Friday, May 18, 2012

Why Do the Work?

A wise person told me that “only those that do the work will ever get in trouble”. Those words are so true. Our society norms are inverted, because it protects those people that are burden on society. These are people that I like to refer to as “carbon emitting oxygen thieves”. On the other side of the spectrum are those people that work hard to not only support themselves and their families, but whose taxes support carbon emitting oxygen thieves. These hard working people face many other obstacles besides taxes including laws, restrictions, mandates, and rules that can sometimes get them in trouble.

On the job, I was routinely in trouble because I was trying to find ways to circumvent red tape to get the job done on time. The rules I broke were not criminal offenses, but merely trivial corporate policies. Hence, I was simply trying to reform corporate policy to eliminate for instance, needless redundancy in the process. Needless to say, I was routinely being reprimanded. Over the years I won a few battles and changed bad corporate policy, but most of the time the bureaucracy within the corporate environment was the victor. The most frustrating part of my corporate experience was while I was being reprimanded, a large portion of the corporate payroll was riding the “gravy train”. They kept a low profile and worked sparingly. I worked hard but was seen as a bad seed; meanwhile many oxygen thieves were seen as good employees because they conformed to corporate bureaucracy and did not do enough work to draw attention to them. In essence, they mastered the art of “sandbagging”. And when I worked on government projects, the amount of red tape and sandbagging oxygen thieves only increased.

The philosophical phenomenon of rewarding oxygen thieves can be seen everywhere in our society. There are people who have not worked an honest day in their lives. They are rewarded with welfare, Medicaid, food stamps, and low income housing without ever contributing anything tangible towards society. On the other hand, hardworking folks face traffic accidents and traffic violations merely getting to work. Once at work, they face many corporate risks on a daily basis. For instance, hardworking folks face lawsuits for making errors or mistakes. A doctor or pharmacist may face a lawsuit for prescribing or inadvertently filling a prescription with the wrong drug. One bad day can not only end a career, but it could mean life in prison. In fact, a person that is contributing nothing positive towards society is more likely to file a frivolous lawsuit against a hard working individual in an attempt to get rich quick. And what’s worse, many times a frivolous lawsuit will win and therefore, ruin one person’s life while giving wealth to another that did not earn it. Yes, our laws are written to protect deadbeats and carbon emitting oxygen thieves.

So the question is why do the work if there are so many obstacles, rules, and laws making the job not only harder, but more risky? The incentives to be innovative and create new products and to grow businesses are no longer there. And to make matters much worse, the more money an individual or company makes the more they are penalized with higher taxes. This is the reason “Joe the Plumber” refused to take on additional risk and buy a plumbing business. There is always going to be risk in the private sector, but is it the job of the government and the courts to increase these risks so there is no longer any incentive for someone to venture into owning their own business? No, but that is exactly what is happening and it has got to stop. People who are not holding their own and making a positive impact towards society should not have more rights than those that are taking all the risks to fund their entitlements. It simply is not fair nor is it consistent.

My Book: Is America Dying? (, Barnes and Noble)

1 comment:

  1. Good post, Patrick. I can’t argue with anything. As with all things, I am more frustrated with the enablers than I am with those who abuse the system. I understand that people will abuse the system. A certain segment of the population is just that way. But this could be easily managed if we just adopted policies that didn’t reward such folks. It should be that simple. That’s why I dislike liberals more than I dislike freeloaders. The liberals make it possible for the freeloaders – at the expense of everyone else. THAT is a mentality I will never understand.