T Nation

Socialism in Action

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 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 would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.

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.

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.

That pretty much sums up socialism.

[quote]StevenF wrote:

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.
[/quote]

Welcome to the future…which is kinda happening now. Sucks

This is what I have been screaming at Ryan P and the Federalist. With Socialism, all productivity comes to a halt, because at the end of the day, no one gives a shit, everyone makes the same money. It is not worth working hard for a raise, because after taxation, you take home 35% of whatever raise you got.

this is an old email , I can not believe any body really believes this, And I do think it is importantant that everyone knows this di not really happen

Socialism is a fail, obviously.

But calling Democrats Socialists is absolutely no different than calling Republicans Fascists. Non whatsoever, and I am willing to defend that statement.

Alot of people push for Social Democracy, and I feel it works. Its country’s (most Western nations fall into this category) where two parties (one left and one right) are consecutively elected, that fall into the vicious cycle of cutting taxes AND creating social programs. By the very nature of democracy people will vote for the programs, increasing costs, then when the subsequent tax increases follow, a shift to the right will occur. Right party will cut taxes, then begin cutting programs, too many people are currently effected by said cuts, then the left party will return to power.

This bi-partisan cycle basically results in what were seeing around the world with 2 party democracies: ballooning debts from tax cuts + “sacred cow” social programs.

[quote]StevenF wrote:
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 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 would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.

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.

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.
[/quote]

This email has been put to bed as false online. Although if put into action, I think this would be the result. Any teachers out there actually willling try this on their students?

The problem is you are removing competition and the incentive for trying. If it was simply 2% worth of the mark of the top 20% of students went to the students who were almost passing then you would end up with a different story.

The top performing students would be annoyed but getting high grades is important to them and it is still possible for them to do well. So they will continue studying hard.

The majority of the class sits slightly above the passing level. Now these students know what it is like to struggle and sometimes fail and think that giving a couple of % for those close to passing is worth it. As such they support the system. After all they might be the ones to get slightly under 50% in the next exam.

The people at the bottom who don’t try at all obviously don’t like the system. They continue to fail. However neither the top performing nor the majority cares about these failures.

Hence social welfare can work. You simply give those who are trying hard but failing a helping hand. Some people get annoyed, but even for them it isn’t a pressing issue.

The system only collapses when you focus your assistance upon the hopeless, i.e. the D- and F students. Sadly in some countries the majority of social welfare goes towards this group.

(Note: This is assuming a somewhat normally distributed class. Countries with a strong middle class and strong work ethic fit the bill).

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
This is what I have been screaming at Ryan P and the Federalist. With Socialism, all productivity comes to a halt, because at the end of the day, no one gives a shit, everyone makes the same money. It is not worth working hard for a raise, because after taxation, you take home 35% of whatever raise you got. [/quote]

But I have told you many times before, that is not socialism. What does any of this have to do with collective ownership of the means of production? Ironically, the situation described here is much closer to capitalism than socialism.

While everyone agrees that punitive tax rates (also referred to as a graduated income tax) slows down the willingness of the rich to take risks and make investments (and, theoretically, ‘drive the economy’), is anyone aware of any research suggesting a point where the economy simply ceases to grow because the tax rate? Not due to economic collapse or cataclysm, but just the tax rate?

[quote]phaethon wrote:
The problem is you are removing competition and the incentive for trying. If it was simply 2% worth of the mark of the top 20% of students went to the students who were almost passing then you would end up with a different story.

The top performing students would be annoyed but getting high grades is important to them and it is still possible for them to do well. So they will continue studying hard.

The majority of the class sits slightly above the passing level. Now these students know what it is like to struggle and sometimes fail and think that giving a couple of % for those close to passing is worth it. As such they support the system. After all they might be the ones to get slightly under 50% in the next exam.

The people at the bottom who don’t try at all obviously don’t like the system. They continue to fail. However neither the top performing nor the majority cares about these failures.

Hence social welfare can work. You simply give those who are trying hard but failing a helping hand. Some people get annoyed, but even for them it isn’t a pressing issue.

The system only collapses when you focus your assistance upon the hopeless, i.e. the D- and F students. Sadly in some countries the majority of social welfare goes towards this group.

(Note: This is assuming a somewhat normally distributed class. Countries with a strong middle class and strong work ethic fit the bill).[/quote]

I am all for helping people that are trying. It is the people that do not try that I have a hard time helping out. Gime gime gime is what they say. I just wish my tax rate was only 2% instead of 25%.

[quote]dmaddox wrote:
I am all for helping people that are trying. It is the people that do not try that I have a hard time helping out. Gime gime gime is what they say. I just wish my tax rate was only 2% instead of 25%.[/quote]

So am I. And to be honest the people who are seriously trying don’t cost too much to support. Simply because sure from time to time they are a drain on welfare, but the majority of their lives they are tax payers (or could afford to be taxpayers). At worst they end up a small cost.

And I’m sick of helping those that don’t help themselves. Almost all of Australias income tax goes out as welfare payments. So basically the 25% income tax I pay all goes towards welfare. The country would be so amazing if that money went towards infrastructure instead.

With 100 billion a year we could easily fix the housing problem in Australia. It would truly make Australia the lucky country (The average new mortgage in Australia is >300,000. $300,000 @ 8% = $24000/yr in interest. It is insane and makes living difficult.) In a short 5 years housing would be cheap and plentiful (note we only have a population of ~22 million).

