School Choice

School Choice More Popular Than Ever—Thanks to Libertarians

Take that, Paul Krugman.

|

Teacher
Wikimedia Commons

A recent New York Times piece heralding the arrival of the libertarian moment has triggered a backlash—well documented by Reason writers here and here—from some noted anti-libertarians determined to rain on our freedom-loving parade. The most predictably awful response came from Paul Krugman, who went full Krugman and declared that libertarianism is an answer to "problems we don't have." 

Nobody paying even cursory attention to the news could actually believe that, but in case you've been living under a rock, Reason's J.D. Tuccille recently listed five policy areas where libertarianism is making people's lives better.

I'd like to suggest another: education. School choice—a concept popularized by libertarians like Milton Friedman—is liberating students from the oppressive failures of traditional public schools by empowering parents to get their kids into classrooms with teachers who actually care. To create innovative learning environments, entrepreneurs need room to breathe, and school choice gives them just that. Some charter schools may fail, but taken as a whole, the U.S.'s limited experiment in unshackling its classrooms is a success worthy of celebration.

Want evidence that the libertarian movement is here? The libertarian approach to education is more popular than ever. Even Democrats—once ironclad allies of notoriously freedom-hostile teachers unions—are increasingly on board with liberty-friendly reforms. (Union bosses, having embraced some of the angriest and ugliest rhetoric imaginable, have no one to blame but themselves.) In the recent Vergara v. California decision, for instance, the Supreme Court agreed with the plaintiffs that California's unconstitutionally broad protections for teachers were "handcuffing" schools. Arne Duncan, President Obama's Education Secretary, released a statement in support of the ruling.

Libertarian-leaning Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), a likely presidential contender, has made school choice a paramount issue—and one he uses to chart new territory among minority communities that have been skeptical of the limited government message in the past but are nevertheless excited about school choice. Those who take the opposite view, that inner city students should be condemned to languish in failing public schools, are increasingly outside the mainstream.

The horizon isn't entirely bright for libertarian education reformers, given the threats of increased centralization and nationalization posed by the Common Core curriculum. But even on that front, a weird mix of people with almost nothing in common other than a basically libertarian skepticism of standardization seem to be winning the fight.

Take that, Krugman.

More from Reason on education reform here.

NEXT: Obama: 'Death of Michael Brown Is Heartbreaking'

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. This is one of those issues where there should be literally no opposition from anyone outside of a union… I’m not sure if this one is even possible to fuck up now.

    1. Oh it’s totally possible. There is nothing government can’t fuck up.

    2. You would think so. But if you concede that the government is not the solution to a particular problem–or worse, that the government is causing a particular problem–then you open yourself up to the horrifying idea that there are things in this world that government can’t or shouldn’t control. Some people are unable to cope with that idea.

      1. gasp!

      2. I concede.

    3. The arguments I most commonly hear against it are

      1. it treads close to violating the separation of church and state since a lot of voucher money ends up going to religious and church schools

      2. it might lead to a type of ‘crony capitalism’ where you and me pay for C to get rich educating D’s kids

      3. like social security its a system that only ‘works’ when everyone is tied to the same system, people opting out will lead to those parents who don’t care to opt their kids out having their kids concentrated in some truly terrible schools

      I think what should be done is to just end public schools and let the market take care of it.

      1. You forgot Acosmist’s, “They cherry pick the students.” canard.

        1. They don’t usually “cherry pick”, but the students are different. That’s why lotteries don’t show significant test score improvement.

          1. That’s not true; at least not in Massachusetts. Using school data collected over a period of 10 years, this working paper purports that “one year in an urban lottery charter middle school boosts scores dramatically, by 0.34 standard deviations in math and 0.14 standard deviations in English. In contrast, non-urban charter schools appear to degrade performance. Although, as the authors note, “most non-urban students do reasonably well in any case,” the causal effect of a year of non-urban charter attendance is a substantial reduction in achievement in all levels and subjects, on the order of 0.16 standard deviations in middle school with almost a quarter of a standard deviation decline in high school math.

            The researchers conclude that the relative effectiveness of urban lottery charter schools can be explained by over-subscribed schools’ embrace of the No Excuses approach to education.”

            1. Maybe I’m trying to apply statistics I learned in the physical sciences incorrectly, but those improvements don’t sound significant at all. In fact, they sound consistent with the natural variance of the data. Am I missing something?

              1. They’re significant. 0.34 SD is about 5 IQ points.

                1. But assuming scores are Gaussian distributed (not sure if that is a good assumption), you’d expect to see differences of 0.34 SDs something like 74% of the time just due to random noise in your data. What I am getting wrong here?

                  1. sample size?

                    1. sample size?

                      For the non-lottery charters urban was n = 6625 and non-urban n = 8316 for the lottery n = 4126 for urban and n = 1963 for non-urban.

                    2. “Sample size” is the thing I think he’s missing.

                  2. What’s the standard error of each mean?

              2. In educational statistics the standard p-value is < 0.05; however, and this is where social “sciences” (it’s science like soy “milk” is milk, we just don’t have a better word for it) research can turn bad…the effect sizes and such can be played around with a lot. For example, opening up G*Power, the default Pearson’s r is set to 0.3, which I assume would be crazy-talk in most of the hard sciences, but I don’t know. What are the “rules of thumb” in your field?

                1. I’m in astronomy and I’ve never seen anyone quote Pearson’s r. I think we tend to be concerned about different things. Namely, I have noisy data and I think I have a signal. What are the chances that is due to random noise? Under the assumption of Gaussian noise (which is usually a good assumption for us), somewhere between 3-5 sigma significance is usually where people start taking claims of a detection seriously. I realize using “sigma” in this way makes actual experts in statistics cringe, but that’s how it is.

                  So maybe the better question to ask is, how should I interpret this claim of a 0.34 SD difference? How does that map to a probability that the difference isn’t due to random variation?

                  Causality, of course, is a whole different question.

                  1. Guesstimation: the 99% confidence interval is 0.34 +/- about half that.

            2. HM, by that logic, Head Start works. It’s well-established that locking poor kids in schools all day will raise test scores. Until that improvement shows up for 17 year olds, I’m skeptical.

