Liam argues that Fordham is "not content to let the market decide which schools are great and which aren't, because when quality counts, the market is often wrong." This post from the New York Times wine blog, which observes that in the unfettered wine market people often choose to drink slop, is supposed to make his case.
I find a flaw in Liam's reasoning. First of all, the point of the Times blog post is not that the market does a poor job of gauging wine quality, but that there are a lot of shoppers in the market who don't care about the quality of the wine they're swilling. Eric Asimov, author of the blog in question, finds a useful analogy in literature:
given the choice, 500 people might legitimately prefer to spend their time with the latest legal drama from John Grisham than with a Thomas Pynchon novel. I might be among them. But what does that prove? By any of the usual standards for assessing an artistic achievement it proves only that few people are willing or able to make the commitment to the Pynchon novel. But to argue that "Porky's'' is better than "Persona'' or that Grisham is better than Pynchon says nothing about achievement or standards and everything about wanting to rationalize one's choices.
In short, most people are familiar with these respective authors' positions on the acknowledged ladder of literary achievement--Pynchon is near the top while Grisham rounds out the bottom...