Quotas are economically efficient!

Alternate title: “Fun and Frolic on the Beaches of the Just-So Land”

(from the Annals of Just-So Theories, May 2006)

Introduction: In this paper, we propose a simple (heck, it’s even simplistic!) model to show that quotas are economically efficient.

Model: Consider two students A-1 and A-20 who are about to enter college. Let their intellectual abilities be similar (that’s why we use the symbol A to designate them!). However, assume that A-1 comes from a disadvantaged group (compared to A-20), and possesses a smaller amout of ‘social capital’ (networks, support system, contacts, what have you) than A-20.

Consider now two colleges Q and Z. Let’s assume that Q has global brand equity, and Z is another one of those run-of-the-mill colleges. Let the cost per student borne by the society be $50,000 for College Q, and $10,000 for College Z.

Now, assume that education in College Q — somehow! — compensates students such as A-1 for any lack of social capital they start out with, while education in College Z does not possess this wonderful property.

Thus, both A-1 and A-20 will get the same benefit from College Q; let’s say it’s $70,000. On the other hand, A-1 (with lower social capital) benefits from College Z to the tune of $20,000, while A-20 gets $50,000 from his education in College Q the same college (Z).

Results: It’s easy now to prove that the combination of A-1 studying at College Q and A-20 studying at College Z produces a higher net benefit to the society (for the same cost: after all, the society spends the same amount of $60,000). This combination produces a net gain to society of $60,000, while the reverse combination (of A-1 at Z and A-20 at Q) produces only $30,000. QED!

Discussion: I am sure some readers are wondering why we have made these specific assumptions. Why, they are ‘just so’! For one thing, they are not unreasonable, and are certainly plausible; more importantly, their virtue lies in the fact that they are less implausible than some of the other models (one of them can be found right at the end of this post by Atanu Dey) in the intellectual market for ‘just-so’ ideas.

Conclusion: Quotas are economically efficient!

* * *

Update: Added the link to Atanu Dey’s post, following this post over at my main blog.

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8 thoughts on “Quotas are economically efficient!

  1. “Thus, both A-1 and A-20 will get the same benefit from College Q; let’s say it’s $70,000. On the other hand, A-1 (with lower social capital) benefits from College Z to the tune of $20,000, while A-20 gets $50,000 from his education in College Q.”

    The last one should be college Z.

  2. Krish: This model-huilding exercise is great fun! Everybody should try it. Barbarindian has, and he/she too admits that it’s great fun.

    Barbarindian: Thanks for pointing out the typos. They have been corrected.

  3. Missing ‘no-vote’ form disappoints voters
    http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1252030&c=1&#comments

    9899223732 – Jain

    India is abounding with Hindu haters (read Brahmin haters). These genocidal maniacs and freaks, driven by self-generated hatred have no use for facts and figures. Nor do they care to produce facts and figures in support of whatever comes out of their pea-sized brains. These morons would have come across scores of people in their lives. Through their miserable eyes they would have seen events unfolding every minute. They don’t want to believe what they have seen or heard. They have no interest in their own experiences of dealing with other humans. That, constitution, courts, police, law-enforcement machinery, etc exist is irrelevant to them. But what they are extremely interested in is something called “manusmriti” compiled in some unknown century. They will go on, and on and on about manu’s prescription on various issues, in particular about the necessity “to pour molten lead or oil into the ears” of some xxx person, if he had overheard the “Vedas” being recited. Not even for a minute will these morons think whether it has ever been done in the past one thousand years. They would not pause to even think whether they had themselves witnessed a “molten lead pouring” incident in the fifty-sixty years of their hate-filled lives, nor would they have asked anyone whether they in turn had witnessed such an incident.

    Now, let us seriously consider whether it is at all possible to indulge in a “molten lead pouring” activity.

    Is lead so cheap and so easily available that anyone can go and procure it? With a melting point of 327° C and boiling point of 1755° C, can it be melted so easily? Are all “vedapathashalas” keeping a furnace burning perpetually to keep lead in a perpetual state of liquid form? And, how much lead can be poured into a person’s ears?