              1. @Sidd

                It’s well-established that locking poor kids in schools all day will raise test scores. Until that improvement shows up for 17 year olds, I’m skeptical.

                Fair enough. Personally, I see nothing wrong with “cherry-picking” students to begin with. I’d also be interested to see if the degradation of performance in non-urban charters holds true for other states. My gut tells me it wouldn’t.

                1. I went to a magnet high school so I certainly don’t have a problem with cherry picking. I was just pointing out that Acosmist is basically right.

                  It seems to me that the quality of charters varies immensely. There’s clearly many doing well. OTOH I’ve never heard of anything in public schools as fucking weird as the Gulen movement.

                  1. But at least with a charter school, the parent knows what they are getting their kids into and puts them in on purpose.

                  2. No, he’s not, or at least the answer is mixed. Lotteries have shown comparable performance for charters and they have shown improved performance, and that includes studies with virtual twinning. So the blanket statement that it’s the cohort is simply wrong. In fact some studies show superior performance even with a “worse” cohort. The bottom line is that if you’re going to claim cherry picking, then you need to show some data to back up that claim.

            3. The researchers conclude that the relative effectiveness of urban lottery charter schools can be explained by over-subscribed schools’ embrace of the No Excuses approach to education.”

              Is “No Excuse” a way to say that they can expel students? Send them back to non-charter schools if they do not perform? The curricula is basically the same, the teachers are still unionized and they still have to teach to the lowest common denominator. They just have the ability to get rid of students that don’t want to be there.

              Will Charter schools be subject to Common Core were it to be enacted?

              1. Is “No Excuse” a way to say that they can expel students? Send them back to non-charter schools if they do not perform?

                From the article “As discussed by Thernstrom and Thernstrom (2003) and Carter (2000), No Excuses principles include a strict disciplinary environment, an emphasis on student behavior and comportment, extended time in school, and an intensive focus on traditional reading and math skills. Seventy-one percent of urban charter administrators identify somewhat or fully with No Excuses, while no non-urban charter identies with this approach” (p. 5).

                Will Charter schools be subject to Common Core were it to be enacted?

                If I remember correctly, yes. The charter school is responsible for having its students meet the Common Core State Standards, but they can choose the curriculum and teaching methods that will get them there.

                1. Thanks.

                  No Excuses principles include a strict disciplinary environment, an emphasis on student behavior and comportment, extended time in school, and an intensive focus on traditional reading and math skills

                  Oh HELL no, that is just crazy talk!

      2. True, but since there is no limit, other than political feasibility, to what government can take, allowing that notion to stand would allow for the eradication of religion simply by instituting a 100% tax coupled to a voucher system for goods and services.

        Any rational person has to oppose at least one of the following:
        1) freedom to practice religion,
        2) separation of church and state,
        3) big government

        Not to suggest progressives are irrational on this subject. I think we know where they stand.

        1. That’s how I put it years ago:

          http://users.bestweb.net/~robg…..gious.html

      3. The best thing about private/charter schools is that only the people with kids in that school pay for them.

        1. Not charter schools. Most, if not all of them are publicly funded.

      4. The objections that I’ve heard from middle class people are purely tribal.

        the want to take money away from my kid’s school

    4. Nope. I’d say it’s 50:50 It’s just that now there are so many good examples of it working that it is much harder to fear monger. And with some luck, it could improve more. But, still a tough road ahead.

      Charter schools are an easier sell than vouchers.

  2. “Some charter schools may fail, but taken as a whole, the U.S.’s limited experiment in unshackling its classrooms is a success worthy of celebration.”

    The question is what happens to a charter school if it fails? Most likely, it closes. A regular school, if it fails, would get extra money.

    1. If a program is working, it deserves more funding. If a program isn’t working, it’s because it needs more funding.

  3. Vouchers are still funded by the theft of taxpayer earned income. Some “libertarian” position that is.

    If some GOP Govnah had some gonads he would just end the public school system and return it to the Free Market since there is no federal mandate to provide education to the unwashed.

    TENTH AMENDMENT!

    1. My momma taught me to read. I never knew she was racist.

    2. If some GOP Govnah had some gonads…

      I’d love to see just one who actually did.

      Vouchers are still funded by the theft of taxpayer earned income. Some “libertarian” position that is.

      Nope. But better (less evil).

    3. So moving in the direction of more choice vs. total gov monopoly (except for the wealthy) is a bad thing?

      Yes, PB, the goal would be getting the gov out of education entirely, but charters and vouchers are a step in the right direction.

    4. Since when do you care about taxpayers for anything other than a source of revenue to spend on addressing your personal pet peeves?

    5. Education tax credits beat vouchers. The money never goes into the public fisc so the politicians never get a chance to distribute it.

    6. Oh, come on. You can’t be serious.

      We know that the real answer to our problems is three words:

      One. Big. School.

      1. Briannnnn

    7. there is no federal mandate to provide education to the unwashed.

      My state has a constitutional mandate to educate the “unwashed”. (you do realize pretty much everyone baths right? Rich or poor.)

      I imagine many states do.

      God forbid the libertarian push for school choice might also be federalist in nature.

      Oh wait school choice also opposes common core…gee so I guess you are a COMPLETE idiot now.

  4. Why not have vouchers for choice on health insurance? Oh, shit. Romney already built that.

    1. Because going from less govt control to more is bad. Going from more to less is good.

    2. You’re mixing up pragmatism and selling ones soul. I’m pretty sure most libertarians would prefer a market system to vouchers.

      1. How long have you posted here? You really need to learn about the LP Purity Test.

        It is a bitch.

        1. Libertarian Purity may be a bitch, but she sure does feel so good.

        2. Let us know when you can pass the, “What is your name?” question.

        3. Its only a bitch because you do not think like a free human being. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8ju_10NkGY

    3. As with education above, getting the government out of healthcare would be the goal, so moving from 1/3 private to some national voucher system is a step in the wrong direction. Now stay with me – moving the VA program out from under monopoly would be a step in the right direction.

