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Next entry: Helpful but less than helpful
Previous entry: Therefore God exists
Tuesday February 26 2008

I found this bar chart at Burning Our Money, which is not a blog to be blogrolled here, but definitely (and belatedly) here:

image

BOM writer “Wat Tyler” found those numbers somewhere here, although I couldn’t find exactly where.  (That website definitely does go to the sidebar here.)

Note that those bars are for percentage rises, not absolute numbers.  So the story this tells is of a still hectic rise in numbers for the private sector.  It’s hectic, anyway, if you understand compound interest.  Nearly ten per cent per annum is like Chinese economic growth.  (This afternoon, once again, I will be teaching at an enterprise which is a small part of this story.)

That graph adorns a posting at BOM about state employees who make a point of not using the service they themselves are involved in providing, the point being that they of all people know how unsatisfactory that service is.  Wat Tyler makes use of quotes from state teachers, explaining their decision to go private for their own children, which he found in this TES piece.

Sample, from “Sam”:

“It went against my politics and it was something I wouldn’t have dreamt of considering a year or two earlier, but you have to be realistic. They’re your kids and you want the best for them, so you compromise your principles.”

Quite right too.  Them being your kids strikes me as the principle that matters here.  Besides which, it makes sense to believe (a) that state education could and should be as good as private schooling, but that (b) it hasn’t, for whatever reason, go there yet.  I disagree with whatever version of those arguments that Sam holds to but I don’t think that he is a hypocrite, as often is said about lefties who veer away from the left in the choices they make for themselves and for their families.

Nor, I am glad to note, does Wat Tyler:

So is it hypocrisy?

As very well informed consumers, they’re making the rational choice for themselves and their families. And we can hardly hold that against them.

Exactly so.