I received an incredibly petty ad in the mail from Utahns for Public Schools. Perhaps you did too. Since it illustrates a point that been bugging me about the voucher debate for a while, I decided to address it--not because I believe anyone reading this is available to be swayed in the voucher debate (we've become pretty well informed here in the bloghive), but because I want to make a broader economic point.
In summary, the ad says, "Since every kid can't make use of a voucher, nobody should get a voucher." This is spiteful.
Should we insist that because every adult can't get a Pell Grant (they are only for people below a certain income), nobody should get one? Should we say that because every company can't compete for government aerospace contracts (you have to be a big enough company--and in the aerospace business--to get one), that no company should get government aerospace contracts? Would we insist that no one can use cell phones at home because some people live too far from a cell phone tower to get reception?
If I'm not harmed because you get a benefit, I should rejoice in your opportunity. Utahns for Public Schools does the opposite. This is spite. The ad preys on this worst base emotion that is truly counter-productive. It is the emotion that says, "If I can't finish first, no one else can finish."
[Note: I tried to find a link to this ad on the UTPS website, but I only saw their video ads linked there. If you've got a link, I'd love to add it.]