By Jamie Quanrud and Peter M. Vessenes of American Citizens for Economic Freedom (http://truecapitalism.org/).
In April 2011, students at the University of California-Merced were asked if they would be willing to sign a petition that would allow the redistribution of their GPAs to students having trouble fulfilling graduation requirements. Those students with an “excessive” GPA of 4.0 would have a reduction to a 3.8 and the extra 0.2 points would be given to a less privileged student unable to satisfy the school’s academic requirements.
Similar questions were asked to students at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois in October 2009, only this time the proposal was to support the Academic Redistribution and Reinvestment Act. This proposal would allow students with a GPA of 4.0 to be assessed 30%, and then 1.2 points of their GPA would be added to the general academic bank account and redistributed to all students with a 2.0 GPA or lower. The GPA of all students would then average out to approximately 2.7 and all would be able to graduate. This is only fair, right?
How did students in both examples respond when asked what they thought of these proposals? One student responded by saying, “Why do I have to sacrifice my grade-point average if I am doing my work?” Another student said, “This isn’t fair, I work for what I have!”
In contrast, when these same students were asked about taxing the top wage earners in the country to redistribute that wealth to the poor, they agreed this was fair. They have a personal connection to their own hard earned GPAs, but identifying with the category of wage earners that have a portion of their wealth redistributed was a different story. It’s a lot easier to distribute what isn’t yours!
Just as grades are an indication of performance, so is your income. If these petitions to structure redistribution of grades were enacted, they would be emulating the federal tax structure – tax the rich to help those in the lower income brackets. Imagine if more people reacted to the redistribution of wealth by the Federal Government the same way the students did when asked to redistribute their excessive GPA points!
If someone is not reaching “an acceptable standard of life,” Progressives believe that somehow they know how to determine this, and it is up to the government to make sure it is provided. The government acts like a liberal college student, with the attitude that it’s much easier to redistribute someone else’s money and to make sure that people’s needs are being met.
In 2009, the polling firm Ayers-McHenry asked polling respondents to choose the statement about government policies which came close to their views: “Government policies should promote fairness by narrowing the gap between rich and poor, spreading the wealth, and making sure that economic outcomes are more equal;” or “Government policies should promote opportunity by fostering job growth, encouraging entrepreneurs, and allowing people to keep more of what they earn.” The second statement, “Government policies should promote opportunity…” was chosen by 63% over the first option. Government promoting “fairness” was chosen by 31% of polling respondents.
Do you believe that when the Federal Government participates in redistributing wealth by taking from those who have acquired more than some, that prosperity is attained? Not only does the redistribution of wealth not guarantee an equal opportunity for everyone, it actually minimizes the economic freedoms of individuals and families. People are not able to provide for their families in the ways they would like to when the government takes money out of their pockets, and redistributes it as they see fit.
Benjamin Franklin had an understanding regarding the ability of money to deliver satisfaction to a person’s life. He stated, “Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.” 4 If money without earned success does not bring happiness, then redistributing money won’t make for a happier America. The key to happiness is through success, as opposed to simply getting more money.
Government’s goal can once again be to give all Americans the greatest opportunities possible to succeed based on their own hard work and merit.4 This idea was central to the Founding Father’s vision for this country. It is time to return to that vision, and vote for the leaders who will support great opportunity so the income of all working Americans will truly reflect hard earned success.
 GPA Redistribution: Day 1 [Video] - www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpV9FPRQmck
 AEI.org “Spreading the Wealth’ Isn’t Fair” - http://www.aei.org/article/politics-and-public-opinion/polls/spread...
 AEI.org “The Secret to Human Happiness is Earned Success” - http://www.aei.org/article/social-and-culture/the-secret-to-human-h...