In response to the Kos article I referenced earlier:

Dear Libertarian Democrats...

What I propose is that Democrats promise to support one major libertarian experiment. In exchange for Democrats agreeing to support this experiment, libertarians would agree to vote for Democrats.

The experiment that I have in mind is school choice. If Democrats would instead prefer an experiment with voluntary investment accounts substituting for Social Security, that is an acceptable alternative. But for now, let us work with school choice.

The experiment that I propose is that in four or five diverse states, all tax revenues that ordinarily would go to schools would for a period of 15 years go to parents as school vouchers. Proponents of school choice will propose specific indicators that will be measured to assess whether the experiment achieves desired goals, such as improved school quality, lower cost, and greater parent satisfaction. Opponents of school choice also will propose specific indicators that will be measured to assess whether the experiment leads to greater inequality in schooling or other adverse results. After fifteen years, voters will have useful information to determine whether the experiment with school choice should be expanded or ended.

The man is clearly calling "all in" and bluffing. The Democrats would never subject any public sector spending to metrics unless it's military spending. When we were spending on Brilliant Pebbles Democrats harrangued us with cost/benefit analysis. Likewise with the Stellar programs. I have yet to see one such call for spending on Arts, Americorps, Farm subsidies, welfare et al.

Traditional Democrats may say, "If we are willing to give libertarians an experiment, what do we get in return? Do we get a chance to experiment with our policies?"

I would welcome experiments with socialist policies, provided that they are only experiments. That is, the policies must be evaluated, and if they are found to have failed, they must be abandoned.

The problem is that the elected officials don't see programs as experiements but rather as programs that allocate dollars to people and districts that benefit them and their cronies.

I would welcome almost any experiment provided there were quantifiable metrics and a clearly defined success criteria and timeline for evaluation. Goverment tends to grow and will continue to do so unless or until there is an outraged electorate that wants it to shrink. That's easier said than done.


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