Something to think about ...

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had
never failed a single student before but had once failed an entire

That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be
poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class
on socialism. All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive
the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.

The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied
little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had
studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a
free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.
The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all
resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of
anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that
socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great,
the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the
reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

22 thoughts on “Something to think about ...

  1. Normally such an experiment would be written up as an essay in behavioural economics complete with references and citation. That would be more useful than an anecdote.

  2. Don't let those in power fool you with "DoubleThink". We are in a state of "Facism" not "Socialism". This is E-mail blog hype and unaccountable stories from all sides being used against us to placate the masses that don't know the difference. One must know the difference in that this Administration is a continuance of the last - on steriods. Are bank bondholders being protected? Are the wealthy moving offshore? Are foreign investors moving assets back home and taking the Hummer with them? Did we get a taxable check for 100s while the spenders reward their friends by building 3 million dollar dog runs in San Diego, airports with no passengers, Pelosi, et al private 707 planes to go home each weekend, and bridges to contractors that are built to go nowhere? Not only did we not get any of the pie we will pay for, but we have lost the poor paying, for the love of our work, job referred to above.

  3. Funny how the response threads progressively degenerated into slinging and almost defending the word "communism" as well as expressions insinuating that others at the beginning of the thread were talking about the Obama administration. One thing I have noticed about people in our great country(I didn't say our great government or administrations, etc.)have increasingly conveyed and continually harp this emotional angst and panic when things turn bad in economic cycles -whether naturally brought about or "manufactured" -similar to the recent/current mess we're experiencing. Bear in mind that the mood was totally different while things were going great guns and all were happy, giddy, and overspending as a product of this warm, fuzzy emotion. Essentially, they are what I call "fair weather capitalists" and the natural emotion that runs countertrend to the good times is one that makes those believe that if they could just beat the capitalist pigs over the head with their socialist hammer, then pigs will be dead everything will be fine. "Let's just seize and spread around the pigs' money and that'll show 'em...after all we're better spenders than we are money creators, right?
    I might offer something that Margaret Thatcher said after a long experience with and many efforts to make and keep a socialist society chugging along but, alas, gave up...she said:"...the problem with socialism is that, eventually, you run out of other people's money..."

  4. Going back to the original example of the college students, I think the real problem is that these students grew up in a competitive society and had no experience of any kind of notion of feeling compassion for those less fortunate, or offering their labor for the greater good. They grew up with the idea that they have to struggle to be the best, to win the game, and if someone wins, then others must lose, and this means that we as a society have very little tolerance for those less fortunate than us. We can look at the lives of people like Ghandi, Mother Teresa, and even Jesus to find examples to emulate that don't fall into the category of 'I want to be the best and make a lot of money and have lots of influence and power so I can own things and live in a big house and lounge around a pool on an island in the south pacific and have beautiful sex partners any time I want. And I can drive a hummer no matter what it costs and I don't care about the environment or the poor or the starving. I want to float through life on a cushion of money and not have to think about such things unless I really want to' which is perhaps an extreme but not too off the mark representation of what Americans are supposed to want out of life. It's a balancing act. It shifts back and forth. Right now the US is shifting hard left, and dredging up all the worst aspects of socialism/communism, just as it has been expressing all the worst aspects of capitalism for some years. So long as people at large cannot escape from their rigid mindsets and begin to actually think about these things in a productive, rational way, we are in for it. I'm reminded of a song that expresses the ideal I'd like to see gain some popularity in this angry, screwed up world. 'Come on, people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now.' That's my little hopeful dream which I try to live in my own life. What I draw from the example above is that no social system is going to work without a fundamental change of consciousness and values on the part of the majority of humanity, because whatever ideals such systems may propose can always be dragged into the dirt by self-seeking people with bad intentions.

  5. Thank you, Great Communist China, for producing for pennies (=exploitation) all the consumer junk we can't live without!!!!!

    Thank you dulled down American public of supporting the communist regime of China buying their products!!!

    Who said the communism is dead - there are 1.5 billion people living in China - wake up, guys!

  6. thank god socialist parties in india,(CPI, CPI-M) were reduced to insignificant numbers.
    but no matter what anybody try to say these people seem to have some sort of genetic defect, the will never listen to any sane logic.

  7. I find this absurd obsession with the word "socialism" immature and fundamentally incomprehensible.
    Nothing that has been proposed by the current administration even remotely approaches socialism--just ask anyone who has lived in a socialist country. By the way, there are very few left.
    This is an intellectualy lazy concept allowing people who have no other answer or ideas to be critical or appear to be cool.
    Perhaps it would be more useful to analytically examine the "extremist capitalism" policies that resulted in the financial meltdown and develop concepts and ideas to ensure that it does not happen again.
    This idea of "socialism" seems to be the result of the screeching of the talk radio fools. Leave it on the lunatic fringe, please!

  8. Not that i needed it, but one more confirmation that Economists are as useful as tits on a bull.

  9. That is a strange definition and application of socialism.

    The definition I was taught was; "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need." It is not at all about equality of reward it is about not exploiting people.

    Who says that the contribution to the success of an enterprise depends more on those with seniority and position, the generally "non-productive" workers, than the lower ranked and remunerated "productive" workers? Is the comptroller applying his skills and knowledge working harder than the labourer in the shipping department? Is his effort proportional to his remuneration? Would the enterprise be as sucessfull/profitible if one or the other were absent for a week or month?

