We have a problem in this society. We have many problems. One of them is the role of private equity in destroying products and services that were once household names.

Here is an example: One of the stores that many New Yorkers love is Fairway Markets. It started as one store on the Upper West Side. It was the place to go for an amazing selection of cheeses and fresh produce and dozens of varieties of olive oil and more.

But it started to grow, and it turned to equity investors for new capital to expand. The investors had big plans. They paid themselves big salaries. They loaded up the company with debt. They went public and took on more debt. And before long this once-successful chain was doomed.

This article appeared at Bloomberg News by Joe Nocera.

There is more. This article in Slate describes how private equity investors have pillaged well-known retail operations. Jordan Weisman wrote:

The list of retailers that have been bought and wrecked by private equity firms keeps on growing. This week, the beloved New York grocery chain Fairway filed for its second bankruptcy in less than four years and announced plans to sell off its stores, thanks to a disastrous run of mismanagement by a series of buyout shops. It’s on a list of casualties that now includes Toys R Us, Payless ShoeSource, and Sports Authority, among many others. That’s on top of financially troubled names like Neiman Marcus that have managed to avoid Chapter 11 or liquidation (so far).

Last year, a group of progressive nonprofits reported that of the 14 largest retail bankruptcies since 2012, 10 had involved companies owned by private equity. The thud of corporate failures has become so constant that it’s essentially become a meme in the financial press.

This is the marketplace that choice advocates favor as the future of schooling.

Scott Maxwell, a columnist at the Orlando Sentinel, tweeted a few days ago:

”Berate public schools all you want. There will never be a day when you take your child to aPublic school only to find it’s gone out of business.”