Cordato’s Law:

Using reductio ad absurdum argument against leftists tends to fail. Leftists are not only quicker than you to conceive absurd ends, but also they probably have already reached or surpassed them, rendering your argument moot.

Basically, you ultimately can’t outdo a practiced illogician on his own turf. (That would be related to the old adage, “Never argue with a fool — they will drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.”)

Back in 2009, for example, I tried to illustrate the president’s faulty economics by putting them in the classroom. Good grades, like income, are earned through hard work or natural ability or some combination. Taking from those who earned them to give to those who haven’t will not only discourage those who earn good grades, but also encourage the others not to apply themselves any harder and therefore remain mired in a position where they could not earn good grades.

My satire tells of a teacher trying to fix the problem of the class’s poor learning through a series of bad policies:

  • Choosing a grade czar, who redistributes the “extra” grade points from the A students to the rest. Short term: the class posts all B’s. Long term: Parents pull the smarter kids out of the school, and the class average falls.
  • Naming a grade stimulus czar, who borrows the expected good grades from the future to give to the class now, thinking it would stimulate better learning in the present. Short term: the class posts all B’s. Long term: The class average falls when the price comes due in the future and no better learning habits had actually been stimulated.
  • Installing a classroom environment officer, who facilitates trading “grade credits” from those who say they don’t need good or as-good grades to those who do. Result: those who want it get B’s, but the class average is still bad and not showing any signs of improvement.
  • Raising the “minimum wage” (presumably to a “living grade”). Result: everyone gets all A’s…

My main assumption was that it would be so obviously foolish and irrational to treat grades this way that perhaps it would reveal the less obvious but still foolish and irrational treatment of income that way.

Instead, that assumption is what Cordato’s Law has struck down, hard.

The Pope Center has the details from University of Wisconsin at Madison economics (see?) professor W. Lee Hansen, writing in alarm over UW-Madison faculty senate’s newly adopted “diversity” policy, which calls for, among many other things:

proportional participation of historically underrepresented racial-ethnic groups at all levels of an institution, including high status special programs, high-demand majors, and in the distribution of grades.

Presumably, then, the “living grade” notion isn’t far behind, and per Cordato’s Law it’ll be followed by something even more ridiculous that I am fundamentally incapable of dreaming up.