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She Earned an F

Here’s a letter that I just sent to the Wall Street Journal:

Hillary Clinton wants government to temporarily “freeze rate hikes in adjustable-rate mortgages” (“Let’s Keep People In Their Homes,” September 25).

The Senator’s reasoning is akin to that of weak students who – offering excuses such as “My grandma died” – ask me to change their grades. I always refuse by saying that grades are like market prices: they reflect an underlying reality. Were I to change a student’s grade arbitrarily, I wouldn’t change his actual performance in my class or his command of the material. I would merely send to the world a false signal about him, and encourage him to rely on such excuses in the future.

As a teacher, I can’t make students smarter simply by lying about the grades they’ve earned. As a Senator, Ms. Clinton can’t make housing more affordable simply by forcing mortgage terms to lie about the reality of high risks and scarce credit that are reflected by unregulated mortgage-interest rates.

Donald J. Boudreaux