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CAPSULE COMMENTARY: “Illiteracy Emergency”


“Both George W. Bush and Al Gore have declared illiteracy a ‘national emergency.’ What better indictment of the results of public schooling? After all, throughout the 20th century, Americans were required, under pain of fine and imprisonment, to send their children to a government-approved school. To comply with the law, most parents chose to subject their children to ‘public’ (that is, government) schools. So, why the ‘national emergency’? What is the Gore’s and Bush’s solution? You guessed it — more federal tax-and-spend for more educational welfare at the local level. Why do so many literate people have such unswerving devotion to such failed government programs as public schooling and such an aversion to a free market in education? Perhaps the answer lies in those public school classroom, lectures, and textbooks. Yes, illiteracy may be a problem but isn’t a mind irretrievably lost through government indoctrination worse?

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Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.