Paying for Performance

The inestimable Rum Smuggler contacted me via private channels to point out Paying for Performance from the Marginal Revolution.

Every three weeks students are tested and if they improve they are paid on the order of $20.  Control groups are also tested.  Early results are very encouraging.  No other reform has anywhere near the bang for the buck as paying the students.

But that’s … that’s so **easy**! Instead of paying the monopolist government school bureaucrats more, pay the kids.

Whiny nosy Mrs Grundy sniffs, “Outrageous; they should they learn for the joy of learning.” In a perfect world, that’s true — but they must be taught the long-term joy with short-term rewards. If we must coax the thirsty to water with gold, then we will quench their thirst just as surely as if we had browbeaten them toward it with “it’s for your own good, you’ll thank me later” … and maybe with more success.

Americans for Fair Tax

Visit the Americans for Fair Tax site right now. It’s essentially a 24% national sales tax with a very high “deductible” (effectively, you don’t have to pay it if you are at or below poverty level). Here’s a thumbnail sketch:

The FairTax is a federal retail sales tax that replaces the entire federal income and Social Security tax systems, including personal, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security/Medicare, self-employment, and corporate taxes. The FairTax allows Americans to keep 100 percent of their paychecks (minus any state income taxes), ends corporate taxes and compliance costs hidden in the retail cost of goods and services, and fully funds the federal government while fulfilling the promise of Social Security and Medicare.

But what about the poor? They fare better under the Fair Tax than they do under the current system. Seriously. Read it and sign up.