An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed 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. Could not be any simpler than that. (Please pass this on) 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.
Can you think of a reason for not sharing this?
Neither could I.
This analogy of “socialism” is strikingly simplistic, frighteningly naïve and dangerously misleading.
First off, this professor is comparing apples to oranges. Capitalism is cannibalistic, the great economic Ponzi scheme, and if you haven’t had a look around you lately, please do. Economies are collapsing all over the show. Education should be regenerative and constructive. Should be.
Secondly, this professor is clearly attacking Barack Obama’s social reforms. WTF is this guy doing swaying political opinion among his students like this? No counter-arguments either? Cheap trick; smells like the Cold War.
But OK, let’s go with this analogy. What would this classroom look like in a capitalistic scenario?
Let’s look at the how these students are getting their grades. You get good grades because you answer questions correctly within the context of the class; students do well because they are able to perform well within the predefined limits of the education system. They are able to manipulate their opinions to align with consensus, and are rewarded for this.
In this system, education is a means to an end: to get rich. Education is not considered an end in itself, it’s not a way for the students to find a meaningful place within their society and to learn how to contribute with purpose to their space and people around them – unless they pursue that education independently, of course.
This system breeds the “me first” mentality, which we see reflected everywhere in our society. This system doesn’t teach compassion, or humility. It perpetuates dog-eat-dog behaviour and contributes to the destruction of community and environment. No wonder we live in a society of people who hate going to work, who live for the weekend and holidays, who are too afraid to admit to yearning for a life where they would never have to work, instead meekly waiting for retirement and politely smiling and saying “thank you” while being fucked by The Man. Do I really need to say this? Money does not equal happiness.
And how are these “hard working” kids being treated? Infinitely better than the rest. The professor tailors the syllabus and pace to the advantage of those who perform best within his system. He pays them more attention and lavishes them with praise. The “non-working”* ones are ignored or ridiculed, treated with impatience, while the successful ones form elitist groups, rife with smugness and disdain. They are the golden kids.
Often the lazy students are physically separated from the rest; presumably if isolated from their counterparts, the clever kids will flourish. What does logic tell us will happen to the other ones? Will their perceived stupidity not also flourish?
The smart ones become the leaders, decision makers, the only heard voices. Their unfair advantage becomes a self-lubricating machine.
No wonder the smart ones were angry about other students reaping benefits that were promised to them alone; how else would an essentially selfish soul respond? Bickering, name-calling and blame are, after all, par for this course.
And why are these students working to excel? Is it for the betterment of their environment and their fellow man? On the contrary, it is to alienate themselves even more and integrate themselves with the system.
Yeah, woohoo capitalism, what a wonderful world you’ve made for us.
I’m no economist, but I’ve had a look around and this much is clear: the current system demands that there are N times poor people for every rich person, it is built into capitalism. After all, who is going to clean your mansion for slave wages as you drive off in your Hummer to your job you hate? (Bad example.)
One look at that hallowed bell curve – incidentally also used by schools and universities to measure their own success – proves this point; the curve is a little too sharp and steep on one end for comfort, from where I’m sitting. It’s time to redefine prosperity to include all people as well as the natural environment; it’s time to let go of financial wealth as an indicator of success – all it really does is buffer us from the reality of life on this planet; it’s time to really understand that all money is debt. The idea is not for half the people to do the work; the idea is for all the people to do the work for our common good and for our own individual genuine fulfilment, but as long as the prevailing system balances (precarious as it is) only when two-thirds of all its members suffer and lose, we are all fucked, my friends.
*I think the man working in the mine for 15 hours a day for minimum wage will have something to say about the concept of hard work.