Spreading the wealth
Sugar in Your Gas Tank
Issue date: 8/27/10 Section: Opinion
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I used to think that wealthy Americans were just like any other Americans: ordinary and hard-working. However, I now believe liberals are right to think the wealthy deserve to pay more to support the unlucky. Liberals are right: the people who support the system should not be the ones who actually use the system, since they are lucky enough to not need to use the system to support themselves. And by "system" I mean the current progressive tax scheme and welfare programs. Those who actually use this system should not be obligated to contribute to its funding at a rate comparable to the wealthy. The rich, entitled class should be obligated to pay higher taxes because they earn more than the "average" salary.
After this new school of thought entered my head, I had a great idea: why not apply our current tax system to academics? My proposal is for universities such as Case Western to implement a new form of grading: the progressive grade tax. There are countless hard-working students at CWRU, but not all of them are able to achieve passing grades. Sadly, some students struggle to remain in good academic standing despite considerable errort. Maybe their failures lie in bad luck. Maybe a below-average professor or an overly subjective grading system is to blame. Whatever the reason, some students are simply left behind while others have over a 3.0 GPA. Is it really fair that some maintain such a high GPA when some unfortunate students work just has hard but struggle to reach a 2.0? As a member of the upper classes in terms of grades, I feel the burden to help the struggling student, and believe that every student in my position should feel the same. My proposal is to institute a grade tax system similar to the current progressive income tax system. Everyone who achieves between a 3.8 and a 4.0 should be taxed 35 percent of their grade points, and those points should be redistributed to those with GPAs below 2.0. Those with GPAs between 3.6 and 3.8 would be taxed 30 percent, and so on. This system would ensure that struggling students would remain in good standing with the university. Even though some students with high GPAs earn them, students with lower GPAs work just as hard, if not harder, than the students with high GPAs. And even students with higher GPAs work a little harder than those with lower ones, they should feel obligated to help their fellow students. If good academic standing is a 2.0, then why does anyone need a 3.5? Those extra 1.5 GPA points could go to someone who truly needs it.
Tiffany Oliver is a third-year history and political science major with a public policy minor. She is a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta women's fraternity.