Let's redistribute your GPA

UC Merced students are confronted with the idea of over-taxing the wealthy in a scenario they can relate with: their grade point average. Some students work and study harder than others which earns them better grades. So when asked if they would be willing to “share in the sacrifice” by “redistributing” some of their hard-earned 4.0 GPA to other students with lower GPAs in order to level the playing field, they rightly objected. They could see how taking hard-earned results from one student in order to raise the GPA of a student who didn’t have the same opportunities (read: who chose not to take advantage of their opportunities) was intrinsically unfair.

It seems sharing the sacrifice is only expected for half the tax base. Nearly half of Americans have no Federal tax liability.  Liberal political commentators and politicians claim the wealthy don’t pay their fair share of the burden.  How do they get away with making such claims?  They demonize those who are better off than they are, and they know the liberal public eats it up.

Let’s hope these students retain the lesson they learned, though I’m not counting on it.

Comments

  1. Kelsey B says:

    I find this hilarious for several reasons. One, no one is going to starve to death or go homeless if I don’t share my GPA. Secondly, you assume everyone starts at the same level and it is hard work alone which determines how much one makes. Which is far from the case. Though even education isn’t perfect, we have incredible education disparities between different districts even neighboring districts. A better comparison would be having the academically talented students tutor the less talented students, because when everyone increases academically the school receives more federal funding and is better off. Or do you believe the top students only do well if the bottom of the class is failing. That is after all how the perfect capitalist economy works, the bottom must be unemployed and poor or no one else will be encouraged to work hard and we would have no pool of people to pull from when the economy expands and needs more employees.

    • John Barron says:

      Kelsey, it’s the principle of the matter. You don’t steal from one to give to the other.

      The government isn’t trying to force the wealthy to give jobs to the poor (tutor), they are asking them to just hand over money (GPA points).

  2. Kelsey B says:

    Also, you compare a 4.0 to having billions of dollars. Now, if GPA works like the economy you would have people with GPAs of 10 or 20 out of a 4.0 scale. If this was true you might find people more willing to give GPA points away since they really don’t need them.

  3. Tutoring doesn’t equal jobs. Tutoring is equal to the students time & talent (labor = wage = money). If the student is tutoring they lose that free time and have to use their talent (their resources), for helping the person with the lower GPA which they would/could otherwise be using to further benefit themselves.

    That’s why I see tutoring as a closer comparison to money then GPA because GPA is fixed and one can’t get excess/ extravagant levels of GPA. Also, GPA isn’t a good comparison to money because the wealthy can’t get wealthy by themselves, they need minimum consumers and usually labor as well.

    If the GPA system worked like the economy, students with low GPAs wouldn’t even be in class; they would be earning their GPAs by sharpening the smart kids pencils or taking notes for them in class doing things to benefit the smart kids more then themselves. If the economy was like education, everyone would have a business (because it’s their right to have a business like why we provide public education) and everyone’s business would automatically be successful with a little work & talent. What about competition??? The thing driving our economy.

    If every business did work like that, there wouldn’t be billionaires because their would be so many great businesses (A students), really good businesses (B students), and average businesses (C students), and even barely functioning businesses (D students), we wouldn’t have the drastic inequalities we have between the middle and upper classes. How the economy works is the A businesses need to put everyone else out of business in order to get an even higher GPA.

    Education doesn’t look like the economy. Education is about bettering oneself, not competing against others & beating the others and the potential for everyone to get As really does exist (at least in theory) versus with the economy if everyone could get As our economy wouldn’t be capitalist.

    • John Barron says:

      if tutoring = Time+talent, that is the work. the result from the work is money. thus GPA is the result of T+t of schooling. money and GPA are the result of school work, therefore tutoring is the equivalent of a job.

      education is absolutely about competition. better grades = better job = more money. Unless you’re goal is to just have the degree in something worthless just for the self betterment. But the vast majority of people go to college for a financial payoff in life.

      • It’s not competition because everyone is fully capable of getting an A, of being on top. There is no static amount of resources that needs to be divided differently. It’s not like only 5 people in the class can get As. You can’t have a capitalist economy with everyone on top, there is a set number of how many can be on top. You don’t get better grades by beating your fellow students, you get them by learning everything you need to learn.

        I will break this down. The tutor is the smart person, the academically talented person, the “hard-worker”. The person being tutored is the F student, the one who is failing be it they don’t have enough time to study, they don’t have the same intellectual capacity, or whatever the reasoning for the failure.

