Teacher Fails Entire Class Over Socialism

by Steve Ray on September 3, 2020

An economics professor made a statement that she had never failed a single student before, but had recently 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 in this class on this 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 third 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.

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.

From Sumpter County Reporter

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Peter Connolly September 3, 2020 at 4:23 PM

I did a similar experiment with family members. People just can’t get that word “fairness” out of their heads.

Mitch Anderson September 3, 2020 at 10:21 PM

That’s always the way socialism proceeds. It’s always towards ruin and never towards betterment. They tighten the thumbscrews incrementally…..little by little…..all by design. They know what they’re doing!

Howard September 4, 2020 at 9:26 AM

One type of Catholic considers Capitalism permissible because it does not inherently contradict the Teachings of the Catholic Church.

Another type of Catholic considers the Catholic Church permissible because her Teachings do not inherently contradict Capitalism.

Which of these two types would be willing to say that "possibly the 5 best sentences you’ll ever read" are all about economics? Should such a person be called a "Defender of the Catholic Faith"?

STEVE RAY HERE: This is certainly a simplistic and rather naive view of the Church and capitalism. It is also quite judgmental. The Catholic Church does not promote any particular governmental system, but it certainly condemns Communism and socialism. It promotes the right to private property, personal initiative and private enterprise. Thus, it has always been against Socialism and for free-market enterprise with private property and a legal system that protects all.

I would suggest you read the documents of the Church (the Catholic Catechism is easy enough to acquire and read) before you expose your lack of understanding on the basic understandings of the Catholic Church and criticize and judge those who do understand — and who espouse the teaching.

On top of all that, it seems you missed the whole point of the blog.

Fr. John Higgins September 4, 2020 at 10:59 AM

I actually saw a teacher do this in his classroom several years ago. I was part of the school and he shared what he was planning on doing. I thought it was a great idea (I was not in charge of the school, nor in any way his "boss"). He got the same results as is described here.

STEVE RAY HERE: Thanks For sharing this. There are people who claim it’s only an urban legend but your experience proves not only that it happens but the had the conclusion that is expected. Thanks so much!

Donald Link September 4, 2020 at 9:50 PM

I always note that even the monastery that sells Christmas fruit cakes operates under the laws of capitalism. They have no choice or they would not have the funds to support the monastery. As in the third example cited by the teacher, the others operate by endowment or (in the Middle ages) begging. Commerce is what keeps civilization growing and functional.

Robert L Beehner September 5, 2020 at 12:13 PM

All of this jump to defined socialism is over simplistic and in that, has a danger. Read again the corporal words of mercy. Feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, the imprisoned, drink to the thirsty, and burying the dead.
Those at the bottom are difficult to help and yet we are called to do so. Your socialism comments all seem quite judgemental to me. Isn't the social push you may be against, not really socialism, but an effort to provide real help to those in need?

STEVE RAY HERE: I am sure others will chime in in a response as well. Yes, the corporal works of mercy are to be exercised by us Christians. However, nowhere does it imply that we should delegate that to a inept national government. Governments take things away from people and then poorly allocate them to others. An unbelievable amount of those funds end up in the government officials hands. The government has a terrible track record of actually spending our money correctly or wisely.

The corporal works of mercy are not dictated to a government but to individual people and Local accountable communities.

We Catholics and conservatives are the most generous and liberal of all people. Our works of mercy should be done on an individual level which is what the Catholic Church does so well. But because the government robs us of such a huge portion of our income for redistribution, it makes it difficult for us as individuals to donate since the money is depleted.

Nowhere does the scripture or Jesus imply that these corporal works of mercy are governmental. No, rather they are individual and to be done by the church.

Sorry, but socialistic governments are the complete opposite of what Christianity expects and endorses.

Bill912 September 5, 2020 at 2:25 PM

When socialist governments run out of other people's money–as they always do–they turn into totalitarian states.

STEVE RAY HERE: Absolutely! History is replete with examples!

David Swan September 6, 2020 at 4:06 AM


I always dispute this theory and I understand it because I talked to Czech people they said they remember the days when people couldn't be bothered because everyone had the same wage.

But people have to be taught and understood why they are doing it. If you have a large meal and then all your brothers and sisters have one pea, how long before they steal yours? So it makes sense to share things more equally.

Of course if people are greedy and immature then they will not want to share. Why have a CEO on millions when millions don't have enough to live on? Socialism is sharing things more equally. Communism is sharing things equally but it only works if you understand why you are doing it.

To help each other out. That's where Christ or spiritual or life teachings come in.

What about the Amish people? Do they receive a wage? Do they not share more equally? It only descends into chaos when we are greedy and that why we have to learn.

The world is becoming more unequal and thus uglier. So please help a brother out.

STEVE RAY HERE: The problem with your theory is that you said several times “if people are greedy“. The fact is, people ARE greedy. We are sinners. That’s what Marx got wrong. He thought if he could change the economic system he could change the person. Marxism is basically a Christian heresy that says the problem with humanity is economics and inequality and not sin.

As Christians, we of all people should know that socialism and Marxism can never work, because people are greedy and selfish.

If we started out our country all over again and gave everybody one house and two cars a boat and 2 acres, it would Not take long before someone decided to sell the boat to feed her drug habit. Someone else would squander their money and lose everything and the smart and wise and thrifty person would end up with 10 houses and 20 cars and others would end up again with nothing.

Remember to that the Amish do all of this on a voluntary basis. Not everyone is going to live like the Amish and you cannot force that kind of lifestyle.

