Megan McArdle argues,
Benedikt’s dictum makes sense only if parents can’t move. If they can -- and bid up the value of real estate in good school districts -- then making parents send their kids to the local schools probably doesn’t mean that all the parents in mixed-income neighborhoods will put their children, and their effort, into the local school. It probably means that they’ll leave the mixed-income neighborhood, taking their tax dollars with them.
This is nominally public schooling, but in fact, as I once remarked, parents who think that they are supporting public schooling by moving to a pricey district with good schools are actually supporting private schooling. They’re just confused because the tuition payment comes bundled with hardwood floors and granite countertops.And James Taranto questions Denekidt’s logic in the Wall St. Journal:
The assumption behind treating education as a public good is that in general, educating children makes them more successful adults, and successful people are more valuable to society than unsuccessful ones. If that is true, then consigning your child to a mediocre education is harmful to the common good, because it reduces his likelihood of success--which can mean everything from becoming a gainfully employed taxpayer to discovering a cure for cancer.
Benedikt's view of what constitutes "the common good" seems to be limited to the institutions of government. It's the flip side of the Dewey-Konczal theory that any "public" action--any action that affects anyone else--justifies government intervention. And like the Dewey-Konczal theory, the Benedikt argument leads in directions that liberals ought to find discomfiting.Anyway, I still think it's complicated, or at least it's complicated to divine Benedikt's intent. She runs the "Double X," woman-centered Slate page; yet, in regards to another anti-Israel article she wrote for Awl, she submissively told Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic that "my husband ordered me to retweet this." Her husband is John Cook of Gawker, by the way, whom she's referred to to as my "Jew-hating fiancee." Like I said, it's complicated.