One of these damn internet forwards that is probably not true but is also probably accurate:
An economics professor at a local college made a statement that 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.
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 and 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 the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.
Could not be any simpler than that.
"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of 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 gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
- Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931
The happiest society:
- There is an agreed-upon values system and goal.
- People agree it is a privilege not a right to be part.
- Those who do good are rewarded.
- Those who do bad can expect to be punished.
- Those who do nothing exceptional get the minimum.
- Those who do some exceptional get more.
That's as simple as it gets, and there are more elements like having higher IQ/higher character people, but this formula will get any society on the path to health.