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Socialism in action: why it does NOT work

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Fogbuster, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Pro Bowl Player

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    It's really very simple. A professor at a U.S. university decided to demonstrate how socialism works in real life. This is what he did:


    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 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 on socialism. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade, so no one individual will fail and no one individual will receive an A. Fair enough.

    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 studied even less, and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

    On the second test the 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 begin to occur which 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 away all the reward, no one will try or want to succeed.

    Can it be any simpler than that?




    I've got my hard hat on, so bring it on, usual suspects!! :D


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  2. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    But, that's not socialism. Even taking it to an extreme, from each according to his ability, to each according to his need, it's obvious that the students did not work up to their ability. And there were no rewards. Even in the most idealized form for socialism, those who have more ability get more responsibility, are honored as heroes, and get opportunities related to their skill set. That economics professor should have been fired since he didn't understand that even in pure socialism, there are rewards for hard work and ability.
     
  3. atomdomb

    atomdomb Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    What exactly is this reward you speak of? Do you get to shoot the dissenters, gays, cripple, Christians, instead of getting shot? Sounds great. Where do I sign?

    A socialist is someone who has nothing and wants to share it with you.

    Capitalism recognizes that virtually everything that human life requires is ultimately a product of human reason. A Western, capitalist society protects this link between survival and reason by upholding one’s freedom to act upon one’s own rational judgment (in the pursuit of one’s own self-interest).[5]

    Therefore, it’s no wonder that the countless achievements that make human life secure and enjoyable were created under capitalism, such as air travel, refrigeration, radio, television, nuclear power, medical cures, indoor plumbing, the motion picture, the telephone, the light bulb, the computer, the Internet and the automobile.

    Capitalism and its definition, characteristics, strengths, history and benefits. Western culture and non Western culture and free entreprise, market economy, market economies
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2009
  4. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm not defending socialism, but pointing out the error of the professor. Even in communist China under Mao, those who contributed disproportionately did better than those who did not. True, the wealth gap was extremely narrow, but it did exist. In addition, if you were good at something, you got the plum assignments in the plum locations with the perks that typically come with success -- an office, opportunities to travel, recognition, and so on. In Maoism, in theory, we all pitch in, and then we have more leisure time. If we don't have to earn income to support the shareholders, we can either live better or work less. That's in theory, only, of course. I don't know about other forms of communism, but when I was in seventh or eighth grade I liked some of what Mao had to say. Boy, I've moved to the right since then :)
     
  5. STFarmy

    STFarmy In the Starting Line-Up

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    I'm no fan of socialism either, but it's a little difficult to wrap up a socio-economic scheme like socialism in one little anecdote. There's certainly different ways to practically implement socialism and they're not all covered by this scenario.
     
  6. CrazyDave

    CrazyDave In the Starting Line-Up

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    That's true, but some people like to oversimplify things.
     
  7. CrazyDave

    CrazyDave In the Starting Line-Up

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    "Socialists mainly share the belief that capitalism unfairly concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital, creates an unequal society, and does not provide equal opportunities for everyone in society. Therefore socialists advocate the creation of a society in which wealth and power are distributed more evenly based on the amount of work expended in production, although there is considerable disagreement among socialists over how and to what extent this could be achieved."

    Just a little bit from wikipedia.
    Does'nt sound quite like what that Professor did. Not at all.
     
  8. State

    State In the Starting Line-Up

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    #70 Jersey

    Under socialism prices are meaningless.

    On a theoretical level the Austrian economist Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk showed how this must necessarily be so, since prices reflect subjective or marginal values that reflect anticipated supply and demand.

    Like when a hurricane is poised to strike a metropolis things like bottled water, batteries, and canned food become a premium--people know they'll be needing them soon and are willing to pay much more.

    Marx borrowed the erroneous labor theory of value from J.S. Mill, the idea that a product's price was reflected in the effort that went into making it.

    That didn't explain subjective interpretations like, when a was a kid, the craze for Cabbage Patch Kids.
     
  9. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If socialism would destroy rich people like Kerry, Kennedys, George Soros, Hollywood Wife Swappers, Oprah, Millionaire Rap Crap Boppers, etc etc I'm all for it.

    GOD DAMN AMERICA
    GOD DAMN RICH BASTARDS
    GOD DAMN BUSH
     
  10. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Pro Bowl Player

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    Any system that destroys personal incentive is a system that will fail. It will produce only mediocrity, and people don't want that. Somewhere on earth there will be those who will do and produce, and they will get others to pay for their goods and services; or they will stop providing those goods and services. Don't pay a pro ball player and he won't play any more, not up to his full capacity, anyway. Why risk it??? Playing for the fun of it won't be enough incentive for an adult. Right, Peyton??

