An economics professor at Texas Tech said he had never failed a single student before but had, once, failed an entire class.
This particular class had insisted that socialism really worked: no one would be poor and no one would be rich, everything would be equal and ‘fair’. The professor then said “Okay, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism. Instead of money, we’ll use your grades.”
All grades were to be averaged and thus would be “fair”. This meant that everyone would receive the same grade, which meant that no one would fail. It also meant, of course, that no one would receive an A…
After the first test the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who had studied hard were upset, but the students who had goofed off were quite happy with the outcome.
As the second test rolled around, the slackers studied even less now - they knew they’d get a good grade anyhow. Those who’d studied hard in the beginning now decided they wanted a free ride too. Thus, going against their own inclinations, they copied the slackers’ habits. As a result, the second test average was a D.
No one was happy.
By the time the third test had been graded, the average was an F.
The scores never increased but bickering, blame, and name calling began to be the environment in which this class operated. It had been their own quest for “fairness” which had led to this unintended result of hard feelings and grievances. In the end, no one was willing to study just for the benefit of everyone else. Therefore, all the students failed…to their great surprise.
The professor explained that their experiment with socialism failed because it was based on the least effort by all. Laziness and resentment were the outcome. There would always be failure in the situation they’d agreed to in the beginning.
“When the reward is great”, he said, “the effort to succeed is great, at least for some. But when government takes all the reward away by taking from some without their consent and giving to others without their effort, then failure is inevitable”.
A war on many fronts
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