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Topic: Economist Hirschman's Argument Against Private Schools and

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Richard Hake

Posts: 1,248
From: Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Registered: 12/4/04
Economist Hirschman's Argument Against Private Schools and

Posted: Jun 30, 2013 1:23 PM
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Some subscribers to Math-Teach might be interested in a recent post
"Economist Hirschman's Argument Against Private Schools and Vouchers"
[Hake (2013)]. The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: Bernard Cleyet (2013) in his PhysLrnR post "Another
argument against private schools and vouchers," called attention to
Malcolm Gladwell's (2013) "New Yorker" review titled "The Gift of
Doubt: Albert O. Hirschman and the power of failure"
<http://nyr.kr/19Hj0e7>. This is a review of Jeremy Adleman's (2013)
"Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman"

Hirschman's argument against private schools and vouchers is
contained in this passage from Gladwell (paraphrased; my CAPS):

"Hirschman quoted the conservative economist Milton Friedman who
SYSTEM, writing 'Parents could express their views about schools
directly, by withdrawing their children from one school and sending
them to another.'

Hirschman commented: 'a near perfect example of the ECONOMIST'S BIAS
IN FAVOR OF EXIT AND AGAINST VOICE: In the first place, Friedman
considers withdrawal or exit as the 'direct' way of expressing one's
unfavorable views of an organization. A person less well trained in
economics might naively suggest that the direct way of expressing
views is to express them! Secondly, the decision to voice one's views
and efforts to make them prevail are contemptuously referred to by
Friedman as a resort to 'cumbrous political channels.' But what else
is the political, and indeed the democratic, process than the
digging, the use, and hopefully the slow improvement of these very

To access the complete 8 kB post please click on <http://yhoo.it/14G8T2j> .

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Links to Articles: <http://bit.ly/a6M5y0>
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"Even when our trust is heavily placed in them, reasoning and
education cannot easily prove powerful enough to bring us actually to
do anything, unless in addition we train our Soul by experience for
the course on which we would set her; for if we do not, when the time
comes for action she will undoubtedly find herself impeded."
- Michel de Montaigne (quoted by Adelman (2013) in his frontispiece)

REFERENCES [URL's shortened by <http://bit.ly/> and accessed on 30 June 2013.]
Hake, R.R. 2013. "Economist Hirschman's Argument Against Private
Schools and Vouchers," online on the OPEN! Net-Gold archives at
<http://yhoo.it/14G8T2j>. Post of 30 Jun 2013 07:04:51-0700 to AERA-L
and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being
distributed to various discussion lists and are also on my blog
"Hake'sEdStuff" at <http://bit.ly/158hAVk> with a provision for

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