Back in July, the New York Sun ran an op-ed describing the perverse effects of the Section 8 housing voucher program, invented by Republicans as a ‘market-based’ alternative to public housing projects.

Howard Husock’s op-ed on the disaster of Section 8 housing should make The New York Sun rethink its stand on school vouchers [‘A Better Housing Reform,’ Opinion, July 22, 2004]. In both cases, the misguided focus on ‘competition’ obscures the essential issue: Seeking unearned benefits via government coercion destroys the production of those benefits, whether done ‘competitively’ or not.

If we must have publicly funded competition with the public school system, let it be through charter schools.

Vouchers would only serve to co-opt and corrupt the private schools, eliminating the last remnant of freedom in education. With those schools no longer providing a contrast,a constant reproach, and a means of escape, the system’s stranglehold on the intellect would be complete.

It would be one big, inescapable, government-funded system of health maintenance organizations for the mind.

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