This is why Jeremy Corbyn’s proposed national education service, even while its Maoist overtones are so strong, is so impressive. It starts with a principle that sounds like common sense: education is a public good.
No, no it isn’t. It is rivalrous and excludable, it is not a public good.
It is entirely possible that the effects of education are a public good. Adam Smith certainly argued that being part of a generally numerate and literate society is such and advocated public support of primary education as a result. This does not mean that tertiary education is the same though of course.
And yes, this is important. Public goods may be righteously subsidised. Private goods very much less so. And it’s also true that subsidy might not be the correct method of promoting public goods.
We’ve all an interest in the public good of innovation. But we don’t promote that through subsidy, we do it through patent and copyright.
Zoe’s starting the economic argument in entirely the wrong manner.