    But the beauty of the whole thing is that it requires a “King” to order “molten lead or oil or some other chemical” to be poured into the ears of some xxx person. For that, first we would have to appoint a King who in turn will have to appoint lakhs of people to keep track of all those supposedly not entitled to hear the “Vedas”. Appointing a King would necessarily require overthrowing the constitution, the elected governments and defeating the army and other security forces. Can all this be done? No. No. No.

    There are several other important facts that we must consider. In several states, “vedapathashalas” based on reservation, admit students (for priestly jobs) who are allegedly not supposed to hear the “Vedas”. Have we heard that any attempt has even been made to pour “molten lead” into their ears? If we are believe these Hindu-hating morons and imbeciles, it would seem that the Govt is actually setting up a situation for conducting the “lead pouring” activity!!! Certainly, such an activity would be an act of unparalleled cruelty!!!

    The other fact is that many “pundits” openly through the medium of television not only chant the “Vedas” but also explain their meanings. Their preachings/tutorials are available to the people at large through video recordings, cassettes, books etc. Do these activities not contradict “manu’s” alleged prescription?

    Another fact is, in most temples all human beings are allowed entry. They not only witness the rituals but also get to hear the “mantras/slokas” being chanted by the priests and others who know them. Have we heard or seen the “lead pouring activity” take place. Has anyone even suggested such a thing? The answer is an emphatic NO.

    But all such evidences are useless for the Hindu-haters.

    That is why we must necessarily conclude that those who quote the “molten lead must be poured” stuff are either mentally-retarded morons or suffering from dangerous levels of genocidal malice and self-cultivated hatred.
    =========================================================================
    Vishnusmriti, Chapter V: Law of Debt
    …If a (low-born) man through pride give instruction (to a member of the highest caste) concerning his duty, let the king order hot oil to be dropped into his mouth

    …If a (low-born man) mentions the name or caste of a superior revilingly, an iron pin, ten inches long, shall be thrust into his mouth (red hot).

    …If one who (being a member of the Kandâla or some other low caste) must not be touched, intentionally defiles by his touch one who (as a member of a twice-born caste) may be touched (by other twice-born persons only), he shall be put to death

    …If a woman in her courses (touches such a person), she shall be lashed with a whip [23].

    It is easy to understand from these translated excerpts of the Vishnusmriti why caste based discrimination is attached to Hinduism, as it explicitly discriminates against a person of a lower caste. However, one can immediately spot the glaring contradictions between the ‘shruti’ texts and the ‘smriti’ texts; that the ‘shruti’ texts which contain the original and purest forms of Hindu teachings have not in any way instructed the discrimination or the ill-treatment against an individual of a lower social order, nor did it in most ways passed absolute law or judgement against a particular behaviour.

    This is as opposed to the ‘Vishnusmriti’ which although believed to have derived is authority from the Vedas, is marred by an obvious slight towards the higher castes which is uncharacteristic of the original Hindu teachings. Perhaps not surprising considering that the Dharmasastra was composed by Brahmin scholars, for the convenience and the benefit of the Brahmins themselves. The pristine, pure and simple religious tenets that were protected and taught by the Brahmins who were supposed to preserve these messages have made it increasingly obscure and forced the nation [India] into sacerdotal slavery [24].

    (A complete list of references will be published at the end of the final part (Part VII) of this article)

    =========================================================
    For decades, individuals and groups (masquerading as social justice activists) have found the centuries-old “manusmriti” a veritable treasure house to abuse a section of the Hindus, Hinduism and the nation itself and to secure supremacist rights. But in selectively quoting from the “manusmriti” even a commonsense approach is not adopted. One wonders whether there exists any grey matter in their heads.

    Of the many English-translated prescription of “manusmriti” found on their websites, let us consider only one –

    “…If a (low-born man) mentions the name or caste of a superior revilingly, an iron pin, ten inches long, shall be thrust into his mouth (red hot).”

