By now most have read the alleged story of a Texas Tech economics professor who did an experiment with his class and ended up failing them all because no one wanted to work for a high grade and thus proving Socialism doesn't work. Leaving aside the criticisms of that (urban) legendary bit, here's a 'rebuttal' that I came across.
Note: I find both pieces to be flawed, but I couldn't help laughing as I read this so I am sharing.
An economics professor at Berkely said he had rarely failed a single student, but had once had a class in which most people passed but few learned anything.
The class (students) insisted that capitalism worked since everyone would be motivated to work hard be rich, and a rising level of wealth would benefit everyone . The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on capitalism."
"All grades will be competed for and everyone will work against each other to earn the highest grade."
After the first essays were graded the marks were awarded and were distributed across the class in the manner of a bell curve. Some students who had studied hard were upset that they got lower grades because wealthier students who had studied very little but had bought their essays got the available As.
As the second essay rolled around, most of the students who had studied hard studied less in order to take on part-time jobs and buy quality essays. Some of the very brightest studied even harder to try and beat the quality of the purchased essays. The ones who had bought their essays in the first place didn’t study at all and got their parents to pay for even better essays to ensure they stayed ahead of the game. Three students who did study hard dropped out of the class altogether in order to write essays on commission for the wealthy students. The cost of essays rose and the number of students who could afford quality essays was low. Only a few people got an A and most got C’s
The richer students who didn’t care about their education were happy. The smart students were unhappy and exhausted from study and/or part-time work. Whether they studied or not they got consistently lower marks. The average students had dropped out to service the wealthier students’ demand for extremely high quality essays – which they could produce by working in teams.
By the time the marks were in for the third essay it was clear that the wealthier students had all the high marks while the best and brightest of the smart students could barely manage C’s The cut throat competition resulted in hard feelings massive distrust particularly between the students that produced their own work and those that relied on the work of others that they purchased.
In the end the smart students did poorly. The rich students did well and those who dropped out made money . The professor told them that capitalism would ultimately fail because competition means that people work against each other using whatever means necessary. This leads to some perceived benefits but ultimately bankrupts everybody.