Michael Ryan's Blog

No Child Left Unmarketized

If you want to understand the neoliberal theory of education, there is no better place to start than with Milton Friedman, the American Nobel Prize-winning economist and a central figure of the so-called Chicago School of Economics, a veritable neoliberal think tank established in the fifties at the University of Chicago’s Economics Department.  Education “reform” was arguably Friedman’s key hobbyhorse – it was a topic he wrote on repeatedly (if somewhat redundantly) from the early sixties until his death in 2006.  He and his work around education are memorialized by the neoliberal institution the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.[1]

Obviously, a neoliberal educational system would be a system that marketized education.  In a 1975 New York Times article, tellingly entitled “Selling Schools Like Groceries:  The Voucher Option,” Friedman presents what you might call his maximum programme:  “Eliminate compulsory schooling, government operation of and government financing of schools except for financial assistance to the indigent.  The market would then have full rein.”  Recognizing that this idea is not likely to fly, he also presents his compromise (or slippery slope) position:  “Require every person to have at least a minimum level of schooling as he or she is required to be vaccinated or to take a driving test before he or she is granted a license – but let the schooling be obtained privately and at the parents expense again, except for the indigent.”[2]  This idea is elaborated upon in the 1980 book Free to Choose:  A Personal Statement, co-written by Milton Friedman and his wife Rose Friedman:

The difference is not between schooling and other activities but between arrangements under which the consumer is free to choose and arrangements under which the producer is in the saddle so the consumer has little to say.  If the consumer is free to choose, an enterprise can grow in size only if it produces an item that the consumer prefers because of either its quality or its price.[3]

In this passage, however subtly, the Friedmans acknowledge that in their system poorer members of society might be obliged to sacrifice “quality” for a “price” they can afford.

Writing in 1995, Milton Friedman was perfectly blunt about the slippery slope aspect of his project:  “Vouchers are not an end in themselves; they are a means to make a transition from a government to a market system.”[4]  There were two separate but connected aspects to this marketization process: first, in Free to Choose, the Friedman’s argue that “One advantage of a voucher plan is that it would encourage a gradual move toward greater direct parental financing.”[5]  Then, writing in 1995, Milton Friedman would clarify a second element to this slippery slope:  “The most feasible way to bring about a gradual yet substantial transfer from government to private enterprise is to enact in each state a voucher system that enables parents to choose freely the schools their children attend.”[6]  What, in short, the Friedmans are proposing is a sort of fifth column operation for undermining government subsidized education and placing the full economic onus on parents to purchase their children’s education on an open market that would, one presumes, span a spectrum not dissimilar to that separating dollar stores from Saks.  The class consequences of such a system should be patently obvious.

In 1968, Milton Friedman explained how he saw this shift of education from public service to private commodity occurring:

Why not say to every parent, “The community is committed to spending X dollars a year on schooling your child.  If you do not send your child to our public school, you relieve us of this cost.  In return, the community will give you a voucher for X dollars a year per child.  You can use this voucher to purchase schooling at any other approved school, public or private, but for no other purpose.”

He goes on to explain: “This would enable parents to exert economic pressure individually on the school, as on the department store…  If public schools met the new competition by improving their quality, they would keep their customers; if not, they would decline.[7]  It is important to note, that the Friedmans consistently recommend a voucher that is lower than what the public school system is spending to educate a student, thereby constructing into the programme an initial shift of the economic burden onto parents[8]

Ultimately, he crows:  “This plan would harness the enormous potential of a free market to improve the quality of schooling and to broaden the range of alternatives open to our children – black and white, rich and poor, gifted and slow.  As in other areas, we can all benefit by using the market: parents, students, taxpayers and teachers.[9]

How in this model, however, would public schools meet “the new competition” and “keep their customers”?  They would be “require(ed) or permit(ed) … to finance themselves by charging tuition” in a competition “both with one another and with private schools.” In short, they would no longer be public schools in anything but name, but would in effect be private schools run by the state, placing the state in competition with wealthy consortiums and individuals to control education.  With absolutely no irony intended, Friedman presents the following dark vision of a marketized and largely deregulated education system:

Voluntary organizations – ranging from vegetarians to Boy Scouts to the Y.M.C.A. – could set up schools and try to attract customers.  And, most importantly new sorts of private schools would arise to tap the vast new market – perhaps Mom and Pop schools like Mom-and-Pop grocery stores, perhaps also highly capitalized chain schools, like supermarkets.[10]