    4. What year did Romney run on the LP ticket?

    5. “Why not have vouchers for choice on health insurance?”

      Why not, indeed?

      “Oh, shit. Romney already built that.”

      He what now?

    6. vouchers for choice on health insurance? Oh, svouchers for choice on health insurance? Oh, shit. Romney already built that. Romney already built that.

      WTF are you talking about?

      1. He’s talking about Romney-then-Obamacare, saying Romney ‘built’ the ACA with his Massachusetts model and that it is a system of taking money from A and B to give it to C and D in the form of subsidies (vouchers) to be used to buy insurance from a private insurer.

        1. I should refresh more often before posting…

          1. JPyrate;
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0Cw-Ddf1ro

            You think that’s FUNNY? Is that why you threaten to put a gun in my face, you hateful piece of shit?

      2. I think what may be going in the fevered delirium of PB’s “thought process” is that Obamacare was based on Massachusett’s Romneycare system, therefore Obamacare is all Romney’s fault? Maybe? It’s getting harder to tell what the fuck he’s babbling about.

        1. …”It’s getting harder to tell what the fuck he’s babbling about.”

          Team blue and BUUUUUSH. Pretty much covers the extent of turd ‘thought process’.

    7. That sounds like a good idea for Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA.

    8. Mittens is a bad man.

      Insurance companies add no value.

      Let’s have universal single-payer coverage for catastrophic care.

      And ban insurance for all other types of healthcare.

      1. Let’s have universal single-payer coverage for catastrophic care. And ban insurance for all other types of healthcare

        Okay, Commissar. 🙂

        Why do Libertarians suck at policy? (because they never get elected, or develop a marketable campaign platform.) Very few Americans are anxiously awaiting health insurance with a $3000-6000 deductible! And we ridicule Obamacare for offering it to low income people.

        1. Very few Americans are anxiously awaiting health insurance with a $3000-6000 deductible! And we ridicule Obamacare for offering it to low income people.

          So, is there a specific alternative which you might supply for us to consider? Your posts seem real long about the things you see as problems but lacking alternatives.

          I honestly can’t tell if you are supporting or ridiculing Obamacare here.

          1. I honestly can’t tell if you are supporting or ridiculing Obamacare here.

            Neither one.

            We ridicule Obamacare’s high deductibles, but propose the exact same thing and call it consumer driven, market-based, or whatever buzzwords are popular this week.

            We keep trying to fit health insurance into an auto or homeowner mold.

            Catastrophic HEALTHCARE should be based on procedures not deductibles.

            Pay for the routine and primary care yourself, because we’re paying the insurance companies to write our checks.

            Cancer? POW First-dollar coverage, or any costly procedures. Optional small deductible. Should not be more than what a low-income family can front.

            Now, you get cancer, which triggers $3000 deductible which many people can’t afford. Useless.

            I described it in insurance jargon but it would remove most primary car from insurance entirely, and convert it to INSURANCE.

            Copyright 2010-2014 by Michael J Hihn . All Rights Reserved and Defended.

            1. Actually, poor people can “afford” a $3,000 deductible for a very serious illness if it saves them 3 million dollars. They may have to pay on time, get help from friends or family, ask for charity, start an internet fund raiser, sell brownies (pot-laced, of course), or rely on pro bono work from doctor.

              That’s the whole point of catastrophic care. It is only meant to protect you from catastrophe. And it is a good idea for those who are young or can’t afford anything else.

              1. MORE PROOF: Anti-Gubmint Goobers THE worst threat to liberty! Even CRAZIER than Bill’s earlier defense of deflation. (They travel in packs.)

                Actually, poor people can “afford” a $3,000 deductible for a very serious illness if it saves them 3 million dollars.

                NEW libertarianism: “LET THEM EAT CAKE”

                They may have to pay on time, get help from friends or family, ask for charity, start an internet fund raiser, sell brownies (pot-laced, of course), or rely on pro bono work from doctor.

                How many want such an arrogant, stucking fupid statement linked to libertarianism?

                That’s the whole point of catastrophic care. It is only meant to protect you from catastrophe.

                Yeah, I know, dumbass

                See the indent? He saw the alternative, BEFORE babbling.

                1) Change catastrophic from high deductible to costly procedure (like cancer)

                2) Catastrophic procedure would then have first-dollar coverage or a small deductible, while the Faux Libertarian has people begging for charity ? and is too arrogant to know how many cannot qualify for an unsecured loan in amount.

                My alternative is better on all counts, is TRUE catastrophic coverage, but the Faux Libertarian is trapped in his own mindless conformity, and can’t see a MORE free-market solution when it bites him in the ass.

                We can’t take back America until we take back our movement from Anti-Gubmint Goobers.

            2. We ridicule Obamacare’s high deductibles, but propose the exact same thing and call it consumer driven, market-based, or whatever buzzwords are popular this week.

              We keep trying to fit health insurance into an auto or homeowner mold.

              Ah, I think I am beginning to understand. Libertarians are hardly a monolithic entity spoken for by the CATO institute. I have done none of the things you describe nor have the majority of posters here.

              Most posters here would simply get the fucking government out of the medical industry all together. You seem to be the kind of “libertarian” who still wants to control everyone, only with “libertarian” principles. It seems as if every time someone posts “let people do what they wish” or “get government out of the way” you respond with some rant about how it isn’t incremental enough, or something.

              1. MORE PROOF that anti-gubmint Goobers are THE biggest threat to liberty

                Most posters here would simply get the fucking government out of the medical industry all together.

                Umm, how? (laughing harder)
                Why does all assholes think they’re a majority?

                You seem to be the kind of “libertarian” who still wants to control everyone, only with “libertarian” principles.

                See?!!! Goobers BELIEVE that ANYTHING less than FULL removal of government means … wanting to control everyone. (OMG) Is this why the libertarian label is REJECTED by 85% of libertarians?

                It seems as if every time someone posts “let people do what they wish” or “get government out of the way” you respond with some rant about how it isn’t incremental enough, or something.

