Only a few years ago, if you’d been, say, dining out with friends, had a drink or two, and wanted to go somewhere else, like maybe home, you pretty much had one choice: call a taxi and hope you got a good one. Today you’ve got lots of options including the good ol’ cab, but also ridesharing networks like Uber, Lyft, and others that connect riders to regular people who are drivers and want to make some money, while often enabling both parties to rate their experiences. It was an idea that started with embryonic efforts in San Francisco around 2010, and just a few years later it is nearly ubiquitous. Innovation went quickly to scale.
As Andrew Coulson explains in the School Inc. clip below, we’ve seen this phenomenon—innovations in goods and services quickly made accessible to basically everyone—over and over. But there is one place where we haven’t seen it. Can you guess what it is? It might be where our assumption has long been that government has to supply a uniform service to everyone.
The clips coming in the next two days of National School Choice Week will give you a little more insight into how free enterprise can transform education for the good, but you’ll need to watch the entire series to get a full understanding of how embracing freedom would unleash transformative innovation. And while you watch, why not have some snacks? Thanks to the free market, you can order just about anything.
Neal McCluskey is the director of Cato’s Center for Educational Freedom. He is the author of the book Feds in the Classroom: How Big Government Corrupts, Cripples, and Compromises American Education and is co-editor of Educational Freedom: Remembering Andrew Coulson, Debating His Ideas. He also maintains Cato’s Public Schooling Battle Map, an interactive database of values and identity-based conflicts in public schools. His writings have appeared in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Forbes. In addition to his written work, McCluskey has appeared on PBS, CNN, the Fox News Channel, and numerous radio programs.
McCluskey holds an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University, where he double-majored in government and English, has a master’s degree in political science from Rutgers University, Newark, and holds a PhD in public policy from George Mason University.
This article originally appeared at the CATO Institute. You can read the original here.
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