As well as marketizing the educational system, which is disparaged as an unresponsive monopoly,[11] the Friedmans foresaw deregulating the content of education.  “The voucher plan,” the Friedmans argue, “would produce a much wider range of alternatives – unless it was sabotaged by excessively rigid standards for ‘approval.’”[12]  The degree of deregulation the Friedmans foresee is clarified in what seems likely to be an apocryphal anecdote:

In the course of talking to various groups about vouchers, we have been impressed by the number of persons who said something like, “I have always wanted to teach (or run a school) but I couldn’t stand the educational bureaucracy, red tape, and general ossification of the public schools.  Under your plan, I’d like to try my hand at starting a school.”[13]

Casting this deregulation in the best possible light, Milton Friedman argues that “it is essential that no conditions be attached to the acceptance of vouchers that interfere with the freedom of private enterprises to experiment, to explore and to innovate.”  I mean, who’s going to argue against “innovation”; the assertion that “Innovations R Us” is as American as apple pie.  Elsewhere, however, Friedman tips his hand; this sweeping deregulation is necessary to “create a large demand for private schools to constitute a real incentive for entrepreneurs to enter the industry,” and thereby to “promote rapid privatization.”[14]  Friedman’s answer to the dilemma of deregulation and the lack of accountability that it would create takes us full circle back to the market.  “Accountability in (the) area (of teaching methods, curriculum, and the like) is best provided by parents by their choice of schools. Customer accountability is how competition produces progress.”[15]

As for private enterprise’s interest in engaging in the business of education, Friedman argues, “The business community has a major interest in expanding the pool of well-schooled potential employees and in maintaining a free society with open trade and expanding markets around the world”[16] – in short, to shape an education system that creates the working class and technocracy necessary to meet its own short- and long-term economic and social needs and to instill a particular ideology that suits its purposes.  This could hardly be called a shocking outcome; implicit in the very idea of privatizing the public school system is that the market is the central social concern around which public interest circulates.

The Friedmans claim a whole host of benefits for their voucher plan.  “Not least of its benefits,” we are informed, “would be to make the salaries of school teachers responsive to market forces.”[17]  This brings us face to face with one of the Friedmans’ major bugbears (and all other neoliberals with them):  unions.  Having to pay decent wages cuts into profits, and anything that cuts into profits is very, very bad – maybe Satanic.  Shaping the anti-union argument to suit the educational milieu he is discussing, Milton Friedman argues, “Poor teachers are grossly overpaid and good teachers grossly underpaid.  Salary schedules tend to be uniform and determined far more by seniority, degrees received, and teaching certificates acquired than by merit.”  This, he tells us, is because of the “government administration of schools” – and in any “civil-service organization, standard salary scales are almost inevitable.”  Obviously, decent wages and benefits accompanied by job security can only serve to “repel the imaginative and daring and self-confident and to attract the dull and mediocre and uninspiring.”[18]

The solution:  a “sensible salary structure … that pays higher salaries to good teachers and lower salaries to bad teachers.”[19]  Friedman addresses the dicey issue of what determines a good or bad teacher in a deregulated system devoid of accountability in the familiar way.  The market decides:

Every private school must satisfy its customers – parents paying tuition and benefactors who contribute funds to the school.  Every private school now pays its teachers according to their merit.  If it did not, its “better” teachers would be hired away by its competitors and it would be left with the poorer ones.  Its customers would sooner or later discover what is happening and desert it.[20]

What this overlays is Friedman’s fundamental opposition to putting any limits on how low wages can be forced.  In Friedman’s words, “There is absolutely no positive objective achieved by the minimum wage law.  Its real purpose is to reduce competition for the trade unions and make it easier for them to maintain the higher wages of their privileged members.” In the same document, Friedman portrays the minimum wage laws as “saying that employers must discriminate against people who have low skills,” to which he introduces a racist and paternalistic twist by arguing, “I have often said that the most anti-black law on the books of the land is the minimum wage law.”[21] In this case, Friedman’s good teacher-bad teacher shtick is simply the tailoring of his basic anti-labour ideology to the milieu he is addressing. [22]