                Another shameful lie. But how many have told us HOW to get government TOTALLY out of the way? (lol)

                How would YOU get government entirely out of healthcare, Sport? If not, then YOU are the traitor, ATTACKING anyone who wants to MINIMIZE government and EXPAND liberty. The goose-stepping wing of libertarianism!

                Here’s what the lying sack said just above)

                So, is there a specific alternative which you might supply for us to consider? Your posts seem real long about the things you see as problems but lacking alternatives.

                Where’s your alternative? (snicker)

    9. FUNNY FUNNY FUNNY Turd.Burglar.

      1. JPyrate: Turd.Burglar

        So how and why does somebody break in to steal a turd?

        Or do you mean breaking INTO a turd?

  5. My daughter starts at an awesome charter school next week. It goes from K-12.

    For the next 6 years, the Elementary School is good enough. But what I’m really happy about is the far future. The Middle and High Schools she eventually would have gone to are “A” schools according to the state, but are mediocre at best in reality. The ones she’ll end up going to are very well received, and the High School is among the best in the nation.

  6. libertarian moment

    Is this sorta like a senior moment?

    Cop: Stop recording me beating this person and give me your phone right now or I will arrest you for obstruction of justice!

    Me: I have a right to film public servants in the course of their duties and this is my private property!

    Cop: …..

    Me: Sorry, just had a little “Libertarian Moment” there. Forgot where I was. Won’t happen again.

    1. Cartman: (beats the shit out of Dances-with-Trolls shins with his night stick) Do not question mah authoritah!

    2. libertarian moment

      Is this sorta like a senior moment?

      PRECISELY like a libertarian moment! And both the funniest and the saddest thing I’ve heard all year.

  7. So Krugman says the libertarians are mistaken about what they see as problems. No shocker from the guy who thinks inflation is a good thing, deflation a bad thing and that debt is never too high, ever, no matter what, ever… unless a republican is in office. He never met a government regulatory power he didn’t like and never met a populist talking point he wouldn’t claim to be an iron law of economics.

    1. So, if I understand you correctly you’re saying Krugman is a retarded proggie schill.

    2. deflation a bad thing and

      Deflation IS a bad thing. We had continual deflation from our founding to the early 20th century (except war years). It was the gold standard.

      Deflation forces wages down, a lot more than inflation forces wages upward.

      Now imagine Karl Marx running around talking about the exploitation of the working man, workers should own the means of production etc. … while every working-class family in your country has seen periodic cuts in worker wages for the past 100 years.

      1. You inflate, or deflate my currency I cut your fucking balls off. You think tihs is joke???

        1. No Joke, But a totally useless comment.

      2. But (in theory) all prices drop as most things get less expensive due to improvements in technology, etc.

        And if wages really were dropping, then prices would as well since they would pay workers less their costs would be less and people would have less money to buy things so demand would fall at those higher prices. People are very uncomfortable with this and we will never know in the real world if it would work.

        I’m talking about the slow, normal deflation you would see in a free market economy on gold standard, not sudden, massive, govt. induced deflation. Then over time we would get rid of the larger bank notes/coins and make ones redeemable for less gold instead of the opposite trend we see today where we lose the “mill” and soon will lose the “penny” which has only been kept for sentimental reasons. We could have the nickel as our smallest coin today and it would affect very little.

        1. Bill:
          And if wages really were dropping, then prices would as well …. yada yada yada yada

          Soundbites and slogans show WHY the “libertarian Ivory tower” is so fricking useless. The gold standard’s 150-year failure to maintain stable prices was OVER when:

          * Hayek was in his early teens.
          * Von Mises was in his late 20s, did not enter college until 1900

          Hayek eventually agreed with Friedman on the consequences of gold’s failure to maintain stable prices.

          First-year Economics students (and common sense) know inflation favors debtors at the expense of creditors, deflation creditors at the expense of debtors.

          Friedman demolished the gold standard with a simple question, “Do we want a stable money supply or stable prices?” And gold’s total failure at stable prices. As the Industrial Revolution accelerated, the Supply of gold (later with silver) could not keep pace with the increasing Demand for Gold.

          None of which has a damn thing to do with the gold standard seeming to confirm Marx’s exploitation of the working class.
          Hence Friedman’s conclusion that stable prices required a SUPPLY of currency which expanded or contacted with the DEMAND currency … until the Law of Supply and Demand is repealed!

          Kinda crazy that Friedman won his Nobel for NEEDING to prove the price of money is subject to the Law of Supply and Demand — which Austrians had originally (and wackily) denied.

  8. full Krugman

    Never go full Krugman.

    1. He is possibly the dumbest Nobel recipient of all time

      1. Barrack Obama?

  9. “Libertarian leaning Sen. Rand Paul (S-Kentucky)”?

    Robert Wenzel has been all over Rand like Goose on Gannon and he’s been right: Rand was for liberty before being against it.

    1. You just went Full Retard.

      1. That all you got?

        1. It’s all you and your kind deserve. Go back to LewRockwell.com already.

          1. This is a libertarian forum, not one for nutty neoconmen.

            1. Oh, he isn’t a neocon, but a full on fascist/Nazi.

              He regularly declares living human beings as not being “persons” and thus morally acceptable to kill.

              1. Oh, he isn’t a neocon, but a full on fascist/Nazi.

                And Marshall is the Nazi/fascist who denies a woman as being a “person” with an unalienable right to Liberty … while rejecting the 9th Amendment … and perhaps even claiming to be a strict constructionist. (lol)

    2. “leaning” allows for lots of wiggle room, doesn’t it?

      1. Perhaps, but the more precise conception, as I have always understood and have applied, is that the word leaning is a modifier which shapes and contours therefore excluding, as a matter of logic, the proposition that such shaping and contouring allows for “lots” of wiggle room.

        But, in Rand’s case, he has recently demonstrated a propensity to flip-and-flop in addition to his previously ill-defined, murky semi-friendly to liberty positions.

        1. Translated: Rand hasn’t suicide-bombed Congress and is therefore a traitor. *Cue jacking off to sense of holier-than–thou purity*

        2. Rand is an anti-liberty con man like his dad — extreme social conservatives who could destroy our movement more easily than they destroyed the GOP.

