Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bang for the buck

In the course of this post about a recent change in how state universities in Texas admit students, Matthew Yglesias states:

... The marginal dollar of either the taxpayer or the charitable donor will do a lot more for society when spent on people who aren't already the best students.

It is hard to understand how anyone could actually believe this. Since good students learn new material faster and easier (and retain it longer) it is cheaper (and therefore more cost effective) to raise them to any given level of proficiency. Society would not be better off if the dumb students went to college and the dumbest went on to graduate school.

Liberals are free to argue for equality over efficiency but they should not make silly claims in the process.

1 comment:

  1. Such unfounded conclusions are consistent with what I refer to as Glorification of the Average in today's society. Subsidizing poor students more and withdrawing support from the best is considered more fair by a sizable portion of population. Somehow "average" has been connected to the attribute "fair." And usually raising your voice against this connection makes you likely to be labeled unfair.
    The effect this atmosphere of average will have on our future I can only imagine... Thanks for your post.