Policy Documents

'Permanent National Recession' Requires Bold Action

Brandon Dutcher –
February 2, 2011

Recent news reports informed us the U.S. Postal Service lost $8.5 billion last year.

Another informed us that a postal workers’ union had to extend its election deadline because thousands of ballots … got lost in the mail.

We laugh, but we shouldn’t be surprised. Create a heavily unionized, government-owned, government-operated monopoly, and problems will ensue. That’s true whether you’re trying to deliver mail, or trying to deliver education.

Public education’s productivity collapse has been nothing short of staggering, Cato Institute scholar Andrew Coulson wrote in 2009 in Investor’s Business Daily. “Once upon a time, America could afford to sustain a parasitic school monopoly, fecklessly throwing billions more dollars at it decade after decade despite its failure to improve. That time has passed. … The perpetuation of that monopoly puts our economic future at unacceptable risk.”

Indeed, a 2009 report from McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, found that America’s “underutilization of human potential” imposes “the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession.”

It’s no wonder business leaders are starting to take note. In November the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the State Chamber of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition, and others teamed up to host an Oklahoma City screening of the powerful documentary Waiting for ‘Superman.’

And last month the presidents of the Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and state chambers unveiled a joint agenda which includes proposals making it easier to get rid of bad teachers.