Thursday, April 12, 2012

Another metaphor: Classrooms

You are in a class, and your best friend is there too.

When the first test comes around, you study very hard, and your friend does too.  You do exceptionally well, but your teacher has an announcement:

“We like everything to be equal here, so all the points everyone scored on the test were averaged, and everyone received the same grade: A!”

When the second test comes around, your friend decides that, since the points are going to be averaged anyway, she’s not going to study for the test, and instead spends the night before partying.

You still do exceptionally well, since you studied, but your friend did exceptionally worse.  The teacher announces the class grade: B!

After seeing your friend’s lack of effort leading to a B, and your hard work and diligence also leading to that same B anyway, you decide that you aren’t going to study either, because hey…what’s the point?

When the third test comes around, you and your friend spend the night before partying, and you both do exceptionally poorly on the test.

When the teacher announces the class grade, it is a C. 

“But!” she exclaims, “We want everyone to feel good about themselves, so to achieve an A, you only need 70%, so the class grade is an A!”

And that, my friends, is why socialism and wealth distribution does not work.

Motivation to do better at what you do, or learn something new is stripped away in favor of everyone being ‘equal.'  The standard of living devolves, but the powers that be declare the new, lower standard to be top quality, and everyone be HAPPY, dammit, because we’re equal.

This little story is modified from a vignette my Macro Econ professor told my class seven or so years ago, but I think still works.

If you have any comments, lemme have em!

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