Socioculture

If there’s a Fran Lebowitz Fan Club (an idea, I suspect, that would horrify her), sign me up.

“Traditionally, education is seen as the only real solution to the problems of black children. Do you think this still holds true?”

“Absolutely — look how well it’s working for white children. I think it is generally agreed that the great scandal in this country is the state of public education. But far worse than the problem is the currently fashionable, but in no way stylish, Republican proposal that it be solved by the use of school vouchers — a genuinely diabolical plan and one that, if instituted, would surely result in the end of any sort of democratic society. Recently a business magazine devoted an issue to this subject and used black parents who wanted school vouchers to argue their case for them. It’s so profoundly deceitful for rich people to ask “Why should rich people be the only ones to send their children to private school?” when the answer is so plainly that they have the money. So serviceable, in fact, is this answer that for the edification of these bewilderingly bewildered millionaires I offer it also as the clear explanation to the centuries-old riddle of why only rich people own Sargent portraits, vintage Daimlers, and beachfront property.
These black parents are decoys, to distract your attention from what the Voucherites are doing — which is lowering taxes. School vouchers are advantageous because they would result, ultimately, in no public school system at all; there’s no free lunch in the totally free market. School vouchers are, for the readers of such a magazine, about lowering taxes. Life, for these readers, is about lowering taxes. They look constantly for the cause of taxes the way oncologists look for the cause of cancer, and, like surgeons, cut them out wherever possible, even at the expense of what you might previously have thought of as a vital organ. The public school system — what an obvious cause of taxes, what a drain it is on our hard-gained capital.”

http://www.princeton.edu/~sociolog/ugrad/courses/fall1997/kelly_liebowitz.html

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