        In tutoring, who does the work? The tutor does the work. The person on top, the “CEO”. The tutoring benefits the tutored, the person needing the help, with no benefit to the tutor. Here the person with the job is the tutor. The tutor isn’t providing work to the tutored, their providing the resource of extra time and knowledge (money) to the tutored through their work. The tutor gives tutoring (money) to the tutored. The tutored doesn’t get a job. The get resources, resources that give them a better chance of succeeding.

        This is similar to providing child care or food stamps to single mother. Knowledge is the food stamp/ child care. Because once the mother has that she gains the opportunity to work longer hours, like the tutored receives knowledge to help them do better on the test.

        Both knowledge and child care are resources because they both only work when used properly. If the single mother doesn’t work, giving her child care isn’t helping her get ahead. All the tutoring in the world, isn’t going to guarantee the student shows up for the test. It’s about providing the tools.

        How would tutoring translate to the business world… the CEO with all the money (high GPA) would be providing child care (tutoring) so that the single mother (the failing student) has the resources she needs (the material re-explained) to go to work & earn money (increase GPA). Who is doing the child care? The CEO. How is child care actually provided? By someone else, but paid for by the CEO. So what is the CEO providing? Money, via taxes, to pay for child care for the single mother, so that with the resource of child care being provide for she now has the opportunity to go get a job. The CEO doesn’t provide the job, the single mother gets the job for herself by using the resources (benefit from tutoring) correctly. The CEO gets nothing out of this deal. The single mother is not working for him/her. This is entirely the CEO needing to do extra work (provide money) so that the single mother has the opportunity to do better.

        “tutoring = Time+talent, that is the work. the result from the work is money. thus GPA is the result of T+t of schooling. money and GPA are the result of school work, therefore tutoring is the equivalent of a job.”

        You’re reasoning is fine until you get to tutoring is the equivalent of a job. The job in tutoring is being done by the A student. The time & talent is that of the A student. All the F student is getting is the benefit of that work done by the A student.

        I think the problem here is GPA has no direct connection, which is causing the confusion. The 4.0 student doesn’t sacrifice their GPA to help the F student. If education was an exponential scale like the economy, we would see the GPA affected. Why? Because the time the A student spends tutoring takes away from their own time studying. So if you compared two equal students on an exponential GPA scale, one tutoring & one not, you would see the tutoring student reaching a GPA of 18 while the non-tutoring student gets a GPA of 20 because that student has more time to study for themselves. But the top students earning 4.0 tend to be so smart already their grades would drop form 100 to 97 which are both still 4.0.

        With the tutoring example the currency is not GPA, but knowledge itself and the demonstration of that knowledge.

  4. “no one is going to starve to death or go homeless if I don’t share my GPA.”

    Right. And it won’t cost you any food or shelter to share it, so why not share it?

    “Though even education isn’t perfect, we have incredible education disparities between different districts even neighboring districts.”

    Those are the same things attributed to the wealth disparities.

    • Kelsey B says:

      “Those are the same things attributed to the wealth disparities.”

      So are we reducing education now to simply having a GPA to get a job? We should give people a high GPA, just so they can get a job not actually preparing them for life.

      Ya, actually I do see insuring that people can still eat and get medical care while looking for a job or while providing care for people who can’t care for themselves as different then simply handing out GPA points.

      I do want to fix the education system, but not for the sake of passing everyone, we already have schools that do that. I want to see school that actually educate people and actually open up opportunities because of the knowledge people have, not because some paper somewhere says they might be qualified for a job. GPA is also a shitty indicator of this because people who are naturally good academically, but have zero drive or are not hard working are still going to look better on paper then a person who failed a class because it was hard for them but took it again because they refused to give up and passed it the second time. That student benefited from taking the class again because they learned something, but the system we have set up dictates that in the long run we would have been better off just giving them GPA points because that’s what employers look at. Same thing for standardized testing, we just except that a person is a statistic, a number on a piece of paper and that’s all we need to know about them. Why? Because it makes things easier. It’s quick, it’s cheap. And even if theoretically looking at people might be beneficial to capitalism, it’s not something we worth the investment. People are plentiful, labor is plentiful and a little insufficient is quickly fixable by firing and hiring someone else when so many people are looking for jobs. It’s why we don’t treat unions nicely either, why care about workers when it’s cheaper to higher someone a little more desperate. Leave people in poverty long enough and everyone gets desperate, so the system reinforces itself. We need to stop treating people like statistics & simply labor and start treating them like people.

  5. Terrance H. says:

    I’ve heard this before. I love it!

