Thursday, August 23, 2012

Federal Exams

Prospective foreign service officers, air traffic controllers, Army privates, and even postal carriers all have to take a written test.

Wouldn't it be interesting if candidates for Congress, and, why not, the Presidency, had to take a test as well?

I suppose it wouldn't be Constitutional to eliminate candidates based on their performance on the test, but it would certainly be interesting if their answers were released.  A lot more fun to read than watching an extra debate.

The test ought to cover basic science, math, economics, finance, law, world geography, international affairs, the federal budget.

Nothing politically controversial, just the facts, or questions that any first-year college course might cover.


"If you demand a 10% annual return on your investment, how much would you be willing to pay today for an asset that would be worth $100 in seven years? [No calculator allowed.]"

"State, in dollars, the amount of foreign aid that the US government provided in 2011. Provide a range such that you are 90% sure that the actual amount falls within the range."

"Whether you subscribe to the theory or not, explain to the best of your ability Darwin's theory of evolution and natural selection."

"If the unemployment rate one month ago was 8.3%, and the economy has added 100,000 jobs over the past month, then what is the unemployment rate today? [Assume that that there is zero net additions to the total labor pool.]"

"State to the best of your ability the requirements to receive 'welfare' today. State which specific federal programs you are referring to when you explain 'welfare.' State, in dollars, how much the average family of four receives on a monthly basis from each program that you mention."

The tests wouldn't even need to be graded.  Just post their answers.

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