THWACK! Thank You Sir! May I Have Another?

What motivates a person, a carrot? a stick?
Well I’ve seen a tagline that said anything that doesn’t kill me just makes me stronger. A stick does motivate people. Probably always has, I remember a Bugs Bunny toon where Sam and Bugs are running for mayor. At one point Bugs sports the small glasses, buck teeth, and mustache of TR. He says “I speak softly and carry a biiig stick!” Sam runs up says, “Well I speak loud and carry a bigger stick! And I use it too!” and he bops Bugs on the head. The last election brings up carrot and stick strategies. The GOP seems to favor a stick approach to getting people off welfare. Cut ’em off and they’ll go out and get work. And they favor a carrot approach to encouraging businesses, yeah lets get rid of those pesky regulations and taxes.

I consider myself a Liberal. That doesn’t mean that I think government is utopian. It means that the cost of doing business is not always immediately obvious. You like those countries with low or no corporate tax? I hope you like paying for it in graft. If you’re using lots of irrigation water, do you compensate the people downstream that no longer have that water to drink? If you own a power plant or factory and release pollutants how do you assess downstream damages? You want cheap pork so you open a confinement operation. Do you live downwind of it? If the owners had to live next to their operations, they might decide to clean them up a bit. Personally I think making the top execs live there would be a more effective environmental law. You foul the air, you breathe it. You foul the water, you drink it. Camels know it, the eye of the needle sees it, the love of money is the root of evil. Certainly people should be rewarded for their inventiveness, perseverance, and work ethic. Now think for a minute. If you won a large Powerball jackpot and had millions of dollars. You would not have to work at a job somewhere {particularly a Mcjob}. But that doesn’t mean you would plop in front of a TV and veg until you were dead. You would probably do something that you like to do, something you want to do, whether you make any money at it or not. I’ve never been wealthy, but I did get a Governor’s Volunteer Award in 88 for my work recording books on audio tapes. So at what point is a person wealthy enough? At what point should a person feel, I’ve got enough, the extra can go towards helping people. On the History channel they had a program called “Secret Passages”. On one segment they talked about a wealthy industrialist who felt bad for the locals that wanted to work but couldn’t find jobs. So he hired anybody that wanted to work and had them dig tunnels. In one sense useless, meaningless work, because there was no reason for the tunnels. On the other hand, he helped employ the locals. He spread the wealth around benefiting many. I think it’s a positive story, not a story of waste. Yet if the government tries to redistribute wealth in the exact same way, some would call it waste, some would probably even call it evil.

Self made millionaire? You were raised by wolves then? No, you’d have to give the wolves some credit for taking care of you when you were too young to care for yourself. There are most definitely skills involved in selling yourself, or in selling anything. Knowledge is power, and an awful lot of it comes from others. Look at language. Should you be able to tell what race a person is by talking to them on the phone? How you talk comes from others. You probably didn’t invent your own language and then teach it to your parents/relatives. First impressions do count in job interviews.

I’ll get off my soapbox now, I need some more soap anyway.

Wild

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