    We all know executives and practicing professionals that have built their career from the success of their secretary or administrative assistant and professors/researchers from the efforts of their students. Their success and survival comes from exploiting others.

  10. I'm confused-- why is this communist fairytale being discussed? Who of ANY consequence is a communist? Communism is dead (as it should be). But really-- you might as well tell us your favorite scene from Jurassic Park, it would be of similar relevance.

    Riddle me this-- why does the "right" tirelessly paint the "left" as communist? Comparing the right to fascism is just as accurate. Those on the right need to wake up a realize that this country voted for a Democrat to be in the White House, DEAL WITH IT. Enough! No, REALLY, E-N-O-U-G-H! The age of decisiveness is over, and now the right is lost, and the left is LOVING IT 🙂

    1. Communism is simply Socialism enforced. By the way, Sir, tell me how Obamaism differs from fascism

  11. socialism is a turns people into zombies.AND IT BRINGS MISERY EVERYWHERE IT IS TRIED.

  12. That example describes socialism to a tee. What do you mean? I've heard that the younger generation has embraced the idea. Wait until they start making a little more cheese for their nest building and watch their neighbor get their cheese for free..

    I can't stand traffic never mind waiting in line for my cheese

  13. If that isn't an example of socialism I don't know what is? Socialism doesn't work. period...!

    I hate traffic never mind waiting in line for my cheese

  14. Surprised,

    Thank you for your feedback. I believe if you work hard you should be rewarded.

    I believe if you study hard you should get ahead.

    To remove rewards or incentives is not a system I can relate to.

    All the best to you.


    1. Presumably, the socialist would argue that there are whole classes of people who work extremely hard and do essential jobs in our society (teachers, nurses, ambulence drivers, carers...), who are not sufficiently or satisfactorily 'rewarded' for their labour: their work is its own reward, one hopes, but let's not question their commitment, because they earn less than an employee of Goldman Sachs.
      Conversely, millions of people are handsomely 'rewarded', who contribute nothing of significance and indeed, even have a menacing influence on the social fabric. Think of the former head of The Royal Bank of Scotland, who was 'rewarded' with millions in compensation, and yet who, by any valuation, was negligent and incompetent.
      Your equation of money with success, and of labour with reward, is insidious and fallacious.
      The socialist would argue (presumably), not that we are all 'equal' or 'the same' (whatever that means), but that we each have our own contribution to make and that we should all be equally valued. The socialist's point is that people work hard and are not rewarded, and that the profits of their labour are often creamed off by others, such is the nature of things.
      And what does 'getting ahead' mean? Is the ambulence driver who might one day save your life (but who earns a fraction of what you do) a mere stepping stone for your ascent? Please!
      The problem with the professor's political philosophy is that he thinks an 'A' constitutes a 'reward for hard work', which it might do, but doesn't of necessity. (I cruised A-grades in subjects I was good at and laboured fruitlessly in subjects I wasn't). It is typical of the sterility of the professor's world-view that he thinks an A-grade is the only reward one can get from his classes.

      1. Let see by your logic If I were to go to medical school and earned D & F grade points based on my test scores. Those grades should be adjusted up because I tried real hard. Eventually receive a diploma and go on to practice brain or open heart surgery. Fail miserably, i.e. 80%+ fatalities. But that would be O.K. by you. You knowing this I suppose you would seek me out as your doctor.

        1. well mike, if you were a student of mine, I'd certainly fail you (and without a qualm), although you no doubt tried hard, because I'll think you'll find, if you re-read my post, that I never said anything about marking people up who have failed to make the grade. (If somebody chooses to be a doctor, then he had better know what he was doing. If he doesn't, he should find something else to do.) I never said anyone should be given the same mark, and I never said everyone should be marked up for trying hard. (He should be marked up for doing well.) I never used the phrase 'adjusted up' and I never said a bad doctor was ok. Not only did I not say these things, I didn't imply them. Rather, I was questioning the simplistic equation with 'hard work' and 'rewards', and suggesting that those who work hard often don't get their just rewards, while conversely, those who are rewarded well often don't deserve it. I dind't say this was always the case, but I did say it was often the case.

      2. "The socialist would argue (presumably), not that we are all ‘equal’ or ‘the same’ (whatever that means), but that we each have our own contribution to make and that we should all be equally valued."
        The socialist are trying to claim that everyone is equal, except of course for the ones who are in control. They deserve the riches in their opinion. Every Regular-Joe in society should then have to work hard and stand in a bread line and take what they are given with a smile. I am sorry, but it didn't work in Russia, It didn't work in Poland or any of the other communist countries. So what makes you think it would work here. This country is more selfish and corrupt--just look at our politicians, who are taking over control of everything right now.
        Socialism is failure--it is a great concept, but it is failure. And yes, the professor's case simplifies it, but look at the increase of participants on welfare over the last several decades--more lazy people expecting fewer people--due to the baby boomers aging out--to do more. Why should someone work hard if they are going to be told what to do, when to do it, and what little reward they will get no matter what their effort? All while they sit and watch their rulers eat $100 a pound Kobe Beef.

  15. I hope the level of discussion here is higher than this poorly thought out logical farce.

    This is a poor example. You are against Socialism. that is your right. This example does not disprove that system, it sets a impossible criteria and establishes a phony conclusion based on that criteria.

    I wonder about your intention.

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