In the last sentence of Charles Murray’s article here, he writes: “Our public schools should be places where good teachers want to teach and are permitted to teach.”
Suppose pizza parlors had been nationalized, and there were (no surprise) all sorts of problems with pizza. Would he have written this?: “Our pizza parlors should be places where good chefs want to bake and are permitted to bake.”
Somehow, I doubt it. Knowing his other writings, he might say something to the effect that pizza parlors should be privatized, and analyze the pizza problems as emanating from pizza socialism: poor incentives, no bankruptcy for lousy restaurants, etc. He would give the back of his hand to the objection that if pizza was privatized, the poor wouldn’t be able to get any pizza.
Ditto to Milton Friedman’s external economies argument: that people wouldn’t buy enough pizza, because they are not able to capture all the benefits of pizza; some it spills over to other people since they will be nicer if they have just eaten pizza and are now more content.
What’s the difference between pizza and schooling, such that people like Murray are socialists in the latter case but not the former?