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Friday, January 18, 2013

Internet Legends: An experiment that never took place?

I wanted to include on IFLOBS my assessment of something I saw on Facebook.  At this time it is classified as a "Legend" by snopes.  I invite anyone with further information on this to send it to me.  Again sticking to the basics here- the story just doesn't make sense.  Since it didn't make sense I was curious to know more- snopes was enough for me.  I thought I should articulate why it didn't make sense to me, and the brief assessment included hereto was originally drafted as a comment on Facebook to do just that- please accept it in that casual form.

First I will offer the full content of the share from Facebook...

Full content of the "story"

I should repeat now that this narrative is a "story."  That's all it is.  It is not a report.  It has no references to any particular person or geographical location.  Since it is "just a story" one must decide if it is fact or fiction.  It sounds like a really interesting story and not only does a character in the story make what seems to be a reasonable point through a social experiment- the narrative embraces it to further it.  It even adds it own "5 best sentences you'll ever read and all applicable to this experiment."  Note: these are not 5 quotes from the main narrative- they are "bonus" sentences, a nice fabricated collection of lessons learned from an experiment that probably never took place!

CLASSROOM SOCIALISM
Is this man truly a genius? 
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 new 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. 
Human nature will always cause socialism's style of government to fail because the world has producers and non-producers (makers and takers).
It 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.

My thoughts as originally composed


This is a terrible analogy.  Grades are not required to survive.  Things that people work to produce in the real world are.  Consider- everyone getting an F would be comparable to everyone starving to death.  People would not be so lazy as to let this happen.  This also speaks about the motivation of a greater reward- in reality the greater reward you get from capitalism is useless- "lots of money, toys etc."  The reward you get from working for your own and the common good is much more substantial- your own survival and ensuring the survival of humanity.   I would submit that it is much more noble.  I think it is a pretty bleak assessment of humanity to suggest that people only work for such material things much less not work for their own survival. One last thing- what about all the students who get A's from the teacher all the time just because their parents got A's before them... I wonder how that would play out.  Perhaps I should write a version of this to make a point about capitalism- it would be a fantastically ridiculous piece just as this one is.

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