We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I don't disagree with the author's general point, but methinks he got carried away with his own example, which is something of a straw man. I've never heard anyone advocate for the kind of music education in schools that's described in the article (then again, I live far, far away from Berkeley or Cambridge). People who clamor for more music education in schools are usually referring to programs such as marching band, which are often among the first programs to be cut during a budget crunch. (Not, strangely enough, the accompanying athletic events at which those bands play.) As for private music lessons—or private lessons in anything—there's always a market for those, regardless of what the economy is doing.
To some degree, flight training works like this. Although flight instructors must be FAA certified, a student can choose any certified instructor he wishes...either free-lance individuals, or flight schools employing multiple instructors.
Very importantly, the written exam and the in-flight checkride are not given by the instructor, but independently.
Was there an essay posted here some time ago that spelled out what would happen if the government got into the hat business? I recall it painted a pretty good picture of subsidies and gov't controls...
You have only to look at comment #1 to the article, which complains that the author holds these views only because he's rich and privileged. The commenter points out that parents in poor neighborhoods can't get access to music education unless the government steps in.
It's an argument that doesn't know when to quit. We can't even name anything good in life that can acquired (or made easier to acquire) with money, without someone concluding that it's unfair that rich people have an easier time getting it. So the government should step in and make sure it's equally easy for anyone to get it.
It starts with a safety net: an agreement that we can't tolerate the presence among of us of any people who can't get A, B, and C -- perhaps enough food to stave off starvation, a roof in mid-winter, and emergency medicare care when they're run down in the street by a drunk. Some people can't stop themselves from pushing the line further and further until it includes everything in life that anyone could possibly want. Oddly, they control Congress and the White House now.