July 20, 2015

Income inequality is the campaign theme for Democrats in 2016, Their solution is to take from the overachievers Democrats believe have too much in order to give to and get the votes of people Democrats believe have too little.

We know where that prescription will ultimately take us. It leads to stagnation, joblessness, debt and pain. Greece. And our country has already boarded that train.

Republicans believe inequality of opportunity, not income, is the problem. Too many lack the skills to compete in the economy.

That’s what the debate about school choice is all about. Giving every child the opportunity to go to a school that works.

Recent research from NC State and Texas Tech Universities examined examples of school choice programs in Texas, Minnesota, Vermont, New York, North Carolina, France and Norway. The research shows real estate values between areas with good schools and bad schools tend to equalize when parents are given the opportunity to move their children to another school.

In other words, the advantage of rich areas over poor areas is lessened when lower income families gain access to better education.

The authors concluded “The empirical research further suggests that the expansion of school choice arrangements and tuition vouchers may increase (reduce) the trend of family migration into poor-performing (better performing) school districts as families now have access to better quality education without having to “vote with their feet” and move to a preferred geographic catchment area. As such, open school enrollment and choice may result in less economic and social segregation, as well as real estate property value equalization.” (SSRN)

The Democrats want to solve problems of income inequality and segregation by taking what achievers have earned and by disrupting families and schools with forced busing.

Republicans believe the better solution lies in spreading opportunity by allowing parents to choose a good school for their children regardless of where they live.

Let’s hope the same State Supreme Court that said it was a public purpose to give government grants to specific companies as an economic incentive will find it to be a public purpose to give a tuition grant or voucher to a parent to send their child to a quality school.