Marxism and socialism is a theory people would like to think can work and they dream about it and they keep trying it over and over again but every time it ends up in the same situation. Look at the Soviet union and Venezuela and North Korea and China…

Amateur Brain Surgeon September 6, 2020 at 12:57 PM

The great Catholic Economist, Father Heinrich Pesch, S.J. teaches Catholics about the way an economic system ought be structured but he is rarely (as in never) proposed to others as a serious economist worthy of study.

One could begin with "Ethics and the national economy" a short affordable book to be introduced to his creatine Catholic Mind. Pesch was a philosopher and an economist and it was he who coined the word, Solidarity, later picked-up on by Pope JPII.

Rupert Ederer, ("Economic as if God matters") was an American economist and professor who translated his works but because so many popular bloggers get their ideas of how an economy ought work from Thomas E. Woods (History prof, not an economist). the great Pesch is ignored.

Amintore Fanfani describes the crummy system of Capitalism – Thomas Paine, along with James Madison and Adam Smith presented a view of society based on individuals whose only connection came about as a result ..of accident, interest, and circumstances promote justice of virtue.

Such a view was the view of Liberalism, which made Freedom a principal value. Liberalism and Enlightenment philosophy in general, served to create conditions for the growth of the capitalist spirit. These philosophies provided justification to allow the private, monied interest to pursue their objectives, while lessening interference from the government. The view of society and human nature that underlay these philosophies, permitted the atomization of society. The in turn gave the monied interests greater power over their fellow citizens, and allowed this interests to control the levers of government. (Quoted in "John Courtney Murray, Time/Life, and the American Proposition. How the CIA's Doctrinal Warfare Program Changed the Catholic Church?)

Modern Capitalism began with the theft of Church property in England by the execrable Henry 8th and Capitalism (Manchester Liberalism) has brought us to the wonderful point where American CEO's make 380 times what the average worker makes, and even more when those CEOs close their American factories and locate them overseas where slaves do the labor for them.

O, and the capitalists in both the Democrat and Republican Party are in favor or Mothers competing with Fathers in the "system' because that depresses wages as does mass immigration.

If you think Capitalists care about you or your family or your souls…

Capitalism is a malign system that includes the practice of the sin of Usury.

Try and explain to ABS how it is fair or just for Bankers to charge so interest for a loan for a poor man to buy a house for he and his family and don't even get ABS started on Property Taxes (Say, pilgrim, that's a nice little house you own. How's you like to keep it? All you have to do is pay us X amount of dollars every year and we'll let you live in it. So what after 30 or more years of property taxes you will have payed nearly 50% more for what you have to pay in usury to retire your mortgage?)

STEVE RAY HERE: there is a lot of misunderstanding about capitalism and the free market system but when you look at the United States and what we’ve accomplished we have raised more people out of poverty than any country or economic system in the world the evidence is unmistakable. Other systems of socialism and government control have always relegated people to poverty. Our free market system has brought more people to affluence and created more wonderful things for humanity Then any system ever devised by man.

Twisted around as much as you want like a rubber nose, but the system we have developed in this country has been exceptionally remarkable. This is especially so in compared to socialist countries which have proved to be disasters.

Bill912 September 6, 2020 at 8:19 PM

"…American CEO's make 380 times what the average worker makes…"

Sounds like the voice of Envy to me. You remember Envy: one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

STEVE RAY HERE: Excellent points on both your comments. Thanks Bill. Amazing how idealistic and blind the socialists actually are.

Bill912 September 6, 2020 at 8:25 PM

“Of course, if people are greedy and immature then they will not want to share….Socialism is sharing things more equally.”

The above is an example of being generous with other people’s money. I think God wants us to be generous with our own money.

Eric September 10, 2020 at 8:03 AM

Time for an alternate story. The teacher has 3 classes for the same subject. The first he gives 60% of his teaching time, the second 30% and the last 10%. All the students get the same books and materials, and have to pass the same exams. When the students in the last class demand more of the teacher's time, the other classes shout them down because a) they're afraid of losing the time they get; b) don't see why he should spend more time on those stupid losers in the third class; and c) those third class losers would waste the time doing drugs anyway. This is closer to how American capitalism currently works than your story is to socialism (the story actually describes communism and an economics teacher should know that).
I'm all for merit, but a merit based society can only function if the playing field is as fair as humans can make it. We can aim for the New Jerusalem, but only God can make it real. The question that should be asked is "how can we get to a more just and equitable society"? There are some things that the government can do, thinks that society can do, and some things that only Christians will do.
Christians need to love their enemies (yes, even socialists), because you can only change a person's mind after you have changed a person's heart. When you love your neighbor, you will better understand their heart. And if they know that you love and respect them, then they are more likely to listen to you.

STEVE RAY HERE: I can certainly relate to the second half of your comment but not quite sure of the implications of the first half. Not sure who the teacher represents and how that would apply to America. Everybody has equal opportunities here and even though it May seem bumpy at times our country gives everybody an equal playing field more than any other country in history. Thanks for sharing and God bless you.

AJ September 10, 2020 at 11:01 PM

Two quotes seem to describe our times. The first is by Thomas Sowell: "Since this is an era when many people are concerned about 'fairness' and 'social justice', what is your 'fair share' of what someone else has worked for?"
The second quote is from Atlas Shrugged (1957) by Ayn Rand, and describes today's 'deep state' of Washington, DC, and too many politicians: "When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing — When you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors — When you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you — When you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice — You may know that your society is doomed."

STEVE RAY HERE: Brilliant AJ. Thanks!

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