Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rethinking Education Tax Credits

Please visit this article's new home at AriArmstrong.com. Thank you!

7 comments:

  1. I enjoyed LaFerrara's article in The Objective Standard very much, but, likewise, I was hesitant concerning the tax credit solution. Ever since I was introduced to the voucher versus tax credit debate--going back to the beginnings of the Florida voucher system--I have always been more open to tax credits; however, there is much that makes it a problematic solution for both freedom and education, of which you point out in your article. Simply put, the government will continue to define education, whether the money flows through vouchers or tax credits. Just as the Florida voucher system brought standardized testing to private schools, it is just as likely a tax credit system would do the same. Furthermore, on a more economic level, tax credits can have a negative or inflationary market effect, whether housing, green energy, or, in the future, education. Freedom and proper education should be promoted through principle. Flooding education with tax credits, the use of which would be defined by the government, would only skirt the issue of freedom and how to educate a child, as well as further destroy what is left of private education.

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  2. For what it's worth, Andrew Coulson of the Cato Institute (& author of "Market Education, The Unknown History") has a working paper titled "Do Vouchers and Tax Credits Increase Private School Regulation?"

    Abstract:
    "School voucher and education tax credit programs have proliferated in the United States over the past two decades. Advocates have argued that they will enable families to become active consumers in a free and competitive education marketplace, but some fear that these programs may in fact bring with them a heavy regulatory burden that could stifle market forces. Until now, there has been no systematic, empirical investigation of that concern. The present paper aims to shed light on the issue by quantifying the regulations imposed on private schools both within and outside school choice programs, and then analyzing them with descriptive statistics and regression analyses. The results are tested for robustness to alternative ways of quantifying private school regulation, and to alternative regression models, and the question of causality is addressed. The study concludes that vouchers, but not tax credits, impose a substantial and statistically significant additional regulatory burden on participating private schools."

    The PDF is here: http://www.cato.org/pubs/researchnotes/WorkingPaper-1-Coulson.pdf

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  3. Reminds me a similar argument. Should we support or oppose tax loopholes? Some Libertarians claim tax loopholes are mini bits of freedom. I say we abolish all tax loopholes in favor of a much reduced tax rate for every producer.

    Regarding charters and the destruction of private school? Reminds me of a conversation I had with 3 senior citizen limited government folks. I suggested vouchers and they about flipped. They said government control follows government money. I simply said, don’t accept the money if you don’t want it. Secondly, government education monopoly will destroy the private market eventually anyways.

    At the end of the day, The Feds need to be completely removed from education. State education should be minimalized and county may fund some schools however there is absolutely no reason why education cannot be totally privatized. Sure some will not educate in the tradition of current standards. Put them to work, oh yea we also have to abolish child labor laws.

    Go to Khan Academy if you do not believe me. Free, non government education is here. It is waiting for the Statist to get out of the way.

    Jeff

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  4. More to the point,

    So long as there is taxation for education, vouchers should be the norm. What better way to illustrate the benefits of choice and competition.

    To ignore vouchers is to protect status quo. Status quo is the destruction of humanity.

    Jeff

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  5. The alternate view, Jeff, is that taxation for education is the status quo, and vouchers are a meaningless variation of that.

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  6. Ari,

    I see vouchers as an argument against education taxation. Many small schools will result, ultimately destroying the government monopoly.

    Jeff

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  7. quite the opposite, the vouchers will just result in a greater monopoly. its just a pragmatic approach and I think education philosophy comes first.

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