The story is told of a wise and experienced political science professor at a local university.
When his class discussed socialism the young college students became enamored with the concept.
On the surface socialism sounds wonderful. It seeks to establish equality. It eliminates the evils of capitalism where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The means of production and distribution are taken away from the profit seeking private individuals and placed in the hands of government officials who represent the people.
The students ignored the fact that socialism is a utopian fantasy that has a 100% failure rate in the real world. They ignored the fact that, in practice, socialism actually increases shortages, deprivation, and poverty. Socialism often leads to dictatorship.
When the professor returned the first quiz to the students there was a lot of noise in the class. He had averaged all the grades together. And he gave everyone a B-.
The C, D, and F students were thrilled. The A students were angry and frustrated. The B students were satisfied.
After calling the class to order, the professor explained that grading on the weekly quizzes would henceforth be based on the principles of socialism and equality.
On the second quiz everyone got a C-. The bright A students felt no need to put in the extra effort excel. The C, D, and F students hadn’t studied because they got a B- the last time, and so they assumed they would get the same grade.
Only the D and F students were happy with the grades. The A and B students were irate. And the C students were content.
Both the A and B students stopped putting in the extra hours and effort to get high grades. They had no incentive. They were no longer rewarded for their hard work.
After several weeks, all of the students ended up with D’s, and the students learned a practical lesson the principles of socialism and equality.
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