing the shackles of the chains of government bureaucracy, is extremely difficult for anyone indoctrinated with the top down model.