In the Friedmans’ Manichean world, teachers unions are the dark side.  Like Lucifer wrestling the Archangel Michael, “The teachers’ unions are bitterly opposed to any reform that lessens their own power, and they have acquired enormous political and financial strength that they are prepared to devote to defeating any attempt to adopt a voucher system.”  In the same 1995 article, Milton Friedman whined, “With minor exceptions, no one has succeeded in getting a voucher system adopted, thanks primarily to the political power of the school establishment, more recently reinforced by the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, together the strongest political lobbying body in the United States.” [23]  By 2003, he was fulminating:

The elementary and secondary school system is the single most socialist industry in the U.S. leaving aside the military…;  it is centralized and the control comes from the center and the difficulty of having a monopoly in which people cannot choose has been exacerbated by the fact that it has been largely taken over by teachers’ unions, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers and the unions.  …(T)hey are interested in the welfare of their members, not the welfare of the children, and the result is they have introduced a degree of rigidity, which makes it impossible to reform the public school system from within.  Reform has to come through competition from the outside and the only way you can get competition is by making it possible for parents to have the ability to choose.

Apparently the skilled socialists poisoning young minds for fun and profit have engaged in a quasi-Trotskyist deep entry of the Democratic Party.  “People don’t recognize how powerful politically the teachers’ unions are.  Something like a quarter of all the delegates at the Democratic National Convention are from the teachers’ union. They are probably the most powerful pressure group in the U.S., very large funds, very large number of people and very active politically.”[24]  The figures I found indicate that “something like a quarter” was a vast exaggeration.  In reality, in 2004, the election year following Friedman’s statement, professionals, defined as “writers, teachers, social workers and scientists” collectively made up 24% of the delegates, “something like (the) quarter” Friedman imputed to teachers alone.[25]  Four years later, in 2008, “out of 4,400 convention delegates, about one-tenth are teachers’ union members,” making Friedman’s “one quarter” a 150% exaggeration.[26]  If Friedman is to be believed, and apparently that’s 150% “if,” teachers’ union “are almost the only ones who stand to lose from a competitive educational market.” (If “almost,” who besides teachers’ unions would be losers is never clarified.)

Milton Friedman also mounts a convoluted and internally contradictory argument as to why his proposed voucher system and the privatization of the school system would be beneficial to racial minorities.  Addressing the fear that “a voucher plan might increase racial and class separation in schools, exacerbate racial conflict and foster an increasingly segregated and hierarchical society,” he writes, “I believe that it would have precisely the opposite effect, that nothing could do more to moderate racial conflict and to promote a society in which black and white cooperate in joint objectives, while respecting each other’s separate rights and interests.”  Whatever truth there might be to this statement, it remains a mystery how dismantling the public educational system and replacing it with a privatized voucher system constitutes “cooperating in joint objectives”[27] – particularly a system that Friedman perceives as a little more than a necessary half step on the way to complete privatization and full parental economic responsibility,

In a breathtaking leap of logic, the Friedmans assert, “Much objection to forced integration reflects not racism but more or less well-founded fear about the physical well-being of children and the quality of their schooling.”  It’s unclear what exactly the Friedmans mean by this statement.  Given that the socially coded perspective on youth violence is one of marauding black thugs attacking hapless white folks who are just minding their own business “in the wrong place at the right time,” it would appear that the Friedmans might actually be suggesting that this fear of black youth is legitimate.  If on the other hand, they are simply arguing that contact between races is a formula for violence, then how do they perceive this “cooperating on joint objectives” unfolding?

What about the “quality of their schooling” part of this equation?  Given that the statistics on the poorer educational outcomes in schools with black or Hispanic majorities compared to white-majority schools is pretty much bulletproof,[28] this would strongly suggest that the fear is of nonwhite students threatening the quality of education for white students.  In a tangled twist of reasoning, Friedman argues “Violence of the kind that has been rising apace in public schools is possible only because the victims are compelled to attend the schools that they do,” as if the violence in schools (the quantity and quality of which he never defines) were a systemic byproduct of the public school system itself.  The Friedmanesque solution:  “Let schools specialize, as private schools would, and the pull of common interest will overcome the pull of color, leading, I believe to far more rapid integration than is now in process.”[29]  There we have the essence of this labyrinthine and ill-informed argument:  the solution to racism lies in an unregulated free market approach to education.

