This year is being coined a “Season of Growth” for the dramatic gains that have been made in school choice. And, indeed, it has been, with school choice programs being enacted or expanded in more than a dozen states across the county. But as we celebrate those fruits and those who cultivated them, we also must recognize their original “Johnny Appleseed.”
Although Dr. Milton Friedman died almost five years ago, his impact on freedom – and specifically school choice – continues to be recognized by freedom-loving people both in the United States and around the world.
Today, Americans are gravely concerned about our country. They’re awaiting solutions to the debt crisis, rightfully worrying about inflation, and trying to improve public education’s performance and costs. In response, Dr. Friedman’s writings and ideas could not be more relevant. From Capitalism and Freedom to A Monetary History of the United States to Free to Choose, Dr. Friedman’s work contains many of the answers Americans are seeking today.
Dr. Friedman once said that “Governments never learn. Only people learn.” How true. If our country’s current crises show us anything, it’s that the American people are learners. They know what works and what doesn’t. That is precisely why they’re opposing an increase to the debt ceiling. It’s why businesses aren’t hiring over concerns of new government regulations. And it is exactly why Americans are standing up for school choice – because they’ve learned it works for them and their children.
But with Dr. Friedman gone, his ideas need new spokesmen – individuals who can eloquently and plainly explain the theories and benefits of free markets. On this July 29, Americans for Prosperity Foundation -Washington State will recommit to the search for and work to empower new “Johnny Appleseeds” who can instill in the hearts and minds of their friends, neighbors, and children the values of freedom and the fruits they can bear for us all.