You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it//

This teacher is truly a genius!
As the late Adrian Rogers said, “you cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”

I got this in an email from my sister. It’s definitely worth the read.

This man is truly a genius!

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 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 would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A…
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.
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.
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 all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

Could not be any simpler than that. (Please pass this on)  Remember, there is a mid-term election in 2010!

9 thoughts on “You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it//

  1. So true. Let’s hope America’s learned its lesson come November. Out with socialists/communists/anyone who promotes “legalized plunder.”

  2. Let’s hope that the folks in America do wake up in time to turn aside excessive government interference, as well as legislated harm to marriage and families.

  3. Why do Americans keep behaving as if the system that Obama proposed were some sort of grand experiment? It’s a slightly more conservative version of what’s in place in Canada, Europe, and Australia. And we most certainly are not getting Fs!

    And for the record, that would not happen in a university setting. First of all, a teacher who failed an entire class would be taken to task by the university admin. Secondly, the class average is C+. Occasionally it can nudge its way up to a B, but that requires an unusually brilliant class, and absolutely not the sort that would let things slide after one test. Finally, students don’t respond to grades that way. I’ve worked with some of them whose best efforts have brought them Ds, no matter what they do or how hard they work. They don’t give up. Sometimes they turn out a string of D papers from the beginning of the year to the end, but they don’t give up.

    No, here’s what would happen–because I’ve seen it happen, even when there was no collective mark at stake, and now there would be: students would get together and form study groups. They’d coach each other, trying to bring up that collective mark. And they’d still get a C+, because that’s what class averages ARE, but they’d work darned hard. And I would be proud of their effort, not gloating that I’d just ruined their futures to score political points.

  4. Study groups?

    If there is reward, yes, students find a way to optimize their grades. And, sure, some student have the time and resources to extend a hand to others who are struggling.

    But the strugglers need to prove themselves even to those who’d help — or the motivation to continue to extend that hand drops off pretty quickly. When a stuggler succeeds, that success adds to the motivation of those who had helped out. It really does.

    The influence of incentives and disincentives is a hard lesson to learn, and to teach, where there is no real consequence to the experiment.

    I bet this teacher kept in reserve a means by which to not allow the experiement’s lowered grades to interfere with the actual grades the students earned. By that time the students would have learned or at least reflected on what they experienced when they thought the new deal was a sweet deal gone sour.

    I’ve done similiar experiments with my students — years ago. Measure success by a single criterion and see what happens. Meeting deadline? Okay but what about budget and quality? The drill is to make judgements and to experience the consequences; and to adapt based on the feedback loop. But when the loop is muted by disincentives to actually make judgements and act, then, chaos ensues on all projects. Even the brightest and most dedicated falter because they start to expect certain decisions to be taken out of their hands. Someone else takes care of stuff and outcomes don’t matter as much.

    Of course, I’ve coached too and that is one of the best ways to teach these lessons to youngsters. Whatever the activity — chess, debate, basketball, wrestling. Find a way to win means doing your best to succeed. And, sure, the taste of failure, as with the kids in that teacher’s classroom, is a great concentrator of the mind.

  5. Incentives and disincentives aren’t causes, though; they’re incentives, and they don’t necessarily work the way we think they will. And success is not always a reflection of hard work, either. I used to write all my papers the night before and pull off A’s; since becoming a TA I’ve helped some students do weeks of hard work to get D’s.

    And making the grade a collective one doesn’t take the decision out of the students’ hands (as if they could get a good grade simply by deciding to); it puts it into all their hands, and rewards collective effort.

    My class just finished up a huge group project, where the groups got the highest marks of the year. People do amazing things when they work together.

  6. If all this spread the wealth and work together thinking is so great, why then do commnist countries never last? Russia fell, people in China are comitting suicide on a grand scale because of the low wages, etc etc.
    The problem with the “lets all work together” theory is , it’s just that, it’s a theory. It equates the desire to perfom physical labor to intellect, more of a ” they can’t help it” then, they just don’t want to do the work. It doesn’t take in to account human nature and prevailing attitudes. In any population, there are workers and then there are the slackers, the slackers don’t really care how bad things are and spend quite a bit of energy looking for ways to get out of hard work. Their main goal is to not have to go out and work. The workers on the other hand spend quite a bit of energy trying to accomplish the task at hand because they desire a higher standard of living. Now, you want to tell the workers that the slackers can’t help it, they don’t posess the mental ability to go out and dig a ditch or pick up garbage, it’s just not in them. Instead of calling it robbing from peter to pay paul, you call it working together. The fact is, when you rob peter to pay paul, you will always have paul’s support. That in essence is the spread the wealth theory. Giving it the title of “working together” doesn’t change the fact that it is actually taking from the worker to give to the slacker.

  7. Well put! Thanks for your comment. The government makes it way too easy for people to just do nothing and be supported by the hard workers. The hard workers should be able to keep what they earn and support the slackers or those in need only if they choose. The government is way out of line to be taxing the producers to support the slackers.

  8. The government also doesn’t give people any incentive to work hard and get ahead. The lazy people get supported whether they do anything or not, and the hard workers get what they earn taken away. The system is definitely broken.

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