Friday, May 6, 2011

Supermarkets and Schools

Greg Mankiw connects to this Don Boudreaux article in the WSJ asking what supermarkets would be like if they were run like public schools. Mankiw thinks the article is thought-provoking, so do I, but for opposite reasons I think. Have you ever seen what supermarkets are like in poor neighborhoods? Compare groceries and school in South-Central Los Angeles. The schools are better, much better, and that is saying something. They are even safer. For a study of groceries in South Central you can go here.

Of course there are plenty of good groceries stores in Brentwood and Beverly Hills. So what is the point that Boudreaux and Mankiw want to make. That we can have school choice and the affluent will get good choice and good schools, and the poor will get their education from bodegas and liquor stores? Do they think that the crime and violence, let alone lack of purchasing power, that inhibits supermarkets from moving to poor neighborhoods will not deter schools?

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