Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Education Is Not A Market Good, Episode 564,221

 A fun story from Tik Tok via Daily Dot, and which has been bouncing around for a while, showing once again how the free market actually works.

The clip is from a Door Dasher, and it shows a wall's worth of bags at McDonalds, waiting for someone to Door Dash them to the person ordering. They are sitting and languishing because the customer did not attach any kind of tip to them and Door Dash pays diddly. 

This is a lesson for every DeVos-style "education should be a Uber" person out there--if you make a good or service an item on the free market AND you also set up that good or service to be provided by gig workers, what you've basically a bidding system in which said goods/services go only to those who are willing to win the bid. That system will also set a low bar, a "this is not enough money to bother with" bar, below which you will find phenomenon like a wall full of cold Bic Macs.

So let's say that we go to an voucher/esa system, in which the state says, "You're on your own parents-- go buy your kid some education." Who wins the bidding war for education services-- the parents who have just the voucher money to spend, or the parents in a position to sweeten the pot? Where will the market set the inevitable "this customer won't make me enough money to bother with" bar? And what can be done for the people on the low side of that bar? Well, maybe there will be a public system limping along that they can go back to. 

The free market picks winners and losers, both among vendors and among customers. The sad Micky D's wall is a reminder of that.

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