Carrying this reasoning to its ultimate conclusion, Milton Friedman elsewhere argues, “The people who live in Harlem or the slums or the corresponding areas in LA or San Francisco, they can go to the same stores, shop in the same stores everybody else can, they can buy the same automobiles, they can go to supermarket, but they have very limited choice of schools.”[30]  Of course, the residents of Harlem can theoretically shop in Saks Fifth Avenue, buy a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa or grab some Pacific Salmon just flown in fresh at Whole Foods – maybe they should jump into their Testa Rossa and head downtown to do that shopping.  Friedman’s statement is a case of blithely ignoring economic reality because it doesn’t suit your argument.

Then, we head off for another trip into The Friedmans’ Manichean world, this time with just a little twist of classic blame the victim.

The failure of black leaders to espouse vouchers has long puzzled us.  Their constituents would benefit most.  It would give them control over the schooling of their children, eliminate domination by both the city-wide politicians and, even more important, the entrenched educational bureaucracy.  Black leaders frequently send their own children to private schools.  Why do they not help others to do the same?  Our tentative answer is that vouchers would also free the black man from domination by his own political leaders, who currently see control over schooling as a source of political patronage and power.[31]

The black leadership’s opposition to charter schools probably shares a lot with that of many constituencies that fear that the evisceration of the public school system will make an already markedly uneven playing field even more so.  Nothing about the increasing marketization of American life has been good for poor and marginalized communities, and the privatization of schools, particularly were Friedman’s ultimate dream of “eliminating compulsory schooling” ever achieved, poses a threat to those who, for economic reasons, risk being excluded from the market altogether.

Today’s black leaders doubtless also share the concerns of the black leadership that resisted school integration in Virginia in the early fifties:

Black teachers and principals became nervous about the new tactics because they believed that the jobs of all black teachers – not just those who were activists – would be threatened by the closing of separate schools.  Given the tortured history of race relations in the South, they knew that whites would not tolerate a situation in which black teachers, especially black male teachers, taught white children, and white girls in particular.  If the school systems merged, and all-black schools disappeared, black teachers and administrators might be out of work.  In 1953, the superintendent of the Topeka school board – correctly anticipating the Brown decision – refused to renew the contract of a black teacher because, as he said, “the majority of people in Topeka will not want to employ Negro teachers next year for white children.”  One black teacher said that when cases were brought for integration, “the Negro teachers are cut adrift without any consideration.”  The black community thus welcomed the Brown ruling with a degree of ambivalence.[32]

While it might be argued that a lot has changed in the intervening sixty-four years, the truth would be something closer to:  we’ve put a patina of civilization on our rhetoric and our daily behavior.  As the recent spate of police and vigilante killings of black and other marginalized youth and the proto-fascist Trump campaign show us, that patina is very thin.  I wouldn’t be willing to bet my life or the life of my children[33] on it.  So, what Friedman portrays as “political patronage and power,” is more likely, in most cases,s something closer to self-preservation and the protection of the community.

This brings us to an issue impossible to avoid in this discussion – the class divide.  Grabbing the bull by the horns, the Friedmans (one horn apiece, perhaps) write:

One feature of the voucher plan that has aroused particular concern is the possibility that parents could and would “add on” to the vouchers.  If the voucher were for, say, $1,500, a parent could add another $500 to it and send his child to a school charging $2,000 tuition.  Some fear that the result might be even wider differences in educational opportunities than now exist because low-income parents would not add to the amount of the voucher while middle-income and upper-income parents would supplement it extensively.

They even note that some critics demand that the problem be addressed by prohibiting add-ons.[34]

The Friedmans never actually contradict the assertion, rather they set up two straw men and knock them down, and they don’t even do that good a job of it.  They accuse opponents of add-ons of the “kind of egalitarianism” that lets “parents spend money on riotous living but tr(ies) to prevent them from spending money on improving the schooling of their children.”  This amounts to the absurd suggestion that wealthy people will either use their surplus cash to better educate their children or lie around sucking on champagne popsicles in hot tubs full of Russian caviar.  In this putative world, we apparently have a social responsibility to ensure that the wealthy profit from unequal educational opportunities to prevent them from making frivolous decisions about how to dispose of their wealth.

Continuing on, the Friedmans attempt to disparage opponents of voucher system who fear that the outcome will be a growing class divide in education.

