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Charles Blow’s Assessment of the 2010 Decade Misses One Point: We No Longer Have PUBLIC Schools

January 3, 2020

As the 2010 decade concluded, manny NYTimes columnists, including Charles Blow, wrote op ed essays assessing the changes that took place. Mr. Blow’s essay, titled “The Decade We Changed Our Minds“, highlighted some positive changes that occurred over the past decade, focussing especially on our country’s changed attitudes toward sexual orientation and drug use. In the column, Mr. Blow offers survey data substantiating this change in thinking while noting that the pushback against these trends continues despite the sentiment supporting a wider acceptance.

But as I noted in a comment I posted, there is one other area where America changed its mind: we no longer think of the institutions that educate our children as PUBLIC schools; we think of them as GOVERNMENT schools. Worse, both the Democrats and GOP think that marketplace competition is needed in order to improve the schools because we have long ago accepted that BUSINESS organizations are for more effective and efficient than GOVERNMENT. We believe this so much that as the decade concluded we elected a “shrewd businessman” to run our country.

I hope that the 2020s we find our faith in government restored, for in a democracy government is overseen by elected officials who are accountable to the voters who put them in office. In a privately held business the owner is beholden to no one and in a publicly held enterprise the CEO is beholden to stockholders who, in most cases, want to see increased profits despite the impact that results to the well being of employees and the public. In my idealistic view, I would hope that we change our minds in two ways in the coming decade: we have our faith in government restored and we abandon shareholder primacy in favor of a model that places a higher value on the well-being of humanity than the well-being of shareholders.

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