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Jan 25, 2008



The main issue with a "voting with your feet" based democracy is that many simply cannot afford to do so. I think what would arise is in effect would be state wide ghettos: extreme stratification of the class system. We already see this to a certain extent within cities and states; I think it would be dangerous to promote it on a national scale. Perhaps this would work were we to all start out in financially similar situations, however to implement such a system now would only exacerbate the education [and thus poverty] gap.

Christopher Baus


I lean fiscally conservative, and I am firm believer in free market economics as taught Milton Friedman, and hence have been studying the Paul campaign recently.

I think you correctly state Paul's position, but I think he should refrain from so vehemently opposing the Dept. of Education in speeches and debates.

I understand his position, but I expect most people interpret it as anti-Education in general. That isn't going to be a popular stance.

Unfortunately most Americans don't understand the different roles of the federal and state governments, which is sad in and of itself, but Paul needs to assume a high lack of understanding here, and take the position of an educator.

I think he can get the message out with out alienating one issue voters so quickly. Americans generally resent big government and I think that message is striking a chord with a lot of people.

I think he is already starting to change the tone of the campaign, which is probably his ultimate goal.


I think it is necessary to provide a frame of reference.

Right before James Madison died, Arkansas became the 25th state to join the union.

The education "system" was primarily for the wealthy at the time, with no level of education being mandatory until 1852, when the first state passed laws governing compulsory school attendance (Massachusetts). It wasn't until 1918, six years after the 48th state joined the union,that all states had passed compulsory education laws.

Educational funding at the time of Madison was hardly the issue it was at the time when the Dept. of Education was created.

How, I ask, is it appropriate to quote a guy who couldn't possibly understand the issues that are present today in our society and pass it off as proof of something?

Graham Glass

Hi Jesse,

The quote shows that the founding fathers believed in a minimal federal government that was only responsible for things like war. The states would be responsible for everything else, including education of their citizens if they so wished. This was the core philosophy behind the US Constitution.

The founders warned of federal government expansion and all that comes with it, including increased taxes, decreased efficiency, repression of competition due to self-granted monopolies, and the decreased ability of states to innovate.



And I think that the change from 1830 - 2008 shows that applying the ideas of a largely agrarian, rural society to a world where there our three biggest cities contain more people than 1830's United States is unrealistic.

Our government changed out of necessity, to deal with change. It didn't "go astray". They were living people who looked around at their world and made wonderful observations about what would work for them. We don't just need someone who thinks that the founding fathers were right, because they were right. We need someone who can, like the founding fathers, look around and see what it right for today.

Graham Glass

Hi Jesse,

What parts of the Constitution do you think no longer apply, and why?


christopher baus

I'd like to follow up on Jesse's point: as we've moved to service society the cost of services relative to incomes have dropped significantly in recent years.

While higher education costs have gone up relative to inflation, I believe this is due to government interference with the system (ie subsidized loans) rather than market forces.

Today's modern society provides much higher worker productivity than during our agrarian past where every hand was needed in the fields to put food on the table.

I suspect that our current wealth could easily and efficiently fund a private education system if a public one wasn't provided.

Sonny Lacey

Excellent post, Graham. Keep it up.

I believe (as Mr. Baus alludes to, above) that a private education system would be efficiently provided for out of our own current wealth, should the public system fade away. For those who would say that this leave out the poor, I am sure that charity and the churches would more than fill the gaps.

With a private system, the choices may be greater, and competition would drive educators and institutions to find new and creative ways to get their message across.


Why didn't anyone mention "The Alliance for the Separation of Church and State"?


Ron Paul signed... he's against *ALL* government involvement in education, *INCLUDING* at the state level. You aPaulogists who pretend he would vote for upped state spending on education are just wrong.

Graham Glass

Hi there,

You don't seem to understand the original goal of the US constitution. It was to allow each state to choose its own path for things like education, health care, etc. If people within a particular state didn't like the way the state was run, they could vote against it, and if they lost the vote, they could move to a different state.

So even if Ron Paul wanted to, say, make local government responsible for education instead of being funded at the federal or state level, it doesn't matter. If the members of his state agreed, then they would vote for him. If they didn't agree, they could vote against him or move to a different state.


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