How to Improve Schools

Walter Williams has an idea. The former chair of the Department of Economics at George Mason University believes that following the basic laws of the market leads to higher quality and increased satisfaction—and there’s no reason that this wouldn’t work for schools, too, if only we’d give it a shot. In the course of his economics lesson the old professor provides a vivid analogy:

What about supermarkets? Would consumers be better off or worse off if one or two supermarkets were granted an exclusive monopoly in the provision of grocery services? The average well-stocked supermarket carries over 50,000 different items, has sales, prizes and pursues many strategies to win customers and retain their loyalty. Would they have the same incentives if they were granted a monopoly?

The government gives poor people food stamps. Would poor people be better off or worse off if, instead of being able to use their food stamps at any supermarket, they were forced to use them at a government store?

Williams is both a master teacher of economics and a skilled communicator of the first order. His gem of a column—one of many wherein he endorses school choice—can be read in its entirety here.


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