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View Full Version : Does Socialism Work? A Classroom Experiment



OnePimpTiger
11-19-2011, 11:24 AM
There are a ton of examples, jokes, comparisons, etc like this, usually, if I read at all, it gives me a chuckle at best. This one, however, is a good one and the 5 points at the end were so well-stated I had to share.

Does Socialism Work? A Classroom Experiment (http://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/does-socialism-work-a-classroom-experiment/)


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.

There are five morals to this story:

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.

duane1969
11-19-2011, 11:39 AM
Best thing I have read on here in months. Thanks for posting.

freethrowtommy
11-19-2011, 12:20 PM
Best thing I have read on here in months. Thanks for posting.

It is easy to make your point when the whole thing is fake...

But nice research anyhow...

http://www.snopes.com/college/exam/socialism.asp

Grades are not a medium of exchange. There isn't a free market where people trade their grades for goods and services. The analogy completely ignores Socialism as an economic system. In addition, it seems to me to confuse Socialism and Communism, though this is common. Mandating how students study would be more like Socialism, equalizing their grades is more akin to Communism.



Why did you post a crap story?
OK in my story everyone gets the same grade. After the first test everyone got a B, the students who felt like they did better than a B started helping all the other students and eventually everyone got an A....
Cool story bro.
Even if the story were true it would prove nothing. The reason economics is so disputed is because we CAN'T create a valid experiment. If we could then economics would just be a science rather than a dismal science. Oversimplifications like this are just stupid and give people bad reasons to hold strong convictions and makes it hard for people to change minds when there is real evidence and data to look at.

Furthermore, [1] real experiments have been done on this sort of thing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_goods_game) in the context of behavioral economics and game theory. The experiments don't quite turn out as the article says- especially when the people are given the option of rewarding good behavior and/or punishing bad behavior.

duane1969
11-19-2011, 01:02 PM
The experiments don't quite turn out as the article says- especially when the people are given the option of rewarding good behavior and/or punishing bad behavior.

So the success of Socialism is relevant to positive/negative reinforcement Regardless of what you call it, Marxism, Leninsim, Socialism, Communism..."good behavior" is never rewarded, only "bad behavior" receives a response from the government.

What do experiements have to do with anything? All one needs to do to explore the success/failure of socialism is look at history. Socialism has always failed. Any "success" that has ever occured in a socialist state has been under the rule of an iron-fisted government that imprisons or kills those who refuse to comply. Even China has began morphing into a free-market styled economy.

It is human nature to want more. Expecting people to be willing to work long, hard hours to be average is never going to work. Even the most primitive of societies have status symbols related to success, even if it is just more beads on a necklace or more sheep in the barnyard.

freethrowtommy
11-19-2011, 02:55 PM
So the success of Socialism is relevant to positive/negative reinforcement Regardless of what you call it, Marxism, Leninsim, Socialism, Communism..."good behavior" is never rewarded, only "bad behavior" receives a response from the government.

What do experiements have to do with anything? All one needs to do to explore the success/failure of socialism is look at history. Socialism has always failed. Any "success" that has ever occured in a socialist state has been under the rule of an iron-fisted government that imprisons or kills those who refuse to comply. Even China has began morphing into a free-market styled economy.

It is human nature to want more. Expecting people to be willing to work long, hard hours to be average is never going to work. Even the most primitive of societies have status symbols related to success, even if it is just more beads on a necklace or more sheep in the barnyard.

Alright, I am not going to argue the ideals of socialism, free market, or any kind of other system because I don't have the time or patience to do so.

My post was to show you how ridiculous your post of...

Best thing I have read on here in months. Thanks for posting.
...was.

Really? I know you like to take your ideas to extremes but, I hope you honestly don't feel this way about a "fake" study that confirms nothing about socialism.

You probably should have focused on:

Grades are not a medium of exchange. There isn't a free market where people trade their grades for goods and services. The analogy completely ignores Socialism as an economic system. In addition, it seems to me to confuse Socialism and Communism, though this is common. Mandating how students study would be more like Socialism, equalizing their grades is more akin to Communism.




instead of this:

The experiments don't quite turn out as the article says- especially when the people are given the option of rewarding good behavior and/or punishing bad behavior.

jaybird_1981
11-19-2011, 03:46 PM
I agree with Duane, great post!

duane1969
11-19-2011, 05:19 PM
Alright, I am not going to argue the ideals of socialism, free market, or any kind of other system because I don't have the time or patience to do so.

My post was to show you how ridiculous your post of...

...was.

Really? I know you like to take your ideas to extremes but, I hope you honestly don't feel this way about a "fake" study that confirms nothing about socialism.

You probably should have focused on:


instead of this:

The aspect of fiction vs. non-fiction was not why I liked the post. It was this...


There are five morals to this story:

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.

If you are going to be so distracted by whether it is a true story or a legend then there is no point in discussing it any furhter because you are missing the big picture.

freethrowtommy
11-19-2011, 06:13 PM
The aspect of fiction vs. non-fiction was not why I liked the post. It was this...



