Roger’s Rules

A modest proposal to solve the inequities that beset higher education

Education is one of the large issues–along with health care and income redistribution–that Barack Obama has made the centerpiece of his administration. To a large extent, Obama advocates the “Prizes for everyone” philosophy expounded by the Dodo in Alice in Wonderland. I was talking about this with a friend the other day and he had a splendid idea that I hereby share with the public free and for nothing. If the goal is to achieve a more equal society, why don’t we have a Presidential Directive changing the name of every institution of higher education in the United States to “Harvard University.” In order to have the desired effect, employers, graduate schools, etc., would also be prohibited, on pain of being charged with a hate crime, of inquiring which particular branch of Harvard anyone was graduated from. (A further inducement to equality: acceptance at any of the nearly 4000 Harvard campuses across the country would henceforth entail graduation four years later.) Result? Everyone gets the Harvard education we think they deserve.

The philosopher W.S. Gilbert said that “When every one is somebodee,/ Then no one’s anybody!” But he was just a Victorian humorist, out of touch with his inner egalitarian.