LR06: Education


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Liberty Revealed Episode 06 Show Summary

This episode addresses our education system and why it is not performing at its best.

Listen to Liberty Revealed Episode 06


Liberty Revealed Episode 06 Show Notes

Welcome back to the podcast where liberty is front and center always. Today I want to blow your mind with a discussion about education and why I believe a free-market education system is best for parents and students. For those of you who are just discovering this show, I am Mike Mahony and my goal is to educate you on the issues that are important to our society. I comem at things from a Libertarian perspective because I believe that is the most reasonable perspective.

Today the US Department of Education utilizes a one size fits all education approach. This is holding back our children. The truth is that every single child is different and their communities are also very different. This is a great place to start.

It is my belief that we should abolish the United States Department of Education. It really does not serve the citizens well because it truly believes in the one size fits all mentality. As mentioned, each child is different…every community is different. Education that is successful has to meet the needs of the children and the community it serves. This is impossible with the philosophy of the Department of Education.

Just like church and state must be separated, education and the government really should be separated as well. Coming from the standpoint of absolute sovereignty, it makes sense to place the education decisions square in the hands of the parents. Do you recall in our very first episode where we discussed personal liberty? The minimum amount of government involvement results in the maximum amount of freedom. Freedom naturally brings about diversity, peace, and prosperity, as no one is forced to reconcile his or her values for the sake of others. Under a Libertarian government, individuals would have the right to exercise sole dominion over their lives so long as they didn’t infringe upon the beliefs or practices of others.

The inherent rights of individuals include the rights to life, liberty of speech or action, and property—any interference on the part of the government that affects these rights is opposed. Since people are most free of government restriction when left to make their own economic and property decisions, a free market economy is believed to be the only one compatible with these viewpoints. This includes education.

Put simply, it is not the role of government to educate our children. One fear is that letting the government teach our children will lead to the indoctrination of our children which, in turn, will interfere with the free choice of individuals.

Education, like the economy, is best left to a free market, where it can achieve greater quality, accountability, efficiency, and diversity of choice. Because the government is not responsible for the education of youth, parents are able to determine when and how they would educate their children; this includes home schooling, technology or trade-based education, etc. Since it is recognized that education is important to the development of values for children, the authority of parents in this matter is important and should be returned to them. Parents would also be responsible for all funds in regards to educating their children.

In order to encourage the growth of private schools and variety education, Libertarians support interim measures such as tax credits for tuition and other education-related expenditures. Tax credits for childcare would also be supported at this time; national childcare is another frowned upon industry. The denial of tax-exempt statuses to schools because of private policies on hiring, admissions, and student deportment is opposed, and the repeal of taxes on income or property of private schools, both for-profit and non-profit, is supported.

Under free market education, poor children would not necessarily be stuck with poor schools. In the current education system, public schools must accept every local student, regardless of whether they are dangerous, disruptive, or simply have no desire to learn. This impacts the quality of education for everyone in those schools, perpetuating a cycle of poverty and poor education. On the other hand, wealthy parents, especially in inner city areas, can afford to send their children to better or safer schools. Free market education would allow competition between local schools, and would allow parents to send their children to the one with the best reputation, or which best matches their educational or ideological goals.

Free market education would have a similar effect on the affordability of colleges, according to the Libertarian Party. Federal intervention in schools drives up the price of higher education due to subsidies and costly mandates. Competition is the solution, forcing colleges to choose between decreasing tuition, or going out of business due to lack of enrollment. This would theoretically wipe out massive student debt for future generation. Free-market competition, it is believed, will raise educational standards, lower costs, and prepare students to compete in a global economy.

The proof of the failure of our current system lies in the test scores. 4th and 8th grade students have remained steady in math and reading from 2015 to 2017. This marks a decade of educational stagnation in the United States. Since the biennial test, called the National Assessment of Educational Progress or NAEP, was first administered in the early 1990s, student achievement, particularly in math, steadily improved until the late 2000s, then flatlined. Reading scores also stagnated. In 2015, scores dipped in math among both fourth- and eighth-graders, and these math scores did not bounce back with the 2017 test. Average students’ scores remain well below what test overseers consider to be “proficient” for each grade level. In reading, 37 percent of fourth-graders and 36 percent of eighth-graders were proficient. In math, 40 percent of fourth-graders and 33 percent of eighth-graders hit this threshold.

These numbers are alarming and explain why our country has fallen behind in so many areas. We have tried the Department of Education’s way, isn’t it time we give a free-market education system a try?

That’s all I have for you today. If you want to learn more about personal liberty, head over to and claim your FREE copy of my eBook, Liberty Revealed. Please remember to give Liberty Revealed a 5 star rating and a nice review on Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Stitcher. Your reviews help me know what I can do better, so please consider leaving one after you finish this episode.

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