  6. “There is no static amount of resources that needs to be divided differently.”

    That is the sadly negative mindset of the zero sum game. Those who prosper don’t necessarily do it at the expense of those who don’t. Why should people risk time and money to build businesses if they don’t get to enjoy the benefits of their success?

    • John Barron says:

      People like Michael Moore have convinced some people that the wealthy have made their money off the backs of others. That they have the money that used to be theirs.

      When Socialists introduced the term “redistribution of wealth” it implies it was distributed in the first place, and not earned.

    • “That is the sadly negative mindset of the zero sum game. Those who prosper don’t necessarily do it at the expense of those who don’t.”

      You confuse negative mindset, with realistic mindest? Those that prosper don’t do so at the expense at others? Tell that to the people in Jamaica, Haiti, and to people in many nations through out Africa who have ruined economies because of western exploitation.

      When we run out of people to exploit, capitalism fails. That’s why we have companies moving over seas, because why should they respect their workers when they can go somewhere they don’t have to. But it’s the big, mean government with their regulations loosing us jobs. Why should corporations be expected to respect people or the environment when it takes away from the benefits the employers have earned by risking their time and money to start and operate their business. And as a society we complain for a second at loss of jobs, but then are cool again because as long as it’s OTHER Americans loosing jobs and not us, we are willing to trade their jobs for lower prices on things.

      “Why should people risk time and money to build businesses if they don’t get to enjoy the benefits of their success?”

      If we were a community driven society instead of an individualistic one, we would benefit from cooperation instead of competition and everyone would win. Would the people on the top gain exponentially like they do in capitalism. No, because there wouldn’t be such a clear top and bottom anymore, but would every continue to gain, yes but at a slower rate. But this would only be possible if people started think that the only way to be happy is to acquire as much a humanly possible.

      And now because I know you plan on calling me a socialist, lets consider other nations who still have capitalism but do it differently from the US. Are their GDPs as high as ours? No. But what do they get with their trade off? Healthier (physically & mentally), Happier, better educated, longer living citizens. And that’s all their citizens comparison wise. Their rich are happier then our rich, and their “poor” are better off then our poor.

      Do they still have issues? Absolutely, every society does. But that’s not an excuse for America to not fix the problems, that are obviously fixable but we feel the need to ignore because we like doing things our way. Americans as a whole are so convinced(or brainwashed) into believing we are the best nation in the world from a young age, we don’t question things that should be questioning.

  7. “You confuse negative mindset, with realistic mindest? Those that prosper don’t do so at the expense at others? Tell that to the people in Jamaica, Haiti, and to people in many nations through out Africa who have ruined economies because of western exploitation.

    When we run out of people to exploit, capitalism fails. That’s why we have companies moving over seas,”

    I’m confused. Is it good to help these people by sending them jobs or bad? Do we care about them or not?

    I know exactly why businesses send jobs overseas. I did countless financial analyses early in my career at Compaq / HP. The number one driver for manufacturing jobs moving was lower tax rates, not lower wages. Some jobs were outsourced due to wages, but some companies have already realized that they went too far with that (e.g., Dell’s outsourcing of their call center led to significant customer satisfaction issues).

  8. This is a ridiculous logical fallacy of comparison. The people that fall for it make me sad.

  9. oh, and here’s why: Grades/GPA aren’t comparable to income… one is a constrained scale (typically to 4.0-ish) by which one is measured and ranked against others, and redistribution in that context makes it impossible to ever achieve a 4.0. Income is not bounded and, generally speaking, serves no such purpose.

  10. Not in the least. It shows your feelings toward a supposed instance of that without actually thinking about the connection.

    this movement is akin to saying “Ok so if I’m single and cant get a women to have sex with… Can I compare men “sharing the wealth” by loaning me their wives?

    I’m comparing ON PRINCIPLE…. right?… That makes it ok?..”

    look at the comparison, they don’t match up, you just want them to.

    • Maybe in your little example the lonely man used the government to force the married man to share his wife, there might be a point, but otherwise, you are trying to nitpick past the situation to the minutia.

  11. it’s logic 101.

    This is an interesting comparison but not a very accurate one. The amount of work that one puts into school is directly proportional to the GPA they earn. If one student spends hours and hours a day studying they will get a higher GPA because they put the extra work in. In the case of money, there are people who work harder but earn less than others.

    I’m not saying that I do agree or don’t agree with raising taxes on high income earners or the welfare system or any of that… what i am saying is the video is not a valid comparison.

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