The free-loader effect

The Pugnacious Irishman has a good piece on the problems of socialism and the free-loader effect.  Here’s an excerpt from a piece he analyzes:

. . . people are flawed and, outside of a family, a religious order, or a small group of friends, they will not continually work hard for the ‘greater good’ if they do not receive the fruits of that work themselves. As an economics major in college, I learned that this theory had a name: ‘the free-loader effect’. It is the natural tendency of people to do less and less work when they realize that they won’t see a proportionate increase in what they can get for it.

That concept is foundational to human nature but Liberals deny it again and again.  Unfortunately, it is a spectacularly expensive lesson that they keep re-learning.

Once when teaching a Junior Achievement class where the exercise was to create a society on a fictional deserted island, a 7th grade girl was adamant that people who did extra work should not get extra food or supplies.  I gave her several attempts to reconsider her position but she held fast.

At the end of the class I was passing out candy to everyone.  I gave the same amount to everyone since the class as a whole was well behaved enough that day (I’m such a Liberal!).  But guess who insisted — with all sincerity — that she should get extra candy because she participated more than others?  Yep, our resident Communist.  I kindly pointed out the inconsistency to her.  Hopefully the lesson sunk in.

Socialism and Communism just don’t work, people.  You can prove it in a Junior Achievement class or you can study history, but you don’t have to look far for the evidence.

0 thoughts on “The free-loader effect”

  1. Hi Joanne,

    Yes, a little: Germany, England, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Thailand, Austria, Czech Republic, Scotland, Kenya (multiple mission trips), Honduras (mission trip).

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  2. Yes, RK. It is so easy to disprove, yet they persist in thinking everyone else is different from themselves. They are motivated to keep what they earn, but the commoners aren’t, right?

    It reminds me of the illustration where the dad tells his soon-to-be-formerly liberal daughter how she should “share” her high GPA with students who didn’t perform as well. When she gasps about how hard she worked and how unfair that would be he welcomes her to the Republican party.

    Of course, Liberal Play #2 is to act like we’re stingy and greedy with our time and money, but I’ll be glad to compare my calendar and 1040’s to Obama’s any time.

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  3. Yup. Candy Girl would have made a perfect Комсомолка. When my husband was growing up in Bulgaria, they had a joke: we are all equal; but some of us are more equal (meaning the privileged, pampered Party officials). The worst free-loaders I’ve met were the sons and daughters of Party bigwigs.

    The liberals are wrong for exactly the reason you cite; it doesn’t work. My husband’s blood pressure goes up a few points every time he hears Obama speak because he recognizes the flawed logic. Interesting side-effect of Communism: the work ethic in the former Eastern Bloc is atrocious. They still believe, even when faced with the harsh realities of a market economy, that you’re entitled to just show up and not work – and fully expect to get paid.

    When there is no incentive to do more work (ie, doctors earn less than cafe owners), organized crime goes up and morale goes down. This is just one result from that mentality. The other is a drop in quality of education – why bother putting out the effort, if there’s no material reward?

    Socialism is an inherently evil philosophy, regardless of what political liberals call it. It utterly destroys the very societies it pretends to nurture.

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  4. It reminds me of the illustration where the dad tells his soon-to-be-formerly liberal daughter how she should “share” her high GPA with students who didn’t perform as well. When she gasps about how hard she worked and how unfair that would be he welcomes her to the Republican party.

    LOL!!!!! My democratic, Obama loving mother is a former teacher/assistant principal and I have used this illustration using my kids, her grandkids, as the high GPA students. She usually is at a loss for words and follows up with a question on a completely different topic. 😉
    She’s mom and I love her!

    Best,
    Joe

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  5. Of course, Liberal Play #2 is to act like we’re stingy and greedy with our time and money, but I’ll be glad to compare my calendar and 1040’s to Obama’s any time.

    Recently published book/article I think, by some libertarian that showed the conservatives and/or those from red states vs blue states gave more of there time and money to charities and other organizations.
    Help please from others that may have a better memory than I. Thank you in advance!

    Best,
    Joseph

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  6. Joseph, you are right about the conclusions. The only counter to those facts is that some will claim that since church members enjoy some of the fruits of their donations then they are at least partially contributing to themselves — e.g., a nice building for a social club. That ignores all the funding of organizations like hospitals, World Vision, missions, etc., of course. As I recall, Conseratives also gave more blood than Liberals.

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  7. Did you travel to Germany, England and Japan to deliver aid? Surely these socialist countries must be as dysfunctional as you describe. Did you see anyone actually working or were they all wallowing in their squalor?

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  8. No, it was on business, but in Germany I got to visit with the family of an employee and get a slice of life there. I distinctly remember their confusion. On the one hand, they enjoyed a better standard of living than third world countries, but they were also unable to get decent work.

    They are running on the fumes of capitalism as they drift towards socialism (I assume you knew that they were not officially socialists). It will continue to get worse.

    You might want to try getting back on track here and skipping the petty fact-free digs.

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  9. The main problem is that all “ism’s” end up in pretty much the same place without Jesus.

    As long as we keep God out of our governent we will stay on a downhill slide.

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  10. SST

    I was enjoying this thread immensly until I saw your post. God is “out of our government” because it was designed that way. While the framers certainly had strong religious beliefs, they understood that religious freedom is a requirement to a free society.

    Although many would argue this point, the design of the Constitution allows for States to officially adopt religions. However, the federal government may not. The 10th amendment has already been torn off and thrown away, though. We should find it and put it back.

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  11. Socialism has been tried many times, in many countries, to varying degrees. It has never worked. It will never work. The main reason is because the idea of Socialism depends on all people being exactly like each other. In other words, everyone has to have the same personality, the same work ethic, the same everything.

    Look at it this way: If you put Obama’s ideas into practice, and actually took all the money and assets in the country and put them all into one huge trust fund, and then turned around and distributed the funds equally to all America’s Adult citizens, and started fresh, within a year, we would again have wealthy people, middle class people, poor people, and all the associated problems we have now.

    Why? because people are different. Some are industrious, while some are lazy, some have a sense of personal responsibility and others blame everyone else on their problems. Socialism does not work. It cannot work.

    Albert Einstein once said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

    Socialism is insanity.

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  12. I tell people all the time that, if I didn’t believe in a sin nature, I’d be a socialist. Capitalism works, in large part, due to our greed and selfishness (and it’s ability to sift out laziness, etc.) Belief in socialism, in all its forms, is simply an unwillingness to acknowledge the current state of humanity.

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