    To begin with let us consider the instrument “an iron pin, ten inches long” that is to be thrust into the mouths of the supposed “low born”. The word “pin” has several meanings. Is it a rolling pin with which we roll chapathis or is it the pin that is commonly used to attach sheets of paper? “Manu” did not make this clear, and since the people responsible for “thrusting” the pin were not clear either, probably that is why, we have never heard of a “pin” having been thrust into the mouths of an alleged low-born!

    Now, let us suppose that the “pin” in question is the one with which we attach sheets of paper. Is such a pin available in the market? Has anyone thus far seen such a “pin”? Yes, we have seen iron pins one to two inches long, but ten inches? Probably, it would have to be specifically manufactured!!! Since such a pin has not been available, probably that is why, we have never heard of a “pin” having been thrust into the mouths of an alleged low born!

    Another reason why there is no recorded case of a “pin” having been thrust into the mouth of supposed “low born” is that “Manu” forgot to specify the pin’s “thickness”!!! Since, the thickness was not known, naturally, the gentlemen incharge of “thrusting” did not know which pin to thurst and probably that is why there is no evidence of any pin (that too ten inches long) having been thrust into the mouths of …men!!! For that “manu” would surely have to be reborn!!!

    Now let us consider the quotation itself “…If a (low-born man) mentions the name or caste of a superior revilingly, an iron pin, ten inches long, shall be thrust into his mouth (red hot).”

    The “red hot” portion is added as an afterthought, that too in brackets! Probably, “manu” wrote it that way!!!

    The quotation actually conveys the impression that “an iron pin, ten inches long” should be thrust when the mouth is “red hot”!!! Probably, pre-heating is required and since the concept of pre-heating did not exist then, the ten-inch pin of indeterminate thickness was never thrust into the mouths of any men!!!

    Now let us come to the issue of who are the “low born”. There is no definition of who are the low-born or the high-born. But there are some clues available. Traditionally, the scriptures have been used to launch hate campaigns against the Hindus, who may be Brahmins, Banias etc. One should therefore conclude that they are not the alleged “low born”. Needless, to say, neither the Brahmins nor the Banias are proclaiming themselves to be either “low born” or “high born”.

    Now let us consider the issue of an alleged “low born” mentioning the name or caste of a superior “revilingly,”.

    The hate-brahmin movement started nearly a century ago in different parts of the country and is growing ferociously with each passing day. There are thousands of web-sites that glowingly eulogise such anti-social exterminationist movements. The media and various other so-called “progressive” elements instead of condemning and feeling ashamed of such irrational hate- campaigns, approvingly refer to such movements as “anti-caste” movements.

    During the past one hundred years all kinds of illegal, anti-constitutional and derogatory ‘labels’ have been invented and pasted on the hapless victims of the so-called anti-caste movements, some of which are “upper caste”, “forward caste”, “oppressors”, “schemers”, “wily”, “Brahmin dog” etc. (Considering the above, the word “reviling” is surely a mild word!)

    Such sustained campaigns and the supremacist rights secured from such campaigns has (a) denied lakhs of innocent citizens of their right to education and livelihood; (b) driven them out from their homes and the nation resulting in the loss of their citizenship; and (c) caused demographic changes, like the one witnessed in Kashmir.

    And who has carried out such “reviling” and “revolting” campaigns? It is best left unsaid…Needless to say, the concept of “low born” is a self-proclaimed one.

    But, despite one hundred years of such sustained “atrocities” (euphemistically called “anti-caste” movements, which actually made “caste” the only basis of governmental functioning), there is no evidence that “an iron pin, ten inches long” has been thrust into the mouths of any “low born man”!!!

    Yet the vicious campaign continues.

  4. For decades, individuals and groups (masquerading as social justice activists) have found the centuries-old “manusmriti” a veritable treasure house to abuse a section of the Hindus, Hinduism and the nation itself and to secure supremacist rights. But in selectively quoting from the “manusmriti” even a commonsense approach is not adopted. One wonders whether there exists any grey matter in their heads.

