Left wing economists tend to park their economics on another planet when they opine about political issues. It takes pretty crazy distortions to end up concluding that the minimum wage doesn't cost jobs, but liberal economists seem to have no difficulty getting there.
In today's NYTimes, economist Eduardo Porter has managed to embarass himself while discussing America's failing education system. To skip to the chase, here is Porter's conclusion: "Teachers are paid poorly compared to those working in other occupations. And the best of them are not deployed to the most challenging schools." And that's that, according to Porter.
What about the role of the teachers' union? What about the fact that anything that government takes over is run poorly and never in the interests of poor people? Watch as Obamacare rolls out. The rich will still do fine, but poor and middle class Americans will be treated to third world health care, similar to the pattern of public education.
What is the answer? Competition!
Vouchers. Let families decide for themselves where to send their children to school. The only hope for poor people and the middle class is to bring free market principles to education. To continue to argue that raising teacher salaries is the answer is embarrassing.
Porter should know better. Wonder why Porter and his ilk don't apply the same argument to health care -- raise doctor salaries. They don't seem to like that idea.
By not favoring a voucher system, economists are not only turning their back on their main field of study, but as a practical matter they are part of a system that condemns the poor to perpetual poverty. Even the middle class are now sending their children to failing schools thanks to the advice of "economists" like Porter.
If big government actually worked, the old Soviet Union would not have failed.