Wednesday, January 7, 2009

How to measure value

Let’s talk about Harvard. Because Harvard graduates are successful it must be the case that Harvard is an outstanding institution. This ignores the fact that they accept only the best students in the first place. We should evaluate Harvard not on the intrinsic worth of their students but on the value added to those students.

This leads to a grave misconception about society and government. The misconception is that good government makes for a good society. This is fundamentally wrong. The reality is that society precedes government and no government, no matter how brilliantly executed, can transform a group of scoundrels into gentleman. Good governments, like good institutions, add value to the societies they represent.

Now the fundamental question is no longer, what type of government is necessary for a fair and just society but what government takes a fair and just society and adds the most value to it?


Geoff said...

Right on!

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