A wonderfully illustrative story passed along to me through the internets. Enjoy!
When asked at his retirement party, an economics professor at a small college said he had never failed a single student before but had, once, failed an entire class.
The class in question had insisted that socialism could work. 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 socialism. 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. But, 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, name calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for anyone else.
To their great surprise, every student failed and the professor told them that socialism would 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.
The professor concluded the class with this:
These are possibly the 5 most important sentences you will ever hear in college…
1) You can never legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
2) What one receives without working for, another must work for without receiving.
3) The government cannot give to anyone, something it has not already taken from someone else.
4) You cannot multiply wealth, simply by dividing it.
5) When half 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 get the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they worked for… that is the beginning of the end of any nation.