Here’s a sensible review of Naomi Klein’s rediculous book, “The Shock Doctrine.”
Klein may see Friedman’s New Orleans school plan as exploitative, with Friedman lurking in the bushes “waiting for a major crisis, then selling off pieces of the state to private players while citizens were still reeling from the shock.” The latest news from New Orleans, however, is that where elements of Friedman’s strategy were implemented, the New Orleans school system has sprung back to life in record time.
From most reports, the renewal of New Orleans’ school system has taken place at a record clip, an amazing success — some say the only success –on display in the wake of Katrina. A left-wing media network, Democracy Now!, made the point: “While many in New Orleans have waited two years for recovery, the restructuring of its schools seemed to happen overnight.”
It happened overnight in part because the Friedman concept of bringing in choice and clearing out the old union operations has produced results, despite vociferous opposition from old guard statists and, of course, the teachers’ unions. “Is there any doubt,” wrote Friedman in 2005, “that the private market would provide schooling for children returning to New Orleans faster than the state?”
One can argue all day about methods. And, one may disagree with guys like Friedman who prefer free-market solutions to problems. But, don’t mistake for a moment the intentions of your opponents.
Free-marketers aren’t evil whacko’s out to exploit children and destroy the earth. That’s a fantasy. They want many of the end results that Liberals want: Affordable and workable health care for everyone who needs it; an education system that truly educates children; lower poverty rates; lower crime rates; world peace; and blah, blah.
But, they differ on what they believe is the best method to achieve those ends. Naomi Klein, like Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter, is a fanatic who substitutes faith for knowledge. She lives in a black and white world; you’re either with her, or you’re evil.
I guess that makes me evil.