          Imagine us having a majority of Americans for 35 years or so ….but the libertarian label if rejected by 85% of LIBERTARIANS (Cato’s 2006 Zogby Poll)

          1. “Our movement”?….pretty sure the only movement you and I share happened about 3 minutes ago and I flushed the results.

            1. Mcgoo95,
              Well that contributed nothing. Typical of you people. Drive-by shooters. (yawn)

              1. Typical of you people

                While I personally enjoy your trolling, no one is forcing you to post here.

                1. Another totally stupid comment!!

                  no one is forcing you to post here.

                  Your first comment looked like harassment … forcing me to stop.

                  This one caused me to vomit.

                  1. I think you are giving yourself away, Mary. Your posts are starting to resemble the White Indian level of pathetic.

                    Get back on those meds!

                    1. Marshall: Get back on those meds!

                      Pay attention, Marshall. I tested. You failed (again), Follow the thread
                      1) YOU flushed my comment down the toilet. That’s okay.
                      2) I tested you by saying your comment made me puke. I’m pathetic.

                      You’re fine. I’m pathetic for the same thing. But you’re not a freaking psycho.

                      You anti-gubmint types are consumed by hatred.

                      “Mass movementys do not need a god, but they do need a devil. Hatred unifies the True Believers.”
                      -Eric Hoffer, “The True Believers”

                      For all of human history, they hate in the name of God, the Collective, the State, the Master Race or the Party.

    3. Wenzel interviewed Gary Johnson and ambushed him with questions about the exact composition of Murray Rothbard’s farts and recipes for Mises’s preferred strudels. Seriously, RW was a complete dick and an embarrassment.

      (Hell is other libertarians.)

      1. No, he was not.

        If you claim to be a libertarian and you cannot articulate a coherent conception of what it is to be a libertarian and you don’t know jack shit about one of the leading libertarian philosophers and figures in the history of the liberty movement and you want to be President, you should be exposed for the fraud that you are.

        Gary Johnson was a fraud.

        1. Are you a sock? Again: go back to LewRockwell.com and clown around with your True Scotsmen asshole friends there. How pathetic.

        2. DAMN! Change your name from Libertymike. The best way to be elected President is to fight like hell for the libertarian purist vote, MAYBE 4% of the voters.

          He was running for President , not Chairman of the Philosophy Department. And the first REAL candidate we ever had (I go back to before the beginning.

          I still can’t figure out how to have a libertarian society (a dumb goal anyhow)
          without libertarian governance, without ELECTING ANYBODY.

          The America of the 22nd century. Run by libertarians jacking off in a shining Ivory Tower. Be still my heart. I can’t wait!

          1. And the first REAL candidate we ever had

            Harry Browne had bowel movements that were more libertarian than you are.

            1. (laughing) Harry Browne, like you, was a great talker who achieved NOTHING.

              Harry never governed a state, so
              -Never repealed more bills than all other governors combined.
              -Never cut one penny of taxes.
              -Never cut one penny of spending.

              But he was ANTI-GUBMINT, and talk beats action to the mentally challenged and morally bankrupt.

          2. I agree. The first thing the Maddow’s and Wenzel’s of this world do is to try and get political candidate’s who lean libertarian to have a philosophical discussion and make them look nutty.

            1. Bill, much of it is own own fault. Scan through the comments on that NY Times libertarian piece. You won’t like Rand Paul being derided as a social conservative by me and Sharon Presley.

              I’m reading down the list thinking, these people are nuts. Then I realized that they got most of it from us,

              “You libertarians want to repeal Social Security and throw seniors into the street.”

              “That’s a bit overblown.”

              “How so.”

              “Well, here’s a link to a 3200 word explanation by the Cato Institute,”

              And if they do look, Cato’s privatization is total bullshit. Allow half of all Social Security taxes to be kept and invested. Umm, how do they pay for that?

              (laughing) “The transition costs are a challenge, but it’s only a one-time event.” (I am NOT kidding)

              Are libertarians as fucking stupid as liberals? Sometimes worse.

              The “one-time event” lasts over 30 years, with a first-year cost of a half-trillion dollars … that’s the amount of taxes no longer available to pay benefits, ON TOP OF the current “trust fund” deficit!

    4. Rand is an anti-liberty con man, just like his father, with all their bullshit, and Phony Federalism and extreme social conservatism.

      Or “repeal the income tax and replace it with nothing.” (OMG)

      1. There is something called “Marketing” Fucking learn it.

        1. Pyrate,

          (snicker) The best “marketing” in the world can’t sell a fucking stupid product

          unless unless UNLESS you can find enough …. fucking stupid customers!

          Are YOU a fucking stupid customer?

          Were YOU suckered into buying the Phony Federalism that requires lying about the Constitution?

          Or did you get flim-flammed with that wacky tax package …

          Repeal the income tax! YAY
          Replace it with nothing HUBBA HUBBA
          Run the entire govt with FICA taxes. SWOON

          Errr, wait a minute .. What about all the folks on Social Security and Medicare?
          Like I said, fucking stupid customers.

          So which of those were you suckered into buying?
          OMG. Tell me you were fucking stupid enough to buy BOTH

          Were you?

          I’ve been a marketing and management consultant and coach since 1978, which makes you even MORE fucking stupid, and with an attitude.

          But I can sell you the Brooklyn Bridge at a good price!

          1. I can sell you the Brooklyn Bridge at a good price!

            Fucking hilarious!! You couldn’t sell a man dying of thirst a glass of water.

            1. Well, ANOTHER fuckup I ran a sales training department for a billion dollar division (current dollars)

              Started as a trainer, writing sales presentations and teaching classes. Promoted on my performance.

              Then did Marketing for small-business clients, mostly marketing plans, advertising, minor sales training.

              In 1994, I focused on websites and internet marketing.

              I never counted, probably 200 or so clients. They loved my results, most of my clients came as referrals.

              So, why should I give a shit what some trashtalking hit-and-run assassin thinks?

