The concept of capitalism is built on the premise that business doesn’t need to be adverse to the interests of the people. Another major premise of capitalism is that choice is generally good for people. Capitalism is an economic force which drives innovation, prosperity, and excellence – which uplifts everyone. Phyllis Schlafly, quoting former Colorado Governor Richard Lamm, wrote in a 1986 Phyllis Schlafly Report, “In virtually every area of our economic and private lives we have a smorgasbord of choice. We can choose among 100 breakfast cereals, 200 makes of automobiles.” He concluded, “It is ironic that in this land of choice there is so little choice in the public school system.”
Most people agree that public schools are even more broken today than they were in 1986. The area where people disagree is how to fix them or if we should fix them at all. Some claim that the solution is to pour more money into education. In reality, what we often see is that money is given to those schools which underperform in order to prop them up, encouraging flagrant waste of resources. Capitalism must be infused into education to create the same excellence it promotes in business. Opponents claim that capitalism always equals greed, however, quite the opposite is true. School choice forces schools to educate students to the satisfaction of parents or else lose the student and funding to another school. Any school that tries to cut corners and make quick cash would quickly lose the favor of parents and eventually be forced to either improve or close.
School choice is still a hot topic in the political world today. Phyllis Schlafly fought on multiple fronts for traditional education, but most of those fights can be boiled down to one word: choice. She knew giving parents more choice is always the best choice for students. By giving school choice to parents, we can incentivize schools to excel, increase tax dollar efficiency, elevate the poor who live in struggling school districts, and broaden horizons for the next generation of Americans.