Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Short Economics Lesson

An economics professor at Texas Tech said 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 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 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....


Obama Reaches Out to 'Moderate' Pirate Community

After maintaining his silence for two days, President Obama will soon make his first public statement about the pirate attack upon an U.S.-flagged vessel off the Horn of Africa. After several inquiries and a few well-placed bribes, Exurban League has received an early transcript of the President's remarks:
Good evening. As you know, early yesterday, Somali-based pirates attacked the Maersk Alabama, a freighter carrying relief supplies to Kenya. While we do not yet know all the details, the Alabama's crew re-took control of the vessel and forced the pirates off the ship.

Since the pirates are still holding the captain, I have sent FBI negotiators to facilitate his safe and speedy release. I assure his friends and family that I will not stop until this man-made disaster is resolved in a peaceful, tolerant and ecologically-sound manner.

Obviously, this incident has raised many concerns among Americans. There have been calls for justice and even violence against the misguided perpetrators. But such an emotional reaction has led to the disparagement of entire groups with which we are unfamiliar. We have seen this throughout history.

For too long, America has been too dismissive of the proud culture and invaluable contributions of the Pirate Community. Whether it is their pioneering work with prosthetics, husbandry of tropical birds or fanciful fashion sense, America owes a deep debt to Pirates.

The past eight years have shown a failure to appreciate the historic role of these noble seafarers. Instead of celebrating their entreprenuerial spirit and seeking to partner with them to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.

Some of us wonder if our current Overseas Contingency Operation would even be needed had the last administration not been so quick to label Pirates as "thieves," "terrorists" and worse. Such swashbucklaphobia can lead to tragic results, as we have seen this week.

To address this issue, I have instructed Vice President Joe Biden to create a cabinet-level Czar of Pirate Outreach and Buccaneer Interrelation. In addition, June 1-7 has been designated as Pirate Awareness Week, during which all federal buildings will fly the Jolly Roger and sponsor sensitivity training. Thankfully, my American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will fund free grog and hard tack for all attendees.

Finally, to all pirates listening to international broadcasts, shortwave services and ship-to-shore radio, let me say this:

Ahoy, me regret arr relationship has set sail in a scurvy manner. Arr people share many mutual 'alues and concerns on t' raging main. Perchance, could ye handsomely release the cap'n o' the ship and I assure that no harm will come t' ye or ye hearties. Let us smite t' reset button and launch our seabond on a new pegleg. Savvy? Godspeed t' ye and t' ye beauties. Aye, me parrot concurs.



Now for something more serious

Read the excerpt below:

“Bigots have problems with their theories. Bigots will argue that the targets of their hatred share some collective trait that makes them bad in some way thus justifying their own hatreds. They will rant about ‘Kikes,’ ‘Niggers,’ ‘Faggots,’ etc. Yet, they are plagued by the ‘exceptions’ that they have to make to their hatred. Blacks are bad news, except for the blacks they know. Gays are evil, except for a few friends, or family members they don’t want to talk about. Jews are an evil conspiracy except for the nice Jewish doctor who cared for mother. A small band of hard-core fanatical bigots will, of course, make no exceptions. But the average, run-of-the-mill bigot constantly finds exceptions to his stereotype. Yet he seems capable of compartmentalizing his irrational bigotry to take this into account. He tells himself that the collective he hates is evil and that the individual he likes is the exception. Amazingly bigots around the world happen to find these ‘exceptions’ in their lives. All the others are evil, just not the ones they know.”


Does that attack on "bigots" sound logical? It's not remotely. There are exceptions to every rule but that doesn't make the rule useless or wrong. Most correlations in the social sciences are far from perfect. But they may still be useful. How about the statement: "Cats have fur". That's a pretty safe and reliable statement but there are one or two breeds that have no fur. Does that mean we should stop expecting cats to have fur or that belief in the furriness of cats is wrong?

One expects brainlessness from Leftist "anti-racists" but the above quote, sadly, is from a libertarian site. Libertarians can get as fanatical as Leftists sometimes. And anti-racists are regularly just as addled as racists are. When the word "race" is mentioned, logic usually flies out the window.



Stranded on a plane? Grin and bear it, says court: “A court has thrown out a lawsuit brought against American Airlines by a woman who was stranded for 9-1/2 hours on the tarmac in Austin, Texas, in 2006. In dismissing the case, US District Judge Robert Dawson said airlines are not legally bound to provide a ’stress-free environment’ when such a delay occurs. But Catherine Ray, who brought the lawsuit that charged false imprisonment, isn’t giving up the fight. She’s filing a motion for the judge to reconsider the case, and if that fails, she plans to appeal. ‘It’s just unjust — the thought that an airline can do that to a person and get away with it,’ says the Fayetteville, Ark., woman.”

Making the trains run on time : “Proponents of a bigger, stronger state often claim that the result of their proposed interventions will be an increase in efficiency. Centralized planning will produce a high-quality, standardized product or service. Economies of scale will reduce costs and ease access to services. ‘Say what you will about Mussolini,’ they tell us — ‘he made the trains run on time.’ In point of fact, Italian trains seem to have been no more or less punctual under fascism than they were in the period immediately prior to Mussolini’s ascent in 1922. The claim of increased efficiency through bigger government, however, is worth examining. Does the state improve our lives by more efficiently delivering certain goods and services than we could expect from unregulated market? The market’s answer to that question — in areas where the claim can be put to the test, at any rate — is an unqualified ‘no.’”

Obama’s bid for nuke-free world: Bad idea : “During his trip to Europe last week, President Obama announced that the US will host a global meeting this year to address the threat of nuclear weapons. The president called for reinvigorated international institutions to combat the prospect of nuclear terrorism and reverse nuclear weapons proliferation. He agreed to new negotiations with Russia to reduce both countries’ nuclear arsenals. These efforts should be made. However, Mr. Obama also announced that the US must ’seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.’ This is a goal that will undermine global nuclear security.”

Dear supporters of Barack Obama: “Obama supporters, you got everything you wanted on Election Night. Obama won big, the Democrats won big in Congress, the Democrats cleaned up at the state level. But the only change you got was even more of what you hate. An escalation in our wars overseas, blatant, disgusting government windfalls for the wealthiest Americans, and an overwhelming sense that a group of oligarchs have partnered with the President to enrich themselves at everyone else’s expense.”


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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)



Robert said...

I noticed another link from the "Obama's bid for a nuke-free world" link - Amid recession, is San Francisco losing its heart?
I had read that a big, nasty recession or depression would eventually force even governments to make cut-backs, and we see that in the San Francisco story. Even $50 million from the feds isn't nearly enough to cover the spending in excess of tax revenue. I predict the large numbers of poor in San Francisco are about to discover that San Francisco can't collect what its taxpayers don't have, and can't provide the lavish levels of welfare spending it has become famous for. It looks like San Francisco is about to experience the same phenomenon as the class in the lead-off story for today.

Karl said...

It's recently been brought to my attention that Snopes calls the Lesson In Socialism a legend.

Maybe someone who was actually in the class will speak up to the contrary.