The drive for “privatization” first began to gain momentum, like such key elements of the Reagan agenda as deregulation and acceleration of weapons procurement (the infamous MX was a Carter favorite), in Jimmy’s administration. Its advocates claim that privatization not only saves money by substituting flexible market structures for rigid bureaucracy, it also
widens consumer choice. Tuition tax credits for the parents of children enrolled in private or religious schools increase the diversity of educational programs, a good thing. They impose heavier pressure upon public schools to meet
stronger competition, a better thing. Best of all, they dismantle local monopolies long enjoyed by public schools. To no article of faith are economists more strongly attached than their utter certainty that monopoly any place, any
time connotes inefficiency, sterile repetition of outmoded production and delivery techniques, and corresponding absence of innovation.
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