This view also seems to us another example of the tendency of intellectuals to denigrate parents who are poor.  Even the very poorest can – and do – scrape up a few extra dollars to improve the quality of their children’s schooling, although they cannot replace the whole of the present cost of public schooling.  We suspect that add-ons would be about as frequent among the poor as among the rest, though perhaps of smaller amounts.[35]

This, of course, sidesteps the fact that “scrap(ing) up a few extra dollars,” particularly in a situation where it is acknowledged it will not be enough to “replace the whole of the present cost of public schooling,” is entirely different than being able to pull a few thousand bucks out of the bank without having to eat oatmeal for a month.  Friedman effectively evades the implications of the “smaller amounts” the poor would be in a position to add on.

Ultimately, however, the Friedmans tip their hand:  “Surely the benefit to the poor more than compensates for the fact that some rich or middle-income parents would avoid paying twice for schooling their children.”[36]  It is precisely this paying twice that is the heart of the issue.  In his earlier book Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman is more straight forward:  “(Vouchers) would meet the just complaints of parents that if they send their children to private non-subsidized schools they are required to pay twice for education once in the form of general taxes and once directly.”[37]  In short, vouchers are in no small way an attempt to reduce the taxation on wealthier members of society, which will have the added benefit of reducing the tax base available to support a public education system, in time, moving us past vouchers to a purely private user-pay educational system.

So, what would Milton Friedman’s voucher system look like?  In a 1998 article entitled “Who Wins, Who Loses – A Look at the Future,” in his foundation’s propaganda magazine The School Choice Advocate, hetells us.  In a “Star Trek” sort of way, he opens his utopic rumination:  “Time: Five years after a populous jurisdiction has adopted a comprehensive voucher program.”  By this point, “All school age children are entitled to receive a voucher.  The percentage of all students in private schools has risen from 10 percent to 30 percent, and the number of private schools has doubled.”  Government education authorities “are now fewer, and their discretionary control of funds has been curtailed by the need to meet the competition arising from empowering parents.”  The unions have been gutted and “have lost their monopolistic control of a government school system that had provided schooling for roughly 90 percent of all children.  Dues revenue has fallen drastically.”  One of the overall benefits of these developments is that “Competition has forced government schools to loosen seniority rules and union regulations.”  In this imaginary world, “Those politicians who were able to determine the allocation of educational expenditures and to influence the appointment of personnel have seen their power decline.  The reason is simple.  With a government monopoly, they could dispense patronage through the school system.”  At this point, he simply can’t control the urge for another venomous attack on the black leadership, and this time he also manages to smack teachers’ unions in passing:  “(L)ocal African-American politicians opposed vouchers, even though the rank-and-file African Americans they professed to represent were invariably the group that was most supportive of vouchers.  In addition, most African-American politicians have been Democrats, strongly beholden to the teachers’ unions”[38] – an unholy alliance of dark forces, to be sure.

Friedman’s dream world also includes a whole cast of winners.  Inner city residents, because “educational opportunities have lowered dropout rates, imposed discipline in schools, and reduced school violence.  More youngsters acquire the skills needed for employment, thereby raising economic levels and reducing street violence.”  All that on the few extra bucks that admittedly fell short of previous public funding – how?  No explanation offered.  Apparently, you’ll just have to take his word for it.  Students who remain in public schools are winners, because the “introduction of competition … has forced all government schools to reform in order to keep their clientele.”  So, it seems we are to believe that the miracle of marketization will allow increasingly defunded public schools to compete on an equal footing with highly financialized private concerns.  Employers also win, because “Improvements in education are making available a larger pool of potentially productive employees.  …  Employers are already saving on the costs of training new employees, and are looking forward to still larger savings as the number of better schooled potential employees grows.”  Not surprisingly Friedman’s school of the future prepares students to meet the business world’s employment needs – because that’s what a well-rounded educations is, after all.  Teachers win, because “new, innovative, vibrant educational industry now competes for teachers.  …  The broader market for teachers pays more attention to quality and less to certification than the monopolized market did earlier.”  In short, now that your union’s gone, you have to sell yourself on the private market and all the years and cash you spent on your education and the decades of teaching don’t matter, the arbiter is now the bottom line.  Entrepreneurs and investors win, because the “availability of vouchers has led to the establishment of new schools, some non-profit, some for-profit” – meaning, they win the way they always win when a new market is opened up.  Taxpayers win, because “Before vouchers, parents who sent their children to private schools paid twice for their children’s schooling, once in tuition and once in taxes to support government schools that their children did not attend.”  As we have already noted, in this scenario the taxpayers who are winning here are the wealthy; for the poor this reduction of the tax base means cutbacks to services, educational and otherwise.  Existing private schools win, because they “had been in the difficult position of charging for something that was available to their customers from government schools without extra payment.”  As is the case for their entrepreneur and investor buddies, opening up the market is a plus.  Higher education institutions win, because there is a “sharp decline in the fraction of their entering students whom they find it necessary to place in remedial courses.  Better-schooled entrants are enabling them to concentrate on their real function, higher education, rather than having to serve as a backstop for poorly performing elementary and secondary schools.”  What, of course, will occur is that universities will favour students from select educational institutions, undoubtedly largely, if not exclusively, those with the greatest resources that cater to wealthier students, just as public schools in upper class white neighbourhoods now send the most students to university, and particularly to the expensive private universities.  The playing field will be unlevel in a new way, and it will likely be a worse way.  Last but not least, society as a whole wins, because “Improved education is offering a hope of narrowing the gap between the less and more skilled workers, of fending off the prior prospect of a society divided between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots,’ of a class society in which an educated elite provided welfare for a permanent class of unemployables.”  It is impressive how, even when putting lipstick on a pig, Friedman can’t resist focusing on the way his voucher system will help the well-off – in this case, by reducing welfare payments, or, more to the point, the taxes that support them.

