Tanken om at indføre "billet-systemer" i den offentlige sektor er i bedste fald en mangelfuld og ufuldendt løsning på den katastrofale mangel på markedsmekanismer i det politisk bestemte "marked".
Det indrømmer jeg gerne. Ligesom "flat tax", udlicitering og andre pragmatiske, realpolitiske løsninger på fundamentale problemer, er det at give borgerne mulighed for at flytte deres offentlige forbrug ikke perfekt. Men tænksomme fortalere for frie mennesker & frie markeder–og dét regner vi Punditokrater os selv for–anerkender, at sådanne kan være uenige om taktiske og realpolitiske løsninger, og at man må tage hatten af for, at der kan være alternative måder at forsøge at rykke i den rigtige retning på.
Idéen om at bruge "billetter" (vouchers) blev første gang lanceret i 1955, d.v.s. længe–25-30 år–før Haarder og andre begyndte at tale om den i det danske uddannelsessystem. Ophavsmanden var et af det 20. århundredes mest lysende profiler, Nobelprisvinderen Milton Friedman. Han spredte idéen til en række tænketanke, og i løbet af et par årtier kom den højt på den politiske dagsorden. Og "Uncle Milton" lyser, i en alder af knap 93, pænt ind i det 21. århundrede. Her er fra dagens Wall Street Journal hans forsvar for "billet-systemet" og perspektiver på, hvor vidt idéen faktisk kan tages:
"The original article was not a reaction to a perceived deficiency in schooling. The quality of schooling in the United States then was far better than it is now, and both my wife and I were satisfied with the public schools we had attended. My interest was in the philosophy of a free society. Education was the area that I happened to write on early. I then went on to consider other areas as well. The end result was "Capitalism and Freedom," published seven years later with the education article as one chapter. …
[F]inance and administration "could readily be separated. Governments could require a minimum of schooling financed by giving the parents vouchers redeemable for a given sum per child per year to be spent on purely educational services. … Denationalizing schooling," I went on, "would widen the range of choice available to parents. … If present public expenditure were made available to parents regardless of where they send their children, a wide variety of schools would spring up to meet the demand. … Here, as in other fields, competitive enterprise is likely to be far more efficient in meeting consumer demand than either nationalized enterprises or enterprises run to serve other purposes." … [We] have been repeatedly frustrated by the gulf between the clear and present need, the burning desire of parents to have more control over the schooling of their children, on the one hand, and the adamant and effective opposition of trade union leaders and educational administrators to any change that would in any way reduce their control of the educational system. …
The good news is that, despite these setbacks, public interest in and support for vouchers and tax credits continues to grow. Legislative proposals to channel government funds directly to students rather than to schools are under consideration in something like 20 states. Sooner or later there will be a breakthrough; we shall get a universal voucher plan in one or more states. When we do, a competitive private educational market serving parents who are free to choose the school they believe best for each child will demonstrate how it can revolutionize schooling."
For p….. da! Så frisk, klar og optimistisk gad jeg godt at være, når jeg er 93.