    Of the many English-translated prescription of “manusmriti” found on their websites, let us consider only one –

    “…If a (low-born man) mentions the name or caste of a superior revilingly, an iron pin, ten inches long, shall be thrust into his mouth (red hot).”

    To begin with let us consider the instrument “an iron pin, ten inches long” that is to be thrust into the mouths of the supposed “low born”. The word “pin” has several meanings. Is it a rolling pin with which we roll chapathis or is it the pin that is commonly used to attach sheets of paper? “Manu” did not make this clear, and since the people responsible for “thrusting” the pin were not clear either, probably that is why, we have never heard of a “pin” having been thrust into the mouths of an alleged low-born!

    Now, let us suppose that the “pin” in question is the one with which we attach sheets of paper. Is such a pin available in the market? Has anyone thus far seen such a “pin”? Yes, we have seen iron pins one to two inches long, but ten inches? Probably, it would have to be specifically manufactured!!! Since such a pin has not been available, probably that is why, we have never heard of a “pin” having been thrust into the mouths of an alleged low born!

    Another reason why there is no recorded case of a “pin” having been thrust into the mouth of supposed “low born” is that “Manu” forgot to specify the pin’s “thickness”!!! Since, the thickness was not known, naturally, the gentlemen incharge of “thrusting” did not know which pin to thurst and probably that is why there is no evidence of any pin (that too ten inches long) having been thrust into the mouths of …men!!! For that “manu” would surely have to be reborn!!!

    Now let us consider the quotation itself “…If a (low-born man) mentions the name or caste of a superior revilingly, an iron pin, ten inches long, shall be thrust into his mouth (red hot).”

    The “red hot” portion is added as an afterthought, that too in brackets! Probably, “manu” wrote it that way!!!

    The quotation actually conveys the impression that “an iron pin, ten inches long” should be thrust when the mouth is “red hot”!!! Probably, pre-heating is required and since the concept of pre-heating did not exist then, the ten-inch pin of indeterminate thickness was never thrust into the mouths of any men!!!

    Now let us come to the issue of who are the “low born”. There is no definition of who are the low-born or the high-born. But there are some clues available. Traditionally, the scriptures have been used to launch hate campaigns against the Hindus, who may be Brahmins, Banias etc. One should therefore conclude that they are not the alleged “low born”. Needless, to say, neither the Brahmins nor the Banias are proclaiming themselves to be either “low born” or “high born”.

    Now let us consider the issue of an alleged “low born” mentioning the name or caste of a superior “revilingly,”.

    The hate-brahmin movement started nearly a century ago in different parts of the country and is growing ferociously with each passing day. There are thousands of web-sites that glowingly eulogise such anti-social exterminationist movements. The media and various other so-called “progressive” elements instead of condemning and feeling ashamed of such irrational hate- campaigns, approvingly refer to such movements as “anti-caste” movements.

    During the past one hundred years all kinds of illegal, anti-constitutional and derogatory ‘labels’ have been invented and pasted on the hapless victims of the so-called anti-caste movements, some of which are “upper caste”, “forward caste”, “oppressors”, “schemers”, “wily”, “Brahmin dog” etc. (Considering the above, the word “reviling” is surely a mild word!)

    Such sustained campaigns and the supremacist rights secured from such campaigns has (a) denied lakhs of innocent citizens of their right to education and livelihood; (b) driven them out from their homes and the nation resulting in the loss of their citizenship; and (c) caused demographic changes, like the one witnessed in Kashmir.

    And who has carried out such “reviling” and “revolting” campaigns? It is best left unsaid…Needless to say, the concept of “low born” is a self-proclaimed one.

    But, despite one hundred years of such sustained “atrocities” (euphemistically called “anti-caste” movements, which actually made “caste” the only basis of governmental functioning), there is no evidence that “an iron pin, ten inches long” has been thrust into the mouths of any “low born man”!!!

    Yet the vicious campaign continues.

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