Friedman’s dark view is one of “no child left unmarketized” – although, should it prove impossible to marketize a child, that will simply have to be “a child left behind.”  Since their deaths, Milton is 2006 and Rose in 2009, the educational system the Friedmans theorized has increasingly become a reality, with some pretty devastating consequences.  In two subsequent postings, I will look at how the neoliberal education model has played out – first at a primary and secondary level, and then in higher education.

[1] http://www.edchoice.org/who-we-are/our-founders/the-friedmans-on-school-choice/

[2] Milton Friedman, “Selling Schools Like Groceries:  The Voucher Option,” New York Times (September 23, 2975), accessed at:  http://www.edchoice.org/who-we-are/our-founders/the-friedmans-on-school-choice/article/selling-school-like-groceries-the-voucher-idea/

[3] Milton & Rose Friedman, Free to Choose:  A Personal Statement (New York & London:  Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980), 156.

[4] Milton Friedman, “Public Schools:  Make Them Private,” The Washington Post (February 19, 1995), accessed at:  http://www.edchoice.org/who-we-are/our-founders/the-friedmans-on-school-choice/article/public-schools-make-them-private/

[5] Friedman, Free to Choose, 162.

[6] Friedman, “Public Schools,” accessed at:  http://www.edchoice.org/who-we-are/our-founders/the-friedmans-on-school-choice/article/public-schools-make-them-private/

[7] Milton Friedman, “Milton Friedman on Decentralizing Schools,” Newsweek (November 18, 1968), accessed at:  http://www.edchoice.org/who-we-are/our-founders/the-friedmans-on-school-choice/article/milton-friedman-on-decentralizing-schools/

[8] See, for example:  Friedman, “Selling Schools Like Groceries,” accessed at:  http://www.edchoice.org/who-we-are/our-founders/the-friedmans-on-school-choice/article/selling-school-like-groceries-the-voucher-idea/

[9] Friedman, “Milton Friedman on Decentralizing Schools,” accessed at:  http://www.edchoice.org/who-we-are/our-founders/the-friedmans-on-school-choice/article/milton-friedman-on-decentralizing-schools/

[10] Friedman, “Selling Schools Like Groceries,” accessed at:  http://www.edchoice.org/who-we-are/our-founders/the-friedmans-on-school-choice/article/selling-school-like-groceries-the-voucher-idea/

[11] Milton Friedman, “Milton Friedman on Busting the School Monopoly,” Newsweek (December 5, 1983), accessed at:  http://www.edchoice.org/who-we-are/our-founders/the-friedmans-on-school-choice/article/milton-friedman-on-busting-the-school-monopoly/

[12] Friedman, Free to Choose, 163.

[13] Friedman, Free to Choose, 169.

[14] Friedman, “Public Schools,” accessed at:  http://www.edchoice.org/who-we-are/our-founders/the-friedmans-on-school-choice/article/public-schools-make-them-private/

[15] Milton Friedman, “The Voucher Challenge,” The School Choice Advocate (January 2004), accessed at:  http://www.edchoice.org/who-we-are/our-founders/the-friedmans-on-school-choice/article/the-voucher-challenge/

[16] Friedman, “Public Schools,” accessed at:  http://www.edchoice.org/who-we-are/our-founders/the-friedmans-on-school-choice/article/public-schools-make-them-private/

[17] Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom (Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 1982[1962]), 81.

