Did I ever ask myself that question? Not really. The reason is not that they want to indoctrinate their kids in radical cultish views, but rather they HOPE to have their kids taught in a more disciplined educational environment, hopefully far away from the influence of other kids who think it's "cool to be stupid." An attitude that unfortunately prevails in many public schools.
They figure that the children of parents who pay dearly to send kids to school will be more likely to have ingrained in their thinking that education matters.
That's the hope. Whether it works is another matter.
This is going far afield of the original topic.
Public education is also needed to create some sort of cohesive society, though. Or at least, guidelines or basic courses that all schools should cover. Something akin to what is done now for home schooling.
Otherwise, you can end up with balkanization, where every yahoo fringe groups gets to indoctrinate their young with whatever radical weirdness they can dream up.
@bert22306: Be careful about what you include on your government activities list. The Constitution is pretty clear on that.
A guideline I learned in Economics class was that the government should "do for the people that which they cannot do for themselves." National defense, city parks, water and sewer, and for the natural monopolies where redundancies make no sense, like land-line phone and electricity, they regulate. Education falls into none of those catagories, and the government monopoly on it has directly resulted in the fact that after two hundred years of trying, children are still not able to learn math by high school that was known in the 1600s. Any wonder charter schools are such a success?
...and Edison claimed to know of hundreds of lamp filament configurations that didn't work. Perfect. That's exactly how the free market is supposed to work. And be glad. I assume none of the failures were financed by you. But Solindra was.
No, it's the other way around. If 60 percent of new companies fail, that's because they weren't fit to survive. So that's a success story right there.
If government programs that weren't fit to survive would be allowed to fail, then we might not be submerged in debt as we are.
There are definitely legitimate jobs that the government can and should do. Like national defense, public education, and I would argue also to help fund basic research. Because everyone benefits from these endeavors, and it's difficult to make a case that these could be funded by private donations alone.
The problem is when politicians want to reward their campaign contributors with my tax dollars, for whatever hair-brained ideas they might have, the validity of which the politicians and their staffers are completely incompetent to evaluate.
The small box lends itself to generalizations as opposed to dissertations. I consider "industry" to be the collective efforts of the free enterprise system, where the market determines winners and the 60 pct of the losers, where the govt just spends and spends until it becomes so ridiculously obvious that its not going to work and then they stop.
"There are very few things that the govt can do better than private industry." That is an oft-repeated, overly broad generalization. But, heck, it's a great sound bite.
Along with its successes, private industry has had a number of amazing disasters. 60% of companies fail after 4 years.
In any case, this is a remarkable achievement.
There are very few things that the govt can do better than private industry. I would exclude challenges that are on a massive scale, like Apollo was and our military. But, the current misguided push on solar is an example where large scale govt stupidty is on parade. I am very impressed with SpaceX, what a great achievement.