Friday, January 05, 2007

Devil take the hindmost

I recently had the following letter published concerning government rationing of education (Zoning rules and boundaries) to which I had a response from Mr Orsulich with whom I have had previous exchanges with.

Eddie Orsulich's letter is as follows:

Like many others, Graham Clark appears to claim expertise in judging good schools and the best education.
An earlier minister of education Sir Ron Algie used to say "If a brick fell off the top of a high building in Wellington and killed a pedestrian, that pedestrian would surely be an expert in education."
How many of us in hindsight conclude that what we once perceived to be a poor educational experience proved to be very valuable in our molding
Pleasing experiences do not always lead to positive development, while harsh ones sometimes do.
All learning experiences add something to our education - schools are not like rubber bands, able to contract or expand at the whims of parents.
Instead of following Mr Clarks view of self-interest and the devil take the hindmost, it is better to ensure that all schools are equally well endowed and resourced and that teachers and pupils both with their mixes of human frailties and strengths can pursue sound educational goals in an increasingly complex and uncertain wor5ld. Their task is not just the education of individuals but also of future communities.


To which I have replied:

Eddie Orsulich's letter has the stench of communism about it! ie - you get what you are given by the government, and think yourself lucky you get anything at all, and do not question their authority or superior intelligence!
I am not - as Mr Orsulich suggests - an authority on education, but you don't have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows!
The ironic thing I have noticed about Mr Orsulich''s letters, is that ideally we both would like to achieve the same ends - ie better education, clean environment, protected wildlife etc its just that I suggest a different way of achieving them, and it is this to which he objects. He advocates the tried and failed beat-them-with -a-stick till they submit method, whereas I prefer the more civilised individual choice and free market approach.
His ideal appears to be to dumb everybody down to the lowest denominator - those who would strive to achieve must be held back to be fair to those who dont care!
It is not self-interest of which I speak - it is in the interest of my childrens education that I am concerned, and that I would prefer to be responsible for it rather that leaving it to mindless socialist morons like the (previous) minister of mis-education Trevor Mallard, whom I wouldn't trust to be in charge of my dog, let alone something as important as my childs education!

In the free market good businesses manage to stretch like a rubber band because more business is a good thing - only in government-run organisations is more business a bad thing!
As for his remark - the devil take the hindmost - the devil is socialism and communism - it's in a supercharged V8, and it's coming to get you!

My original letter

Government school Rationing
"Zone cheats."

That is what some parents in Auckland have been labelled for simply trying to get the BEST EDUCATION for their children.

When I pay money for goods and services, I always attempt to get the best service or best quality goods for my money that I can.

I do not believe it is wise to purchase damaged, faulty or worn out goods for TOP PRICES

When I go out to a restaurant I only go to a restaurant where I know the food is GOOD - I will not on purpose go to a restaurant where the food is BAD, ill prepared, STALE, or of BAD VALUE.

So WHY are schools any different?

Why should I NOT attempt to get the BEST education for my children that my money can buy?

THIS is how the government run school system works! Parents are FORCED into paying TOP PRICES, and FORCED into receiving what they are given, with NO OPTION to change or exchange!

Break the rules (rules about which no one is really too sure) and you, sir and madam, are "zone cheats."

Can you imagine being called a "zone cheat" because you've been to the "wrong" supermarket; or the "wrong" book store; or the "wrong" service station?

What's the difference? Why do we have arbitrarily-drawn zones for schools when we don't have them for supermarkets, stores or service stations?


Simply because for the privately-delivered services we have something called a market, a place in which people can freely bid for the services they wish to purchase, and pricing and supply are set by entrepreneurs looking for a place in the market by meeting the needs and wishes of the customers they hope to attract.

There is no market in New Zealand's factory schools. Instead we have rationing.

In the absence of a market, we have government-imposed rationing -- rationing by zone; if you want to send your son to Auckland Grammar you will either have to pay $50-100-200,000 more to live in the zone, or you'll have to be a "zone cheat." If you're a "zone cheat," expect to be pilloried.

In a market, extra customers are a good thing.

Without markets ... extra punters are a bad thing ... a bloody nuisance ... cheats!

Good thing we don't have markets for our schools, huh? Rationing is so much more civilised than the way we buy our groceries, isn't it.


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