Great post by Jonathan Wilde which picks up on a (throwaway?) Insta-pinion on public schooling. Glenn Reynold's remark is depressingly familiar and aired by many in relation to education, public healthcare and, defending deception, social "insurance":
I wonder, though, if the increasing availability of private education and homeschooling doesn’t make things worse, by draining off some of the parents whose complaints would otherwise force the system to behave better. At some point, I suppose, the effects of competition will shift things the other way, but that dynamic doesn’t seem to be taking hold, yet.
According to this view, it would be preferable to force or cajole the more querulous parents into public education in order that their "voice" helps to improve the system for all parents. Yet as Jonathan explains, Exit works better:
Voice - having the opportunity to influence an entrenched organization - results in the parents of a child having $4,000 taken from them in exchange for the ability to cast a vote for a new school board every few years and go to a PTA meeting once a month to voice a complaint. This complaint is in competition with perhaps hundreds of other complaints and opinions of how the school system should be run. While compromise can lend expression to several of these viewpoints, only a single final product results.
Exit - having the power to escape entrenched organizations - results in the parents of a child being able to take those $4,000 to give to other service providers of their choosing. Compromise is largely unnecessary as the game is not fixed-sum. The number of potential final products is unlimited.