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Sunday, September 2nd, 2007, 6:20 am

Monopolies Government Will Not Have You Aware of

Money on keyboard

I have just come across a fascinating little gem which is another example of sheer monopoly abuse that goes uninterrupted.

Joel Klein does not have a well-developed sense of irony. As Clinton Administration antitrust czar, he became a household name with his relentless pursuit of Microsoft, a $40 billion company with 70,000 employees in 100 countries. Today Klein heads the New York City public school system, a conglomeration of 1,450 schools with 136,000 employees, 1.1 million students, and a $15 billion operating budget. Oh, did I mention that it’s a monopoly? Not a private company with a large market share, but an actual monopoly, an organization protected from competition by an exclusive government franchise.

This is terrible, if true. That’s the sort of high-level corruption that goes behind many people’s backs. And while people are encouraged to follow the sports news and celebrities on televisions, such government fraud goes unnoticed and a few individuals rake in billions of dollars.

5 Responses to “Monopolies Government Will Not Have You Aware of”

  1. Zaine Ridling Says:

    I don’t get your point. Only wealthy people should be educated? Public schools are just like Microsoft, so they’re bad? So we should be herded into and forced to pay for god-based schooling where they don’t “believe” in evolution, or most any science for that matter?

    Start with Hume, Locke, Rousseau, and then Dewey, and then the Preamble. You’ll discover why an educated public is essential to democracy. Even Socrates argued in ‘The Republic’ that the voting class must understand their society. There are some basic services that any [modern] civil society should inarguably provide if they want to survive and “compete.”

    Taxpayers could save about $12 of that $15 billion if they eliminated adminstator salaries! Perhaps we need more education, and less “schooling.” I’d go for that.

  2. Roy Schestowitz Says:

    > I don’t get your point.

    It just does seem like any bidding is involved. Plenty of money goes to franchises that enjoy government protection. There are many examples of companies that receive such protection in return for other things, e.g. financial support during the election.

  3. gro Says:

    There are classes of enterprise that form natural monopolies. Water, power, roadways. The experiment with privatization in those sectors has been a major bust.

    Education does not seem to fall within the “natural monopoly” description: no scarcity (albeit that quality varies). The NYC School system has been a mess since well before I moved into the city in 1967 – born in 1956 you can tell I was a 7th grade student at the time. I had my skull fractured at JHS 118 on the upper west side and it was private school thereafter for my sisters and me.

    But, a common level of educational achievement is necessary to defeating fear-mongering demagogues. Hence, I see no point in designating the NYC schools as a monopoly.

  4. Zaine Ridling Says:

    Thanks for the clarification, Roy. If you ever own a home and have no kids, you quickly get real sick of paying the annual tax increase for schools that seems to grow only more Miss South Carolinas. ha!!

  5. gro Says:

    Oh, for god’s sake – lets not pay taxes to support the next generation.

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