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Author Topic: An Experiment in Class about Socialism  (Read 2313 times)

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Offline JackWhiteTopic starter

An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« on: March 07, 2013, 01:27:09 PM »
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.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2013, 01:30:32 PM »
If you're presenting this as an actual experiment and not just a story that conveniently doesn't have to be connected to reality in any meaningful way... citation sorely needed.

Offline JackWhiteTopic starter

Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2013, 01:32:43 PM »
If you're presenting this as an actual experiment and not just a story that conveniently doesn't have to be connected to reality in any meaningful way... citation sorely needed.
It is a legend but I think you do get the point.

Should probably call it Communism more really.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 01:36:11 PM by JackWhite »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 01:38:41 PM »
It is a legend but I think you do get the point.

The point I get is that you're trying to assert your ideology as truth (your five summary points) on the back of something totally unconnected to reality. Exactly what real-world policy or policies do you call "Obama's socialism", and how will it perfectly level the incomes of all people? (Hint: Sustainable tax rates are not socialism.)

EDIT: Have to go now, but I'll be checking in later.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2013, 01:41:05 PM »
The problem with stories and legends submitted as evidence is that the result is manufactured whereas in an experiment the result is not.  Just as easily the story could end with all the students having an A, but because someone wanted the example to fail the ending was altered to that one.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2013, 01:42:50 PM »
I would argue it is different if one lives in a society. First of all most socialist nations don't tolerate people not working at all they might work less hours or do something like a trade being self-employed but one generally if able do something. Most offer a strong social safety net in theory even if practice is difficult this often includes housing, food and water, medical care, education based on aptitude and yes who you know and try to be fair to workers needs.

So the everyone goes to the center is usually enforced by policy the shirkers would be forced to work likely by the state and the talented person would likely benefit from being a recognized expert in what they do, in many cases with differeing benefits. For example the medical doctor might get a better home, a car and other things the worker he treats doesn't.

And in a socialist system personal property is fine the doctor would likely have more things than the worker in the long run.

I would add what about these base freedoms the freedoms from need, what good is freedom of artistic expression if your a uneducated hungry common person with no job or support if your self-employed I would say the freedom in this case in the 1st Amendment is petty to the freedom to have a home, food, a job, health care and security from needs.

I would like you to ask them to redo the experiment but do this:

Those that score less have to do community service work based on how bad representing the state telling them they will work (say one to three hours. Then to those working more give them a benefit say they can leave class ten minutes early based on the higher grades and then see what happens. What this would try to do is instill the usually your more useful to the state over the other worker who is not focus on most socialist states with the big "S" in them.

Offline JackWhiteTopic starter

Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2013, 01:43:42 PM »
The point I get is that you're trying to assert your ideology as truth (your five summary points) on the back of something totally unconnected to reality. Exactly what real-world policy or policies do you call "Obama's socialism", and how will it perfectly level the incomes of all people? (Hint: Sustainable tax rates are not socialism.)

EDIT: Have to go now, but I'll be checking in later.
I want to state that none of those points are mine. I saw this on facebook and thought it was worth sharing.

The problem with stories and legends submitted as evidence is that the result is manufactured whereas in an experiment the result is not.  Just as easily the story could end with all the students having an A, but because someone wanted the example to fail the ending was altered to that one.
Believe me, no such experiment will end with straight A's.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2013, 01:46:53 PM »
So you state a conclusion as fact without supporting evidence and I am to believe you.  My faith is stretched enough.  Also you are missing the point that the story has a manufactured ending.  The story has whatever ending, composition and beginning the person telling the story wants there to be.

Offline JackWhiteTopic starter

Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2013, 01:48:37 PM »
II would like you to ask them to redo the experiment but do this:

Those that score less have to do community service work based on how bad representing the state telling them they will work (say one to three hours. Then to those working more give them a benefit say they can leave class ten minutes early based on the higher grades and then see what happens. What this would try to do is instill the usually your more useful to the state over the other worker who is not focus on most socialist states with the big "S" in them.
Why would a good student or worker deserve a reward? I haven't seen that in much countries before.

Offline Kythia

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Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2013, 01:52:23 PM »
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"

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.