If you are going to be so distracted by whether it is a true story or a legend then there is no point in discussing it any furhter because you are missing the big picture.

So you need to post a fake story to make a list of points at the bottom of it? Really?

My point is that the story has NOTHING to do with socialism or really any of those points at the bottom of the story... it is nice to live in fantasy land though, isn't it? There are much better posts to be called the greatest thing since sliced bread...

Okay... :lie:

And btw, nowhere did I say that I disagree with those points... but project all you want.

duane1969
11-19-2011, 09:40 PM
So you need to post a fake story to make a list of points at the bottom of it? Really?

My point is that the story has NOTHING to do with socialism or really any of those points at the bottom of the story... it is nice to live in fantasy land though, isn't it? There are much better posts to be called the greatest thing since sliced bread...

Okay... :lie:

And btw, nowhere did I say that I disagree with those points... but project all you want.

I have dealt with the whole "accuse them of something they didn't say and then challenge the phantom position" thing enough times to easily deflect it.

1. I didn't post the story.
2. Even your own source says it is legend and just provides evidence that it existed before the claimed 2009 date. I guess that since snopes is the authority on truth versus fake that makes it fake in your book.
3. Perhaps there are better post to like in your opinion, unfortunately your opinion fails to have any value to me.
4. I didn't say anything about whether or not you agree with the points...but make superfluous comments all you want.

All you have done so far is rant about whether or not the story is true or not and provide Wikipedia (LOL) as a source. If your goal was to discredit the argument against socialism then you failed miserably. Otherwise, I have no idea what your point was and I am tired of pointless debate.

gatorboymike
11-19-2011, 10:47 PM
The collapse of the USSR wasn't a conclusive enough demonstration that socialism doesn't work?

habsheaven
11-20-2011, 01:20 AM
The collapse of the USSR wasn't a conclusive enough demonstration that socialism doesn't work?

Since people on this board continue to equate Canada to socialism when criticizing Obama, and since Canada is surviving quite well, I would have to say that the happenings in the USSR are NOT conclusive enough that socialism is a failure. Unless of course, those critics are prepared now to admit that neither Canada nor Obama are socialist in nature. Can't have it both ways. :winking0071:

gatorboymike
11-20-2011, 02:06 AM
Well, you're the one who said it, not me...

duane1969
11-20-2011, 01:15 PM
Since people on this board continue to equate Canada to socialism when criticizing Obama, and since Canada is surviving quite well, I would have to say that the happenings in the USSR are NOT conclusive enough that socialism is a failure. Unless of course, those critics are prepared now to admit that neither Canada nor Obama are socialist in nature. Can't have it both ways. :winking0071:

Who has been doing that?

And saying that since Canada is socialist in "nature" and seems to be succeeding does not provide evidence that the USSR, which was socialist in reality, was not a failure.

Did you even type that with a straight face?...

habsheaven
11-20-2011, 02:51 PM
Who has been doing that?

And saying that since Canada is socialist in "nature" and seems to be succeeding does not provide evidence that the USSR, which was socialist in reality, was not a failure.

Did you even type that with a straight face?...

Not really. I just couldn't help myself.:ashamed0001:

sublime420
11-20-2011, 04:58 PM
Sigh..... First of all, Obama is not a socialist... He just wants poor people to have more money. He has a heart, unlike other presidents. Republicans and Foxnews and whoever says he is a socialist is clearly just talking sh1t because he's a democrat....

ensbergcollector
11-20-2011, 07:55 PM
Sigh..... First of all, Obama is not a socialist... He just wants poor people to have more money. He has a heart, unlike other presidents. Republicans and Foxnews and whoever says he is a socialist is clearly just talking sh1t because he's a democrat....

wow, welcome to the P&R forums. thanks for letting us know right off that you are ridiculously biased and in no way objective.

So, any president that doesn't want to take money from the rich and give it to the poor doesn't have a heart? really?

duane1969
11-21-2011, 09:18 AM
Sigh..... First of all, Obama is not a socialist... He just wants poor people to have more money. He has a heart, unlike other presidents. Republicans and Foxnews and whoever says he is a socialist is clearly just talking because he's a democrat....

So do I!! What a coincidence. The difference between Obama and I is he wants to take it from other people and give it to them and I expect them to earn it.

sanfran22
11-21-2011, 11:29 AM
So do I!! What a coincidence. The difference between Obama and I is he wants to take it from other people and give it to them and I expect them to earn it.

+1:party0048:

sanfran22
11-21-2011, 11:30 AM
Sigh..... First of all, Obama is not a socialist... He just wants poor people to have more money. He has a heart, unlike other presidents. Republicans and Foxnews and whoever says he is a socialist is clearly just talking sh1t because he's a democrat....

Lol, you may want to avoid this section on the boards...just sayin":winking0071:

INTIMADATOR2007
11-21-2011, 03:31 PM
So do I!! What a coincidence. The difference between Obama and I is he wants to take it from other people and give it to them and I expect them to earn it.
well said !