    .... hey, maybe socialism isn't all bad. :rolleyes:



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  11. Michael

    Michael Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    There's a land that's fair and bright
    Where the handouts grow on bushes
    And you sleep out ev'ry night
    Where the boxcars are all empty
    And the sun shines ev'ry day
    Oh, I'm bound to go where there ain't no snow
    Where the rain don't fall and the wind don't blow
    In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

    Oh, the buzzin' of the bees in the peppermint trees
    'Round the soda water fountains
    Where the lemonade springs and the bluebird sings
    In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

    :singing::singing::singing:
     
  12. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The OP doesn't really merit a response.

    As to the fairly cogent but hackneyed discussion of Socialism, it seems we're all pretty much in agreement that incentives are necessary to a functioning economy. Patters points out that within real-life societies practicing Socialism, incentives are actually present. Others here point out that they are very unhappy with the labor theory of value, because it's not good at producing purely notional pricing swings. I think it's also worth considering that markets are also good ways of determining needs (as reflected in some aspect of pricing,) as well as ability, so long as ability is measured by ability to pay. It is not good, however, at according goods and services to those with needs, if they are not able to pay.

    The notional nature of markets found an impressive expression last fall, one that would have done in Capitalism as we know it, had not first Paulson then Obama intervened.

    As a result we are treated to a second-grade level gedanken experiment, courtesy of Foggy (reminiscent of another such fable I recently read hereabouts about some other professor who was, as I recall, proven wrong by some pure-believing freshman, who proved that God did something or other that the professor did not believe God could do. We seem to have abundant fictional college professors available to prove any such point...)

    No doubt, Foggy imagines he is breaking new ground by opposing Socialism. The difficulty is, he has a nice college professor teach the kiddies about a pure form that is in fact also in error, but wants rather to attack mixed economies, since those are what actually exist on planet Earth.

    Similarly, I could spin a yarn in which the professor sets out to teach the class about Capitalism, asks each kid for a buck, and tells each of them they have just rented their desks for that day. Then after getting five bucks for that week from each kid, he could tell them it's 10 bucks a day the next week. When only the rich kids can pay up, he kicks out 17 out of 20 kids from the class, and tells them they have to work harder at learning and makes them sit in the hallway. Then I would have "proven" Capitalism can't work. Caveat emptor, right? Same basic argument.

    But there are curbs on pure Capitalism; they failed last fall, and need strengthening, as anybody with two eyes and a brain can see. But the point is, Capitalism is not and can not survive as an unregulated system. No example approaching pure Socialism can either.

    So wailing and gnashing our teeth about one or the other is a bit senseless at this point. We nationalized mortgage backers and insurance companies; Red China's kicking our butt in the field of economic growth (not to mention capitalist wealth creation.)

    Markets need regulation. A command economy cannot function without markets. Badda bing, badda boom, we're all in the same bloody boat.

    PFnV
     
  13. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Jersey Selected

    Aye, so the teachers should have given those who didn't study a B- and given those who did a B+. :rolleyes:

    Socialism is a garbage political system that only LOOKS great on paper. It is built to cater to the lazy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2009
  14. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    From an economic point of view, hybrid systems seem to work the best. The US is a capitalist leaning example of that and China is a socialist leaning example of that.
     
  15. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Dear Brains,
    How is socialism on law and order, justice and equailty, police brutality, segregation, homosexuality, food stamps, free drivers license, illegal aliens, free press, free speech and under socialism would the leaders of the country have a "moment of silence" for a Dancing Child Molester.

    In the land of socialism if you should happen to get arrested will the policeman say to you "you have the right to remain silent"

    HOW LONG WILL YOU HAVE TO WAIT IN LINE TO HAVE THE CANCER IN YOUR PROSTATE FIXED "OR WILL YOU DIE"

    CUBA REPAIRS THEIR CARS WITH COAT HANGERS
     
  16. godef

    godef In the Starting Line-Up

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    Socialism is an economic system, not a form of government.
     
  17. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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    wrong ...... any system that provides conduits to level the playing field for the lazy fails before it ever starts........

    any situation that provide things that are unearned will fail
     
  18. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    So you think inheritance, nepotism, kids who are given trust funds will lead to failure, or do you only see failure where you imagine there are masses of poor lazy people?

    The vast majority of those on welfare or who are poor are disabled, mentally ill, can't find work, or undergoing a personal crisis (such as a divorce with kids involved), and have no family or other resources to turn to. That said, there are some people, both rich and poor, who cheat the system.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2009
  19. CrazyDave

    CrazyDave In the Starting Line-Up

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    Does anyone else find it ironic that so many people are so worked up against perceived socialism, yet noone can agree on what socialism even is?

    Also, to say it just benefits the lazy is a lazy answer.
    By lazy, do you mean poor?
     
  20. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Pro Bowl Player

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    Go collect your allowance from mom and leave the thinking to the adults.




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