              1. So, why should I give a shit what some trashtalking hit-and-run assassin thinks?

                You shouldn’t and yet, you do.

                Almost as if you were not who you say you are.

                Sorry, Mary, you didn’t keep the crazy hidden enough.

                1. You shouldn’t and yet, you do.

                  I say I don’t give a shit what you think. You say that means I do.

                  Up is down. Down is up. Freedom is slavery. And NEWSPEAK still reigns in the autocratic world of George Orwell’s mindless automatons.

                  1. I say I don’t give a shit what you think.

                    And yet you reply to most of my posts.

                    Sorry, Mary, but while I might have believed a denial before now, your failure to address my belief of who you are is confirmation. I notice that you posted at least twice after I guess who you really were but made no comment.

                    You are going to have to find another “persona”.

  10. libertarianism is an answer to “problems we don’t have.”

    Once you understand that “we” refers to cronies, sycophants, courtiers, and miscellaneous hangers-on who are (a) pretty well off and (b) pretty well-connected, then this statement makes perfect sense.

    1. Correct.
      He doesn’t have to send his kids to a crappy school. He doesn’t have that problem.

  11. David Frum’s response was probably even worse. Just as evil but more inept. Comically inept, which is what we’ve come to expect from Frum and Frummer.

  12. Sounds like a solid plan to me dude.

    http://www.AnonWays.tk

  13. Anyone else get the impression that at the last Reason staff meeting, everyone decided to try repeating things until they become true?

    Does anyone else not really have a problem with it?

    1. What do you mean? In my own personal interactions, the only people who I have met who weren’t balls-to-the-walls in favor of increased school choice are public school teachers…and I know of at least one who is enthusiastically trying to find employment in a charter school because she believes so much in their mission.

        1. My father’s wife was a public schoolteacher for about 30 years until she retired after this past year. The whole time that I’ve known her, she’s ranted about charters, talking about how much they take from public schools. She was somewhat angry when finding out her step-granddaughter would be going to a charter.

          After retirement from the public school system and after looking into things, she’s now looking for employment with a charter school.

      1. All the recent articles claiming that libertarians deserve credit for this or that policy change. I’m suspicious of that. I think the support for a lot of these things (pot legalization, gay marriage, charter schools) is only superficially libertarian. But I’m OK with that. And I think I might be OK with libertarians claiming credit for them anyway.

        1. I see. If you mean the LP, then of course I agree with you. However, I do believe there is something in the zietgiest that lower-case libertarians are responsible for.

          1. I’m not sure how much even small l libertarians deserve credit. I think the policy alignments present valuable opportunities to engage people and show that libertarians aren’t cooky. But I’m skeptical about how much the shifts we’ve seen are due to a principled stance on individual liberty.

            1. You may get pissed, but 40 years in the movement and the small-ls now are as bad as the large-ls, overall. All theory no practice. A few months back I saw a title here at Reason. Something like how to explain Austrian Economics to the average voter WTF.

              1. How about a gun in your face?

                1. OH, GOODIE! I HAVE A STALKER!!
                  AND A BULLY AND A THUG (swoon)

                  For the record. Please check the time stamp. He posted this physical threat BEFORE he was totally humiliated in his own “Marketing” post.

        2. No one’s principles survive contact with political reality.

  14. Good grief. Any day now I expect Reason to credit libertarians with the first lunar landing! This is why we’ve had a majority of Americans for 35 years, and still aren’t anywhere close to governing. GOVERNING? Tell me ONE piece in ANY libertarian media on … Governing? Activism? Organizing? ANYTHING?

    We can’t form the coalitions we need, by claiming credit for things libertarians had virtually nothing to do with. Sure, we support school choice, but that does not mean we got it off the ground. EVERYTHING we believe in is NOT a “libertarian idea.”

    I was promoting school choice 30 years ago, activism. On the barricades. Got NOTHING from the libertarian movement, (almost) EVERYTHING from the school choice movement, which is fairly large and self-sustaining.

    Not that long ago, 10,000 New York Citiers marched on Albany to protest city cuts to charter schools. I can’t recall EVER seeing even close to that large a turnout. They won!

    Where were we?

    Where was the libertarian media? Presumably jacking off in the Ivory Tower. I could not find even a libertarian MENTION of the protest on Google. And if I did miss one, that’s still shameful.

    We need to crawl out of our goddamn Ivory Tower, and start manning the barricades along side America’s REAL revolutionaries? We’re mostly passive observers. Liberty does NOTHING for Americans. Can we even work with non-libertarian-purists? Speak their language? Know their issues? Champion their values? Get our hands dirty?

    1. It’s all according to an analysis John C. Sproul did years ago, which was that for libertarian activists it isn’t enough to be right; everybody else also has to be wrong. Why else would the single, by far, most popular libertarian position not have gotten mention by these Reason bloggers? I’m referring to taxes. The problem is that libertarian activists can’t make a lot of noise in favor of tax cuts, because we’d have too many friends on that issue, hence we couldn’t own it & prove ourselves right and everybody else wrong.

      1. Very insightful Robert. I prefer to rank it with the purity conceit.

        Even bigger, we’ve lost one of our founding political principles: “Always be anti-liberty, never be anti-government.”

        “Git the gubmint out” is all we have (in too many cases). So what we get for that is some VERY fucking stupid policy proposals from even Cato. But if their ant-gubmint, and growl like Ron Paul, that’s how they raise the most money. We’re really no different from the Dems and Reps on that score.

        BUT I launched successful local tax revolt in the very late 80s. Our coalition ranged from the far left to the far right. My biggest supporters were the Christian Right. They knew I’m atheist — they always ask! — but didn’t care.

        Many years later, as the State LP Director in WA (the only aid one anywhere yet). We did well with local organizing, candidate development and getting our folks into office. Even had a mayor. VERY small town!

        1. I know, and “get the gov’t out” is often proffered facilely, without regard to the consequences (or to its vapidity). This comes out in, for instance, family issues such as marriage & parenthood. For instance, Jennifer Johnson wrote recently:

          “So my questions for libertarians are:

          “Does libertarianism inform your view on the number of legally recognized
          parents for children? If so, in what way?