Students realised that their classmates were keeping them down.  The smarter ones took personal responsibility - tutoring their classmates and explaining the more difficult concepts.  The ones who were weaker as a result of not working so hard felt bad, knowing they were actively harming their friends.  The ones weaker as a result of the wrok being too hard for them or otherwise being unable to do it raqther than unwilling did work harder, but the class accepted that they were not to blame.  Fortunately the increased grades of everyone else kept their average up.

The professor was heard to say "Maybe that story could have gone either way depending on which point I was trying to make.  Thats the problem with these types of story"

Offline JackWhiteTopic starter

Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2013, 02:06:38 PM »
Students realised that their classmates were keeping them down.  The smarter ones took personal responsibility - tutoring their classmates and explaining the more difficult concepts.  The ones who were weaker as a result of not working so hard felt bad, knowing they were actively harming their friends.  The ones weaker as a result of the wrok being too hard for them or otherwise being unable to do it raqther than unwilling did work harder, but the class accepted that they were not to blame.  Fortunately the increased grades of everyone else kept their average up.

The professor was heard to say "Maybe that story could have gone either way depending on which point I was trying to make.  Thats the problem with these types of story"
What's the incentive for the lazy ones to do better? They do think that they can keep surfing on the success of the others. The ones that really couldn't do any better are helped with this kind of treatment but like the story said, why wouldn't the hardworking ones try the same as the ones that did nothing all along?

Offline Hemingway

Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2013, 02:07:46 PM »
2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

Who is this communist professor? Karl Marx? This is precisely the argument for social ownership of the means of production: The rich, the people earning the actual money, don't work for their money. Oh, some do - rushing to meetings all over, that sort of thing. Still, the system is hardly fair, or balanced. The poor are not poor because they don't work hard, but because somebody else, who isn't working hard, is taking most of the money they make for them.

Offline Kythia

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Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2013, 02:10:46 PM »
What's the incentive for the lazy ones to do better? They do think that they can keep surfing on the success of the others. The ones that really couldn't do any better are helped with this kind of treatment but like the story said, why wouldn't the hardworking ones try the same as the ones that did nothing all along?

The incentive for the lazy ones to do better is preceisely the same as it always has been.  They want better grades.  Ditto for the hardworking ones.  I'm, not certain I've understood your question.  Your anecdote shows that students realise that as they work less hard their grades go down.  You then ask what their incentive is to work harder?  As I say, I dont think I understand your objection.

My core point though is the same as many others are made.  This is a made up anecodte seeking to prove a particular point. 

Offline JackWhiteTopic starter

Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2013, 02:15:07 PM »
The incentive for the lazy ones to do better is preceisely the same as it always has been.  They want better grades.  Ditto for the hardworking ones.  I'm, not certain I've understood your question.  Your anecdote shows that students realise that as they work less hard their grades go down.  You then ask what their incentive is to work harder?  As I say, I dont think I understand your objection.

My core point though is the same as many others are made.  This is a made up anecodte seeking to prove a particular point.
A lazy student gets a B and he'd get an incentive to work harder for his grade? Or a D? Both were much more than he deserves so he is twice abusing the system. As for good students. Working hard doesn't pay off for them as they get less points than what they work for.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2013, 02:24:43 PM »
There is more incentive for those that perform poorly to do better in this scenario because now peer pressure is a factor.  Once the grades begin to trend downward then pressure will set in for those at the bottom to bring their scores up since those doing well and at the middle will apply that pressure.  Those performing will have incentive to assist those with lower performance, assisting with tutoring and study habits.  Therefore those that understand the material are sharing their knowledge, rather than keeping the knowledge to themselves.  As a whole the class benefits while those at the very top might suffer from a dip in their scores.  Notice might because odds are the people that would have an A might actually learn more now because tutoring and assisting others has been shown to improve one's grasp of the material.

Also, you seem to be equating low test scores with laziness, a complete inaccuracy by the way.  Some people understand and take to certain subjects better than others.  For some the material is easily understood or they have a background in that area so have an advantage.  For others the method of testing is more to their liking or familiarity.  A multitude of variables which you are assuming do not exist.

