Saturday, August 3, 2013

Where Can Teachers Become Millionaires?

The capitalist system – aka “free markets” – reward producers according to the demand for their goods or services.  We see that in America very clearly in the technology sector, where companies that make highly desired products are rewarded with profits: think Apple, Google, Samsung, etc.  We also see it in the service sector, even in industries like janitorial services, where a few large companies (ServPro, Molly Maids, etc.) dominate through instant availability, consistent good service, and fair prices. 

In these industries, and most others, the best producers can (and have!) become millionaires.  One exception is the education industry.  There's no way a “rock star” teacher can become a millionaire, the way a “rock star” programmer or doctor can.  That's because education in the U.S. is regulated, institutionalized, and (for the most part) either directly run by the government or controlled (through funding) by the government. 

Is there any place on Earth where this is not true?  Where a teacher can become a millionaire?  Yes, there is: South Korea, where a parallel, for-profit educational system has grown up.  The results are fascinating.  As you read the article, keep a watch for things that are directly the consequence of a free market for education – and the contrast with the public schools (which still exist in South Korea, and aren't all that much different than ours). 

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