          “Does society have a duty to recognize the parenthood of children? If so,
          what is the least statist principle society should employ to do so?

          “If a particular community freely decided that they wanted to follow Melissa Harris-Perry’s suggestion and have their children belong to the whole
          community, is that compatible with libertarianism?”

          1. Robert,
            I don’t get the first question, but I THINK she’s assuming you’re an anarchist or minarchist both of which are minorities. Those questions are the dangerous ones. You’re a thoughtful guy, go to that NY Times piece on libertarian moment. Go through the comments. You’ll see Sharon Presley and me, but look for a pattern from the Times folks.

            What you’ll see, I suggest, is how the purists are destroying us. They were WAY too extreme for Ayn Rand which says a lot!

            Readers essentially think we want to install something close to anarchy next week. That looks scary to ME! I’d like to see a rule where we NEVER mention anything, say, Medicare unless there’s something we can achieve within five years. NOT repealing Medicare, but adding elements for now which give seniors skin in the game, increase competitive bidding, things like that.

            The goobers will freak out, scream “all taxation is theft close it down tomorrow They’re like 15 year old guys comparing their dicks.

            The concept I’m working toward, call it incrementalism.

        2. “Always be anti-liberty, never be anti-government.” You must be one of them “Socialist Libertarian” types.

          1. Yes I know MH is a Tulpa sock.

            1. I am thinking Mary Stack, not Tulpa.

              Remember how she posted as Jason Goedesky (spelling?)aka White Indian? The rants she used were based upon an actual person with an extensive web site. Eventually the real guy came and swore it wasn’t him.

              She has followed her usual template, too, eventually going manic and repeatedly posting. Yep, it is Mary off her meds again.

          2. You must be one of them “Socialist Libertarian” types.

            (snicker)
            Click my name. Visit my website. It’s 95% economics, Pick any topic. See what I wrote about. (It’s an archive)

            You’ve made a total ass of yourself. Again.

            Still my stalker?

    2. You wanna start a movement? I’ll see if I can get time off work to help…

      1. You wanna start a movement? I’ll see if I can get time off work to help…

        At my age, “movements” are now problematic

        1. Turd.Burglar.

          1. JPyrate: “Turd.Burglar.”

            At least you didn’t threaten physical violence again.

            But since you use the same taunts as a 12-year-old kid, do you giggle when you type them?

    3. Michael Hihn|8.12.14 @ 8:40PM|#
      “Good grief. Any day now I expect Reason to credit libertarians with the first lunar landing! This is why we’ve had a majority of Americans for 35 years, and still aren’t anywhere close to governing. GOVERNING? Tell me ONE piece in ANY libertarian media on … Governing? Activism? Organizing? ANYTHING?”

      Yes, oh self-important twit! Tell us where we are all wrong!
      Or go get in a fight with that equally obnoxious McDougal. Or get lost.

      1. Sevo, Answer the question, thug.

        “GOVERNING? Tell me ONE piece in ANY libertarian media on … Governing? Activism? Organizing? ANYTHING?”

        The mere fact that you can’t name even ONE … proves my point. DUH

        So tell us, Sevo. What’s your plan for expanding liberty without electing anyone? (OMG)

        1. Michael Hihn|8.13.14 @ 8:44AM|#
          “Sevo, Answer the question, thug.”

          Asshole, you posing an irrelevant question in no way obligates me to answer it.
          I will engage you in this way only: I will insult you, I will call you on your constant bullshit and point out your totally unwarranted opinion of yourself.
          Get lost.

          1. MORE PROOF that Anti-Gubmint Goobers are … dishonest bullies and thugs(sevo)

            I challenge the goobers
            HIHN:Tell me ONE piece in ANY libertarian media on … Governing? Activism? Organizing? ANYTHING?”

            Goober throws typical hissy fit, FAILS to give example!
            SEVO Yes, oh self-important twit! Tell us where we are all wrong! Or go get in a fight with that equally obnoxious McDougal. Or get lost.

            I call out Goober for failing to give example The mere fact that you can’t name even ONE … proves my point. DUH So tell us, Sevo. What’s your plan for expanding liberty without electing anyone? (OMG)

            Goober throws bigger hissy fit, including a lie that only another retard would fall for. Asshole, you posing an irrelevant question in no way obligates me to answer it. I will engage you in this way only: I will insult you, I will call you on your constant bullshit and point out your totally unwarranted opinion of yourself.

            Now THAT is a King Goober!

            —-
            For any other retards in the room
            1) I say nobody can name ONE example.
            2) Thug insults me, provides no example (lol)
            3) I ask for an example.
            4) Dumbass says it’s irrelevant (lol), escalates from insults to threats.

            Don’t let Anti-Gubmint Goobers scare you with all their non-stop threats and insults. Share your views, whatever they are. Before we can take back America, we must first take back our movement from bullies and thugs

  15. J.D. Tuccille recently listed five policy areas where libertarianism is making people’s lives better.

    I’d like to suggest another: education.

    2 bloggers, 6 policy areas, and no mention of the obvious hands-down winner: TAXES??!

    1. In what fucked up fantasy world do you live in that libertarians have effected taxes?

      You may as well claim libertarians have been effective at reducing spending.

      1. Libertarians used to be prominent in getting tax cuts passed, as for instance in the “tax revolt” in the USA in the late 1970s & early 1980s. But not only in the USA and not only that recently; heck, we used to put regents’ heads in the noose over taxes!

      2. Corning,

        In what fucked up fantasy world do you live in that libertarians have effected taxes?

        It’s not a fantasy world. It’s called … wait for it ….
        LOCAL POLITICS!! DUH

        Thousands of libertarians have been very effective. I’ve managed or helped dozens of winning campaigns, got myself elected twice, and won a major (local) tax revolt.

        We have mayors, city council members. You never heard of local politics, but there are all sorts of boards and commissions with taxing and budgeting.

        You may as well claim libertarians have been effective at reducing spending

        (snicker) Local Politics.