Offline Valerian

Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2013, 02:31:10 PM »
I have a good guess as to why most students would keep working: people go to college to learn.  I find learning is not only useful, but fun.  Of course I also liked getting good grades, and I imagine the vast majority of my classmates did as well.  Therefore, I suspect most of them would have continued to put in the effort, albeit perhaps in slightly different directions, as with the tutoring examples mentioned above.

Also, I'm not sure why you assume that any lazy student would automatically fail.  A reasonably bright but unmotivated student might easily get a higher grade.  I rarely studied for tests, but for the record, I graduated with honors and would have had straight A's had it not been for that wretched statistics class... where I gave myself headaches studying for tests and scraped out a B.   I'm not a numbers person.  :P

Had a professor of mine introduced this sort of experiment, I would first have paused to wonder how much he was letting his own personal beliefs influence the material he chose to teach and the way in which he chose to present that material.  Then I would have sighed, reminded myself that sometimes professors just need to be humored, and continued on exactly as usual.



<staff hat>P.S. In future, it would be better to make it clear up front that you're presenting an urban legend or unsupported anecdote, rather than waiting for people to ask before explaining.</staff hat>

Offline Ephiral

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Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2013, 03:42:34 PM »
What's the incentive for the lazy ones to do better? They do think that they can keep surfing on the success of the others. The ones that really couldn't do any better are helped with this kind of treatment but like the story said, why wouldn't the hardworking ones try the same as the ones that did nothing all along?

Because they understand game theory, whereas you just failed the basic Prisoner's Dilemma?

Offline ofDelusions

Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2013, 07:56:21 PM »
Army persons should correct me if I am talking bullshit, but don't they use systems like this (all fail or all fail) during training in armies? And AFAIK it works.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2013, 08:04:42 PM »
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

Here's a good rule of thumb. Anytime you see a Facebook post that claims a "professor" believes in something called "Obama's socialism," you are dealing with bullshit. "Obama's socialism" is a phrase used to dupe marks of a bankrupt "movement conservatism" in whose pocket universe words no longer correspond to any actual meanings beyond the convenience of the moment; someone who believes in it knows nothing at all about Obama or socialism.

(I suppose someone has probably already said this; didn't realize the thread had moved quite that much by the time I posted.)
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 08:07:04 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline DTW

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Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2013, 08:43:33 PM »
I  have an even better question.

If we all die , then why should anyone work?  You can say that working will keep us alive longer but we're still going to die. SO what's the point of going to work?

Sure you could get rid of "Obama's Socialism"  but how are you going to get around death?


The only incentive to work would be if it  permanently prevented death from happening but since there's not, what's the point? You're just going to die anyways rich or poor.
 

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Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2013, 09:00:31 PM »
Army persons should correct me if I am talking bullshit, but don't they use systems like this (all fail or all fail) during training in armies? And AFAIK it works.

I have heard several anecdotes from friends and relatives who have been through basic training, and they all relate instances wherein the whole unit is punished for the failure of one or two. If the one or two continually fail, they face consequences from their peers as well as from their superiors. They then either shape up or wash out.

Military psychology is no joke.

Offline Kythia

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Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2013, 09:17:18 PM »
Army persons should correct me if I am talking bullshit, but don't they use systems like this (all fail or all fail) during training in armies? And AFAIK it works.

Thats because of Obama's socialist military though, I suppose.  Everyone gets the same protection from the armed forces regardless of how much tax they pay?  What nonsense.

Offline Funguy81

Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2013, 09:24:47 PM »
In training, yea everyone can get punished or given "corrective training" if one person screws up. Puts emphasis for the others to shape him up, but that's mostly for minor shit like not making the bed right, get caught smoking in basic training, Uniform not in top condition, or not showing initiative during training. If the person is truly a shitbag....he would usually get the sole punishment for what he did.

At the same time you do get rewards for achievements whether as a group or as an individual. So you also have incentives to push yourself.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 09:26:44 PM by Funguy81 »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2013, 10:24:19 PM »
Pressure from peers is probably one of the single most effective social forces around.

Offline BadForm

Re: An Experiment in Class about Socialism
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2013, 07:00:53 PM »
The other is probably support from peers...

But how can we argue with him? I mean, come on folks, he said he found it on FACEBOOK! Case proven, surely!