If you’re baffled by college students’ enthusiastic support for Soviet-lite economic policies, you need to watch several short videos created by members of Young America’s Foundation (YAF).
In the videos, YAF members approach their classmates with a petition calling for the redistribution of student GPAs. “It would make it so that all students have an equal opportunity to go to grad school,” University of Oregon YAFer Kenny Crabtree explains. Students with bad grades would therefore be entitled to points earned by straight-A students.
Their classmates are flabbergasted.
“Is that, like, a joke or something?” one guy responds.
“Why would you take points from people who are higher up and give them to people who didn’t meet the requirements?” another asks George Mason University YAFers. But when asked if he supports Obama’s wealth redistribution schemes, he says “yes.”
Shocking? Not really. As I pointed out in my March 30 column, most college students are economically illiterate. When quizzed by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute about basic concepts, such as supply and demand, the average student’s score was 53 percent. And since most don’t work or pay taxes (only 46 percent of full-time students have jobs), they simply have no idea how capitalism works.
But they do understand grades. Students who study hard get good grades; students who skip class and binge drink every night get bad grades. Some struggle with difficult material, but with enough effort (attending office hours, seeing a tutor) most can maintain a decent GPA. Every sane college student realizes the immorality of “spreading the grades around”—regardless of who benefits.
And it makes their rationales for supporting socialism interesting.
“I don’t think people who worked for their grades should have to suffer because someone else slacked off,” one student says. Then how can she believe in wealth redistribution? “Money is different.” Another explains, “Earning money is not the same as earning grades.” O-kay.
Again, this is typical. Day in and day out, professors indoctrinate students with hatred for the greedy “rich”—which, under our tax code, includes a lot of middle-class families just like theirs, who struggle to pay the mortgage and college tuition. They’re taught to believe that people who don’t work are entitled to endless welfare benefits financed by the productive class. But when it comes to redistributing grades they earned, they don’t support it.
There is some hope for the future. As several of my fellow Townhall columnists have pointed out, most people who support Obama’s plan to “spread the wealth around” either don’t pay income taxes or are too rich to care. (And some of Obama’s biggest supporters, including Senators John Kerry and Ted Kennedy, are living off inherited money earned by somebody else.) As soon as these students become productive business owners and professionals, they won’t want the Democrats confiscating money they worked for.
“It’s amazing how students only care about the immorality of socialism when it hurts them,” said George Mason University student Alyssa Cordova. Her classmates were universally opposed to a GPA redistribution plan.
Now, if we could just convince Ted Kennedy and John Kerry that we need to implement a “mansion redistribution plan” or “private jet redistribution plan,” we could abolish Obama-style socialism altogether.
Continued in Part II