Re: Reforming Education

Bryan Moss (
Sat, 9 Oct 1999 14:05:29 +0100

Dan Fabulich wrote:

> > Question: Do parents, the people who would be funding this operation in
> > the absense of the state, have any serious economic incentives to give
> > their children a good education? I'm saying a big NO.
> Yes, that explains why parents never pay lots of money to send their kids
> to high quality private schools. And why no parent would ever sacrifice
> his/her life for the life of their child.

Dan, this ignores my question - if I pay money to give my child an education what financial reward do I get in return? The question isn't about the parents love for the child or their social responsibility to the child, it is often the case that parents cannot afford what they think is best. However, perhaps it is possible to make education an investment that has a financial reward rather than one of love and/or prestige.

Rober J. Bradbury wrote:

> Now, Bryan has an interesting point with regard to the economic
> investment in a child. Presumably a parent never would want to
> act in such a way that their actions make their previous investment
> "worthless". (So generally, you don't kill children, you don't
> move to someplace where there are no taxes *and* no schools, etc.)
> In theory the economic incentive for parents to provide or
> fund an education is the desire to maximize the value of their
> previous investment. Now the point at which this fails is
> when the perceived benefit from that investment falls below
> the perceived investment.

Yes, and the problem is that most people can only accept a financial benefit for their investment, they cannot afford to give their children everything they would want to give them. But if it is true that better education would mean a more successful and wealthy child then there is a financial benefit to be had from the child, and the parent (or sponsor) should expect a return on their investment. This would also mean that those people who do not feel the natural urge to care for their children have a financial incentive to offer them the best education and welfare possible.