[quote]Ryan P. McCarter wrote:

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
This is what I have been screaming at Ryan P and the Federalist. With Socialism, all productivity comes to a halt, because at the end of the day, no one gives a shit, everyone makes the same money. It is not worth working hard for a raise, because after taxation, you take home 35% of whatever raise you got. [/quote]

But I have told you many times before, that is not socialism. What does any of this have to do with collective ownership of the means of production? Ironically, the situation described here is much closer to capitalism than socialism.[/quote]

I am in Ryans court this email was not socialism it was idiotsy , it would be like the teacher selling grades claiming it to be capitalism

[quote]pittbulll wrote:

[quote]Ryan P. McCarter wrote:

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
This is what I have been screaming at Ryan P and the Federalist. With Socialism, all productivity comes to a halt, because at the end of the day, no one gives a shit, everyone makes the same money. It is not worth working hard for a raise, because after taxation, you take home 35% of whatever raise you got. [/quote]

But I have told you many times before, that is not socialism. What does any of this have to do with collective ownership of the means of production? Ironically, the situation described here is much closer to capitalism than socialism.[/quote]

I am in Ryans court this email was not socialism it was idiotsy , it would be like the teacher selling grades claiming it to be capitalism[/quote]

I wish my professor was a capitalist. I would have been valadictorian.

I see Ryans points about socialism. On paper it looks really good, but in practice it really sucks because humans are more worried about themselves than the collective ownership of the means of production. Humans always screw up, and they are egocentric. If everyone worked at the same level, had the same intellegence, and the same values/ethics then Socialism works. Capitalism works in this type of environment with humans. Socialism works better in say an ant farm. Socialism has no leader though because everyone is equal. Dictators love using socialism because it keeps the people pasified, but it is the dictator that laughs all the way to the bank.

[quote]Ryan P. McCarter wrote:

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
This is what I have been screaming at Ryan P and the Federalist. With Socialism, all productivity comes to a halt, because at the end of the day, no one gives a shit, everyone makes the same money. It is not worth working hard for a raise, because after taxation, you take home 35% of whatever raise you got. [/quote]

But I have told you many times before, that is not socialism. What does any of this have to do with collective ownership of the means of production? Ironically, the situation described here is much closer to capitalism than socialism.[/quote]

I would argue that means of production includes labor (work). I know that the technical term excludes the human element, however, physical means of production are a product of labor, to own them is to own the fruit of someones labor, in other words their work.

collective ownership of labor is a necessary trait of socialism. In that light, this is socialism. Collective ownership of the means of production for grades (study). It means that the collective owns the total hours of study for the group.

I would also like to point out you left off the other large side of socialism, which is owning not only the means of production but also the means of distribution. So, while it would be more technically correct for the teacher to have have summed the total number of points earned on the test, then had some group decision on who gets how many points, the example was pretty close to socialism in practice, where a political head (the teacher) decides the fair means of distribution.

I guess you don’t really know what socialism even means, who’d have thought.

Please explain to me how socialism is in conflict with human nature (I thought people liked getting paid more for more/better work), and I would also like to know how you reached the conclusion that everyone is equal under socialism.

[quote]phaethon wrote:
The problem is you are removing competition and the incentive for trying. If it was simply 2% worth of the mark of the top 20% of students went to the students who were almost passing then you would end up with a different story.

The top performing students would be annoyed but getting high grades is important to them and it is still possible for them to do well. So they will continue studying hard.

[/quote]

So your saying all we need to do is find out how much we can steal from our top performers without having them quit in frustration of being robbed?

You can shear a sheep multiple times but only skin it once about sums up that philosophy eh?

[quote]Ryan P. McCarter wrote:

Please explain to me how socialism is in conflict with human nature (I thought people liked getting paid more for more/better work), and I would also like to know how you reached the conclusion that everyone is equal under socialism.
[/quote]

It is working wonders for Greece and the rest of Europe. Retirement at the age of 50, crazy pension, govt run health care, 6 weeks paid vacation, 1 year paid maternity leave, and you wonder why the country went bankrupt?

Ryan, this is a great time to travel to Europe, the Euro has dropped alot. Go take a trip, close your twisted books and turn off your TV, go walk the streets of some of those countries.

Funny how Poland is the most Capitalist country of Europe and it does not have this same problem?

[quote]MaximusB wrote:

[quote]Ryan P. McCarter wrote:

Please explain to me how socialism is in conflict with human nature (I thought people liked getting paid more for more/better work), and I would also like to know how you reached the conclusion that everyone is equal under socialism.
[/quote]

It is working wonders for Greece and the rest of Europe. Retirement at the age of 50, crazy pension, govt run health care, 6 weeks paid vacation, 1 year paid maternity leave, and you wonder why the country went bankrupt?

Ryan, this is a great time to travel to Europe, the Euro has dropped alot. Go take a trip, close your twisted books and turn off your TV, go walk the streets of some of those countries.

Funny how Poland is the most Capitalist country of Europe and it does not have this same problem?

http://www.nuwireinvestor.com/articles/polands-economy-is-thriving-as-europes-most-capitalist-country-54961.aspx[/quote]

You have to admitt America is not so far behind EU

First of all, I’m not a socialist. Responsible regulation is not socialism. Tell me why it is socialism to call a credit default swap insurance.

Secondly, I don’t believe that anyone with a PhD. in Econ is actually this ignorant about what socialism is. Socialism is almost entirely about controlling markets and always experiences a resurgence after massive failures of capitalism such as the great depression and our latest great recession. Wealth redistribution is a peripheral concept.