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A Signal of Corruption

Summary:
I don’t support scandals, but scandals support me!  Thanks to #CollegeGate, I’m in the next issue of TIME.  Highlights: Consider why these parents would even desire to fake their kids’ SAT scores. We can imagine them thinking, I desperately want my child to master mathematics, writing and history — and no one teaches math, writing and history like Yale does! But we all know this is fanciful. People don’t cheat because they want to learn more. They cheat to get a diploma from Yale or Stanford — modernity’s preferred passport to great careers and high society. Since I didn’t like the idea of overrating a rare, vivid event, I even managed to downplay it while I capitalized on it: When the FBI went public with this case, many of my Twitter friends declared victory on

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I don’t support scandals, but scandals support me!  Thanks to #CollegeGate, I’m in the next issue of TIME.  Highlights:

Consider why these parents would even desire to fake their kids’ SAT scores. We can imagine them thinking, I desperately want my child to master mathematics, writing and history — and no one teaches math, writing and history like Yale does! But we all know this is fanciful. People don’t cheat because they want to learn more. They cheat to get a diploma from Yale or Stanford — modernity’s preferred passport to great careers and high society.

Since I didn’t like the idea of overrating a rare, vivid event, I even managed to downplay it while I capitalized on it:

When the FBI went public with this case, many of my Twitter friends declared victory on my behalf. Yet truth be told, this salacious scandal proves next to nothing. It just illustrates the obvious. Though we casually talk about our “institutions of higher learning,” little learning is going on.

Read the whole thing.

Bryan Caplan
Bryan Caplan is Professor of Economics at George Mason University and Senior Scholar at the Mercatus Center. He has published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the American Economic Review, the Economic Journal, the Journal of Law and Economics, and Intelligence, and has appeared on 20/20, FoxNews, and C-SPAN. Bryan Caplan blogs on EconLog.

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