WELFARE  6'1m*f RT: Coveting, government, rewards, equality

(RT == Readers' Theater: requires little or no memorization,
little or no rehearsal. An indefinite number of students are
salted throughout the audience. Each student stands to deliver
his lines.)

PROFESSOR -- (enters carrying folder, crosses to podium, opens
folder) Good morning. Welcome to Economics 101. I'm Professor
Johnson and I will be teaching this course on the effects of
government intervention in the economy. During this course you
will be given fifteen mandatory homework assignments, fifteen
mandatory quizzes, one mandatory midterm exam and one final
exam. Attendance at all classes is also mandatory. Now, I'm sure
you're all eager to hear about grades. Anyone who attends all
classes will receive a C for attendance. Anyone who does all the
homework assignments perfectly will receive a C for homework.
Anyone with a perfect score on all quizzes will receive a C, and
anyone who gets a perfect grade in the midterm and final exams
will receive a C. Now let's talk about the outline for the

STUDENT -- Excuse me.


STUDENT -- Um. What if a person gets a perfect score on
attendance and homework and quizzes and midterm and final exams?

PROFESSOR -- He will get a C for the course. Now, about the
course outline...

STUDENT -- Excuse me.


STUDENT -- What if a person misses a class?

PROFESSOR -- He'll still get a C. Now back to the course

STUDENT -- Excuse me.


STUDENT -- What if a person misses ALL the classes?

PROFESSOR -- He'll still get a C.

STUDENT -- So, all students will get a C for attendance whether
they come to class or not?

PROFESSOR -- That's correct. Before we go on, are there any
other questions?

STUDENT -- What about the homework assignments?

PROFESSOR -- What about them?

STUDENT -- What if we don't turn in ANY homework assignments?

PROFESSOR -- You will get a C.

STUDENT -- Is the same true for the quizzes?


STUDENT -- And the exams?


STUDENT -- And the final grade?


STUDENT -- So, just so I understand, if I bust my hump and do
everything perfectly, I'll get the same reward as a person who
does nothing?

PROFESSOR -- That's correct.

STUDENT -- That's not fair! Why are you doing this?

PROFESSOR -- It's my way of expressing compassion on those less

STUDENT -- Compassion?!

PROFESSOR -- That's right. I feel the pain of those in my class
who don't do well on routine tasks like homework or mentally
challenging tasks like tests. And in order to show my
compassion, I have decided to take the A's an B's from those
more fortunate and apply them to those with F's and D's.

STUDENT -- You can't be serious!

PROFESSOR -- Why not? The government does this sort of thing all
the time.

STUDENT -- This is ridiculous.

PROFESSOR -- Then, let me repeat what I said at the start of
class: Welcome to Economics 101. I'm Professor Johnson and I
will be teaching this course on the effects of government
intervention in the economy.

STUDENT -- I don't get it. How is that relevant to this

PROFESSOR -- When government intervenes into the economy of a
nation, fairness suffers.

STUDENT -- Are you saying that government intervention into the
economy has the same affect as your grading system?

PROFESSOR -- It's not exactly the same, but the tendency is
proportional. The more a government intervenes in the economy,
the less fair it becomes.

STUDENT -- It's not the same! It's not the same at all!

PROFESSOR -- How is redistributing grades any different than
redistributing wealth?

STUDENT -- Money is not the same as grades.

PROFESSOR -- How are they different?

STUDENT -- I... I don't know. But I'm sure they are.

PROFESSOR -- Let me ask you a question. When I announced that
the slackers would get the same grade as the conscientious
students, what was your reaction?

STUDENT -- My reaction?

PROFESSOR -- Yes. Did you develop a strategy for this course
based on how well your efforts are rewarded?

STUDENT -- Well, yeah. I decided that if that's the way it
really would be, why bother?

PROFESSOR -- If you earned twice as much money as your coworker,
but your boss gave some of your earnings to your coworker, would
you be upset?

STUDENT -- Of course.

PROFESSOR -- If you knew your boss would do exactly the same
thing next pay period, would your strategy change?

STUDENT -- Of course. I'd either quit or quit trying.

PROFESSOR -- The result of imposing equality is NEVER an
increase in production, it's ALWAYS a decrease. Do you think
it's any different when it's the government who is picking your

STUDENT -- How is the government picking our pockets?

PROFESSOR -- One method is euphamistically called "Welfare".

STUDENT -- How does welfare pick our pockets?

PROFESSOR -- Welfare has the same effect as paying people for
not working. The outcome is the same as telling people, "Why go
out and work for a living when the government will pay you for
being unemployed?"

STUDENT -- You're not really saying that the government should
let poor people starve to death, are you?

PROFESSOR -- Not at all. For thousands of years poor people were
ministered to by churches, charities and charitable people.
When churches give to the poor, it's perceived as MERCY. But
when the government does the giving, those receiving it call it
an ENTITLEMENT, which is defined by the Bible as coveting. And
those whose pockets are picked for this entitlement are filled
with resentment. Why the difference? In one case the giving is
voluntary and in the other the giving is legalized stealing.

STUDENT -- You aren't REALLY going to give all of us in this
class the same grade, are you?

PROFESSOR -- Of course not! I want each of you to strive for
excellence, so I will reward you for excellence. It's the only
truly fair system. And that's why the Bible says that there are
only two legitimate rolls for government: To punish those who do
wrong and to reward those who do right. One could argue that
welfare violates both of those rolls, which is why one could
argue that government welfare is as immoral as it is

Okay, that's it for today. You can pick up a course outline and
the REAL grading system on your way out the door. See you next
time. (exits)

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