Markets in everything

Wuhan, my hometown in Central China, plans to sell the right to name streets, bridges, public plazas and high-rise buildings to businesses in exchange for money the municipal government desperately needs to make up for a "funding shortage in government operations."

Here is the story, and thanks to Petras Kudaras for the pointer.

Robert Tagorda sends along a story of governments doing the buying rather than the selling:

State leaders have tried for years to get more minority and low-income high school students to take tougher classes. One group Thursday proposed an eye-opening idea: Pay students to take the classes.  The Minnesota Private College Council called on the state to spend $50 million a year to pay eligible high school students who take and pass college-prep classes.

Alex once blogged on Roland Fryer, and paying students to get better grades.


I could get behind paying students to take tough classes, but the media firestorm when the first major corruption scandal involving the program will be a a conventional wisdom pundit's dream.

Tyk, the metric is grades, and schools are already paying that price there.

It's not quite selling the street names, but while in the smallish Russian city of Pushkin (home of one of the Tzar's summer palaces, near St. Petersburg) a few weeks ago I noticed that all the street (not traffic, but the street name and building number) signs had advertisments on them.

I hope they put the naming rights on E-Bay!

Regarding students, there was an old Job Training Partnership Act program trying to get disadvantaged youth through high school. They found some kids who did not have diplomas solely because they had failed to serve the detention time they had been ordered to serve for tardies and unexcused absences. Your tax money paid these kids minimum wage to serve their detentions. They got the diplomas, and the agency bragged about a program that got disadvantaged kids through high school.

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