Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Lesson on Redistribution

A link from the EconLog sent me to a blog "OvercomingBias".

Great concept found here.  A guy goes around with a petition to "redistribute" GPA scores from the "top 10%" to those who are having trouble with enough credits to graduate.  As you can see, a natural link between this and our tax structure begins to take form.

From the blog:
"Most people believe that redistributing money within a nation is good, but that redistributing GPA within a school is bad, and if asked why these should be treated differently, have little to say."

My favorite comment from a non-supporter of the GPA redistribution is "but I earned it."


And how is this different than the income you earn?  As a grad student, I do treasure my GPA, but in no way does it even come close to how important my income is.  Supporting the family is way more important than what scores I get on tests.  I would assume most rational people would think the same.

If this were true, people should value their money more....but in our learning "institutions", it seems people are more willing of redistributing their money than their grades.

Ooops.  Did I say their money?  Ah yes, I mean OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY.

And that's the bottom line.  People who either have no dog in the fight, or are talking of redistributing something they do not own are "all for it".  But, once they have earned that unit of value, they don't want to let it go.  You know, they "earned it".  That's what our system is built on...or rather, should be built on.

As economists would say, "people respond to incentives".  And that means negative incentives, too.  If we keep punishing the people who fund our government, they will be "incentivized" to take their "units of value" elsewhere.

And then your precious GPA won't mean a thing...there won't be any jobs when you graduate.

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