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# Yet Another Analogy on the Carbon Tax

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We only have 12 years to act before I run out of analogies… Try this one kids: Should Students Support a “Point-Neutral Exam Reform?”Suppose a college math professor is very concerned about the self-esteem of her students, and so declares that for the upcoming exam, she will give each student the average of the actual scores that the class earns. That is, the professor will first grade the exam the normal way, then add up the total points earned by all of the students collectively, then divide the total by the number of students in the class, and finally she will award that result as the score to each student.When the professor announces the rule, at first the students are suspicious, as they have come to distrust anything proposed by adults—especially

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We only have 12 years to act before I run out of analogies…

Try this one kids:

Should Students Support a “Point-Neutral Exam Reform?”

Suppose a college math professor is very concerned about the self-esteem of her students, and so declares that for the upcoming exam, she will give each student the average of the actual scores that the class earns. That is, the professor will first grade the exam the normal way, then add up the total points earned by all of the students collectively, then divide the total by the number of students in the class, and finally she will award that result as the score to each student.

When the professor announces the rule, at first the students are suspicious, as they have come to distrust anything proposed by adults—especially those in authority. However, the professor explains that out of the class of 100 students, there are 10 very high achievers, who get an A+ on every test. Another 87 students are pretty average, who all usually get a C+ through a B on their tests. And finally there are three students who are in danger of flunking, who get an F or a D on their tests.

The students in the class, however, still don’t see where this is going. The professor reminds them that her proposal is—as she calls it—a “point-neutral exam reform.” That is, the professor’s new scheme won’t create or destroy points, but instead will merely redistribute point among the students. The total number of points the students score on their exams, will end up being the total number the professor records in the grade report for the registrar.

However, because of the different patterns in student scoring, the professor predicts that her scheme will mean that 90 percent of the students in the class will receive more points from the scheme than they will forfeit. That is, 90 percent of the students in the class will see their score bumped up after the professor applies the adjustment.

Christian, Austrian economist, and libertarian theorist. Research Prof at Texas Tech and author of *Choice*. Paul Krugman's worst nightmare.