Bastiat’s “Broken Window” Applied to Online Schooling (L15)

“Online education is bad for society because it puts classroom teachers out of work.”

Although this prompt seems almost silly, many people fall into this one-sided train of thought by, in Bastiat’s words, only taking into consideration ‘the seen.’ They can take the most complex of issues and view it from one perspective only; this is where they go wrong. Of the more obvious things here, one can see that, yes – homeschooling kids (including online schooling) means less children in government indoctrination centers (elementary, middle, and high schools of all sorts). I suppose that if the number of students enrolled in a school dropped enough, then classroom teachers would begin to get laid off. However, ‘the unseen’ in this situation would be that more and more teachers are now being hired (although some volunteer) to teach children through online courses. Classroom teachers in this situation loose, but online instructors win; the students deciding to gear their education towards what best fits them also win. All things aside, it is generally absurd to say that switching from one education, to another that would greater benefit the mind, growth and development of any adolescent willing, would be bad for society. How could it be said that a stronger and smarter generation (who will soon make up society), would be a harm to society. Now, a harm to civil government – maybe, but to themselves – no.

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