        If you’ve never heard of local politics, then I assume you’re too young to vote.

        If you DO vote – but never heard of local politics, then everyone who reads this will be laughing at you.

        Here’s a thought. Turn off your computer. Get off your ass. Find out what local offices are available this November. Perhaps a petition drive. Consider volunteering for campaign to learn the rope.

        If you’re doing NOTHING but pissing and moaning … you’re a dead weight and the real libertarians are carrying you. Take some personal responsibility.

  16. I think it’s great that school choice is popular, but I don’t know how much credit can be attributed to a “libertarian moment”. As if the term has any objective meaning.

    1. Seems to be kind of a coincidence then that school choice, pot legalization and gay marriage, all of which libertarians have advocated for for decades while almost no one else did and were all very unpopular, suddenly became popular.

      “Oh so that guy who has been screaming on the street corner like a mad man for 40 years…turns out he was right all along….though he had nothing to do with it. herp derp”

      1. Corning, you told us in a nearby thread that you know NOTHING about local politics. So you had nothing to do with it either, eh?

  17. I don’t particularly like Krugman, and I’m not about to read anything in The Times (nor perhaps here if things don’t improve), but surveys for decades now have shown that, when self-selection is factored out, there’s no difference in results obtained by charter and public schools. And the divisive tendency of private schools was one of the primary reasons for developing the public school systems, and remains so.

    1. “surveys for decades now have shown that, when self-selection is factored out, there’s no difference in results obtained by charter and public schools. And the divisive tendency of private schools was one of the primary reasons for developing the public school systems, and remains so.”

      Cites missing.

    2. but surveys for decades now have shown that, when self-selection is factored out, there’s no difference in results obtained by charter and public schools.

      You’re an Obama supporter, right? Or a freelancet bullshitter?

      I guess you missed those 10,000 parents who marched on Albany to defend NYC’s charter schools. Dozens of media interviews, parents describing how much better their kids were doing. Oh wait, they were only African-Americans. Never mind.

      And the divisive tendency of private schools was one of the primary reasons for developing the public school systems, and remains so.

      You flunked US history. But are you AFT or NEA?

  18. who went full Krugman and declared that libertarianism is an answer to “problems we don’t have.”

    “Everything is working great…that is why we need an 8 trillion dollar stimulus package.”

    – Krugman

    1. Krugs is a tragic figure.

      He has always thought himself smarter than everyone else, but he didn’t care too much about getting involved in policy fights.

      Then his wife came along and partisaned him up but good! And he expected his brilliance to shine into the minds of the foolish, converting them to his obvious infallibility.
      But, lo, the heathens could not see as he saw.
      He expected to be praised as a great intellectual ushering in a new age of wisdom…only almost no one cared what he said. At least, no one of policy importance cared.
      He knows and even admits this now. SO he has decided the best way to spend his days is slaying conservative strawmen or beating up on the hypocrisy of the right. He is not at the center of any dynamic intellectual activity, he performs theatrics for those already convinced of his rectitude, yet incapable of even understanding the arguments, were he to actually explicitly make them.
      He is like a Bill Maher, wallowing in self loathing that a great man such as himself has to entertain his embarrassing demographic.

  19. Please explain how taking money from me to pay to educate the children of my neighbors, in whatever form it may be, is libertarian?

    How about everyone pays for the education of their own children and the government stays out of it.

    1. ANOTHER GOOBER!

      Hawkman

      Please explain how taking money from me to pay to educate the children of my neighbors, in whatever form it may be, is libertarian?

      Nobody said it was.

      How about everyone pays for the education of their own children and the government stays out of it.

      There are three ways to achieve that.
      1) A military dictatorship
      2) Electing a majority legislature
      3) Amending the constitution, AFTER #2.

      So, instead of asking dumbass questions that you THINK make sense, please explain how we can elect that majority legislature … or you’re just another jack-booted thug in the anti-gubmint wing of libertarianism.

      1. “Nobody said it was.”

        A focus of the article is that the libertarian
        movement is motivating people to consider
        school choice, which involves using tax dollars
        to pay for education.

        As to how getting government out of
        can be achieved, the first step is sharing ideas
        and making the case for it. Of course, that’s a
        challenge because the world is filled with
        people who respond to ideas with name
        calling.

        1. Hawkman,
          You are the attacker. I challenged you defend the attack. You failed.

          Cato’s 2006 Zogby Poll found the libertarian label rejected by 85% of libertarians. So who is our greatest threat ? anti-gubmint purists, or libertarians taking advantage of school choice?

          @Hawkman (revised). A focus of the article is that the libertarian movement is motivating people to consider school choice, which involves using tax dollars to pay for education.

          Umm, tax dollars are already being taken. Charters give parents direct control tax dollars being raised on their behalf,lowers costs, thus REDUCING taxes when it becomes a major factor.

          @Hawkman (original. How about everyone pays for the education of their own children and the government stays out of it.

          HOW? Charters are still developing methods.

          @Hawkman: As to how getting government out of can be achieved, the first step is sharing ideas and making the case for it.

          “Making a case” requires telling HOW it’s done … not attacking people who have already begun, while you do NOTHING.

          … the world is filled with people who respond to ideas with name calling.

          Shame on you. I said. there are two ways to get government out of education ? an elected majority, or a dictatorship.

          UNLESS and UNTIL you explain HOW to elect a majority legislature, anti-gubmint purists can ONLY be demanding a dictatorship. Any questions?

          1. “So who is our greatest threat ? anti-gubmint purists, or libertarians taking advantage of school choice?”

            The so called libertarians who take advantage of school choice are the greatest threat because they are hypocrites who perpetuate the problem. You’re saying that charter schools are better because the stolen money is used more efficiently. Are gentle rapists any better than violent rapists?

            I have no idea how to elect a majority legislature in the US because I don’t live there. I live in a country where education isn’t funded through theft from its citizens. However, I am surprised that someone so brilliant as yourself cannot come up with a first step instead of making excuses for participating in an unjust system. I can only assume you would have volunteered to operate the Nazi gas chambers so that you could have done it more efficiently to lower taxes.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.