Months ago, I read about some idiot businessman, Dan Price, who decided to give every single one of his employees $70,000 a year, Apparently he’d read somewhere (probably The Huffington Post) that $70,000 was the magical figure to achieve happiness.
And yes, he’s on the West Coast. Seattle, to be specific.
Hoping to build his own utopia and inspire others along the way, he slashed his salary to $70,000, cut some employees’ pay and hiked others so that everyone was equal.
I’m sure Dan Price is a very nice kind of idiot, but he’s an idiot nonetheless. Anyone with any grasp on reality would understand that was one epic fail waiting to happen. Since I do have a grasp on reality and I run my own freelance business Innovative Editing, here’s how it works:
· Almost nobody goes to work five days a week and gives it their all because it makes them happy. Almost nobody. They do it because they need the money.
· The promise of more money is a greater incentive than stable money. People will give extra when they think they’ll be paid in kind.
· For mature people, it’s a disincentive to see others do less work, less important work or shoddier work and get the same treatment. For immature people, knowing you’ll get paid the same regardless of whether you bring your A-game or even your B, C or D-game is a great excuse to continue being immature.
In other words, equal pay for unequal work doesn’t inspire anyone to do anything positive.
In other words, socialism doesn’t work.
Which is exactly what Dan Price is finding out the hard way these days. The company is falling apart and he himself is so broke he’s having to rent his home out.
None of this is to say that capitalism doesn’t have its snags. Believe me: I know. I’m petite with short, curly hair. I look more like Snow White fresh out of college than an experienced professional. And yeah, in a capitalist system, my looks do not work in my favor.
Do you know what else doesn’t work in my favor? Working a nine to five under immature people who are so busy trying to make themselves feel better about their pathetic lives that they’ll say and do just about anything, including but not limited to giving everyone but me a raise and bonus for the last two years for reasons nobody cares to share with me.
Again, not fair.
Yet even with those limitations, capitalism is still a whole lot better than socialism. For proof, consider this: I’m not losing my job because my boss was so stupid as to pay everyone $70,000.