Saturday, February 21, 2004

A response to an Angry Rant

(this is a response to comments made here)

You are proceeding from the false belief that money is equitably distributed amongst students. If we lived in a world without good or bad luck and without nefarious and virtuous means of gaining and losing money, then your extreme rightist fantasies would be correct. In the regular universe however, the situation is markedly different. The amount of money a student has is if anything, an indicator of how well-off their parents are. (A realist would also argue that it represents undeserved good or bad luck). I don’t expect you to come out for awarding people on their merits so it is no surprise that you would argue for a system that would leave poor students powerless and rich students in control of all clubs and magazines.

Now, I suppose that you could put a voucher program in place: each student has $50 student dollars that must be donated to a student group. While there is some beauty in the simplicity of this idea, it would instantly cause a tragedy of the commons with popular, but cheap programs. Every student would say, “Hey, why should I donate some Student dollars to the class pass? It’s not like the program is going to go bust if I don’t give it $5.”

What we need then is some way for students to decide collectively which programs it will fund. Hmmm… I suppose we could have a hereditary leader who makes decisions for us. That might not work out to good. On the other hand, I hear that these British colonialists in wigs came up with this weird system where everyone “votes” for representatives. It’s called a “Democratic Republic”. I know the idea sounds far out, but Liberals like me love this kind of squishy thinking. I imagine crazy right-winger like you wouldn’t really go for it. I suppose anarchy (the absence of government) would really suit you much better.


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