Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC president and CEO Brad Wilson urges citizens to double down on the failed status quo government education establishment in this N&O op-ed. The piece is yet another mindless plea for more money for government-run schools – with zero thought about actually empowering students and their parents by allowing them to choose what sort of education they value. Instead, Wilson insists the next batch of money will turn around the stagnant, top-down, one size fits all failing system.
Most interesting in the article, however, is how Wilson either contradicts himself, or is mind-numbingly oblivious to the current state of North Carolina’s economy. First, he says this:
There’s a constructive cycle that keeps spinning when good education begets good talent, which, in this knowledge economy, begets growing businesses and a growing tax base.
Our education system is the fulcrum. North Carolina’s quality of life pivots up or down from that central point. Businesses will choose North Carolina – or not – because of the quality of our workforce and the institutions that train it.
Wilson is saying here that our economy hinges on the quality of our education system. Then he says this:
The same is true with early childhood programs, K-12 schools, community colleges and our university system. They are not broken. They are not failing.
So to follow Wilson’s logic, NC’s education system is doing just fine. And because – according to him – the state’s economy hinges on the quality of our education system, therefore our economy will reflect that.
I guess Wilson missed the memo that NC has the fourth highest unemployment rate in the country, and that our job growth and per capita income growth has been falling further behind the national average for the past decade plus. Our state’s true economic record, then, indicates that businesses must view our workforce as not being of very high quality – if we are to take Wilson’s points to their logical conclusion.
But Wilson emerges from his own contradictions and the economic reality of our state undeterred, and insists taxpayers pony up yet more money into a failed system.
Adding irony to the story, of course, is how the head of the organization leading what is essentially a government-created health insurance cartel (thanks to countless state mandates and controls) throws support behind another cartel: the government-run schools. Both feature strictly limited options for consumers, very little competition and a third-party payer system. The predictable result in both has been exploding costs with disappointing results.
Also of interest is Wilson’s objection to the “public option” that was part of the debate over Obamacare. Wilson lamented the fact that “You can’t compete with government.” Yet Wilson offers no hint of support for school choice initiatives, which would help non-traditional schools ”compete with government,” only more coerced money from taxpayers to subsidize the government education establishment.