So, I've seen this flapping about on Facebook. I've been trying to avoid commenting on political matters on the internet because, what's the point. Even if I awaken some conservative on facebook to how silly their beliefs are, what difference will that make?
I continue to advocate for my own political beliefs through my vote, petitions, and letters to representatives rather than on facebook. That said this particular item caught my eye, and it pissed me off, so I am venting about it here instead.
This is the item in question:
"An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never fai...led a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama's 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 Obama's plan". All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A.... (substituting grades for dollars - something closer to home and more readily understood by all).
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. 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. As the tests proceeded, 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. To their great surprise, ALL FAILED 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. It could not be any simpler than that.
Remember, there IS a test coming up. The 2012 elections.
These are possibly the 5 best sentences you'll ever read and all applicable to this experiment:
1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!
5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation."
This is my take on it:
Someone who defines Obama's policies as Socialism should not be taking economics 101, not teaching it.
The experiment would have been a more accurate depiction of working life in America had he never given the students that worked the hardest any grade at all, while giving straight A's to those who never came to class, seeing as more than 90% of American millionaires are born millionaires--and currently, the education necessary to obtain a high paying job requires most people to take on decades worth of crippling debt.
The idea that one works hard and therefore achieves wealth is mythological. I've known personally people that struggled to put food on the table and pay the rent despite working an average 60 hours a week at three different jobs. We do not reward work in this country, we reward investment. In fact, a recent body of research found that upward economic mobility is far more difficult in the United States than in Europe or Canada.
Achieving wealth through work or innovation does happen,but that is extremely rare, such as with Steve Jobs, for instance. As for Mr. Jobs, if the rest of society was not able to afford IPods, Iphones and what have you--he would have died a pauper. He got a little bit of every Iphone sold, thanks to his employees who designed, built and sold them and the customers that bought them. Wealth trickles up, not down, and unless you are a subsistence farmer in the middle of nowhere,the well being of others in your community will affect your well being.
Human civilization and the human species itself has flourished and survived because of its willingness to cooperate, to form communities in which the stronger elements assist the weak, thereby strengthening the entire society. Without this ethic of mutual support, our society will fail.
The professor's concluding five sentences woud be better described as the most useless and misleading sentences I'll ever read, as they are a complete misrepresentation of how any redsitributive policy has ever functioned. The funny thing about all these debates is that we have tried all these things before, cutting taxes, raising taxes, laissez-faire, redistribution--we know what happens when we do these things, and that history does not support the claims of this professor or many of our political "leaders."