[18] Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom, 82.

[19] Friedman, “Milton Friedman on Decentralizing Schools,” accessed at:  http://www.edchoice.org/who-we-are/our-founders/the-friedmans-on-school-choice/article/milton-friedman-on-decentralizing-schools/

[20] Friedman, “Milton Friedman on Busting the School Monopoly,” accessed at:  http://www.edchoice.org/who-we-are/our-founders/the-friedmans-on-school-choice/article/milton-friedman-on-busting-the-school-monopoly/

[21] Mark J. Perry, “Milton Friedman responds to President Obama’s proposal to raise the minimum wage, the most ‘anti-black law in the land,’” American Enterprise Institute (February 13, 2013), accessed at:  http://www.aei.org/publication/milton-friedman-responds-to-president-obamas-proposal-to-raise-the-minimum-wage-the-most-anti-black-law-in-the-land/

[22] In a previous examination of neoliberal ideology in general, I presented the hard evidence that proves that wages are higher at both union and non-union worksites when unionization is high and fall overall when unionization rates fall, see:  Michael Ryan, “An ideology of Greed and Cruelty,” PM Press, accessed at:  http://www.pmpress.org/content/article.php/2016032712335336

[23] Friedman, “Public Schools,” accessed at:  http://www.edchoice.org/who-we-are/our-founders/the-friedmans-on-school-choice/article/public-schools-make-them-private/

[24] “Milton Friedman on Vouchers,” CNBC (March 24, 2003), accessed at:  http://www.edchoice.org/who-we-are/our-founders/the-friedmans-on-school-choice/article/milton-friedman-on-vouchers

[25] John Green and John S. Jackson, “Party Profiles:  National Convention Delegates,” in Rewiring Politics:  Presidential Nominating Campaigns in the Media Age, ed. Costas Panagopoulos (Baton Rouge:  Louisiana State University Press, 2007), 57.

[26] Dana Goldstein, “The Democratic Education Divide,” The American Prospect (August 25, 2008), accessed at:  http://prospect.org/article/democratic-education-divide

[27] Friedman, “Selling Schools Like Groceries,” accessed at:  http://www.edchoice.org/who-we-are/our-founders/the-friedmans-on-school-choice/article/selling-school-like-groceries-the-voucher-idea/

[28] See, for example:  Janie Broschma and Ronald Brownstein, “The Concentration of Poverty in American Schools,” The Atlantic (February 29, 2016), accessed at:  http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/02/concentration-poverty-american-schools/471414/; Richard Rothstein, “For Public Schools, Segregation Then, Segregation Since,” Economic Policy Institute (August 27, 2013), accessed at:  http://www.epi.org/publication/unfinished-march-public-school-segregation/;
Richard Rothstein, “The Racial Achievement Gap, Segregated Schools, and Segregated Neighborhoods – A Constitutional Insult,” Economic Policy Institute (November 12, 2014), accessed at:  http://www.epi.org/publication/the-racial-achievement-gap-segregated-schools-and-segregated-neighborhoods-a-constitutional-insult/

[29] Friedman, Free to Choose, 165-166.

[30] “Milton Friedman on Vouchers,” accessed at:  http://www.edchoice.org/who-we-are/our-founders/the-friedmans-on-school-choice/article/milton-friedman-on-vouchers

[31] Friedman, Free to Choose, 166.[32] “Virginia’s ‘Massive Resistance’ to School Desegregation,” The University of Virginia’s Digital Resources for United States History, accessed at:  http://www2.vcdh.virginia.edu/xslt/servlet/XSLTServlet?xml=/xml_docs/solguide/Essays/essay13a.xml&xsl=/xml_docs/solguide/sol_new.xsl§ion=essay

[33] Full disclosure:  I have no children – but you take my point, I presume.

[34] Friedman, Free to Choose, 167.

[35] Friedman, Free to Choose, 168.

[36] Friedman, Free to Choose, 169.

[37] Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom, 81.

[38] Milton Friedman, “Who Wins, Who Loses – A Look at the Future,” The School Choice Advocate (July 1998), accessed at:  http://www.edchoice.org/who-we-are/our-founders/the-friedmans-on-school-choice/article/who-wins-who-loses-a-look-at-the-future/

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