Gives the Term “Wage Slaves” A Whole New Meaning
Bill Quick

Works and Days » The Last Generation of the West and the Thin Strand of Civilization

We forget that the obligations of the working to care for the 70-80 million who genuinely cannot work become more difficult, when the 90 million who can work for all sorts of reasons won’t. Note the theme of this essay: the more in humane fashion we provide unemployment insurance, food stamps, subsidized housing, legal advice, health care and disability insurance, the more the recipients find it all inadequate, inherent proof of unfairness and inequality, and always not enough.

Just as Gresham’s Law tells us that bad money drives out good, one of Quick’s Iron Laws informs us that moochers, looters, thieves and bums drive out the productive members of society.

This is especially certain when entitlements assume the status of currency.  Institutionalized altruism inevitably leads to inistitutionalized slavery.  Ayn Rand understood this, but most of America has no clue.

Bill Quick

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


Gives the Term “Wage Slaves” A Whole New Meaning — 5 Comments

  1. Ok, I was going to post in Off Topic about this, and then you go and create a whole topic.

    I am facing a moral dilemma. I lost my job last week, and I’m pretty sure I could find another one without too much trouble, in my field. I might have to set my sights a little lower, but I’m fairly optimistic.

    I checked out my options for unemployment, and was surprised to discover that my state pays a fairly heft amount. Last I heard, it was available way longer than 27 weeks, what with FedGov extensions and whatnot.

    I could enthusiastically seek new work. Or, I could do a half-assed job of it, and spend my time studying music, learning to draw, or writing my novel.

    I spent over 30 years paying taxes into the system, and lost my job through no fault of my own. Unemployment insurance provides me an incentive to stay home and do what I want, instead of hurrying back to becoming a wage slave.

    In fact, if I took a job at the same pay I was receiving before, the first 10 hours of every week would be for zero pay, net. That’s not counting the clothing, gas, differential in food, keeping a schedule, and other costs, both monetary and other opportunity.

    6 months on the dole to learn to write? Learn to play? Learn to draw? Go camping in the middle of the week just because the weather’s nice?

    Persuade me to do a good job at job hunting, because I’m not feeling it right now.

  2. With the current state of the job market, if you stay out for 6 months, you may not be able to find a job then. A lot of employers are looking at time off like that as a negative indicator for employment.

  3. lpdbw, What about a third option. If you have marketable skills. You might consider collected unemployment while you set up your own business. The nice thing about business is the option of including your favorite past-time/hobby and building it into your business model. The write-offs can be considerable, because you can expense out your prior hobby costs.

  4. Go Galt, young man!

    However, if you feel that you simply must contribute to the economy, being paid while you first improve your skills or your fulfilledness as a human being seems like a good way to go about it.

    The situation is different in NYS. Unemployment benefits cap out at $400/week or thereabouts. I approve of that, on the basis that it discourages sitting around on the dole. On the other hand, it still pays enough that the least-skilled and least-motivated are encouraged to sit around on the dole. (There’s also the delightful requirement that the self-employed, eg me, are required to pay unemployment “premiums” on our income but aren’t eligible to collect if all work goes sour, but that’s a separate issue.) You also can’t start a business while collecting unemployment.

    I don’t know if drach’s caution is still relevant. Depends on the field, probably, and maybe on the particular market. I do know that a lot of headhunters in the software consulting biz realize the job market and the economy have changed and don’t take bouts of out-of-workness as a bad sign.

    Finally, if you really want to (or economically have to) get a job, look at government work, preferably as a consultant. That’s my method of going Galt: I’m sucking down tax dollars, drawing a decent hourly wage (not national top of the line, but this area doesn’t pay top of the line) for a flat 40 hour week. I’m contributing nothing to the economy because the contracts I take are at best useless. I’m even dragging team productivity down by insisting that all of the productivity-killing procedural and paperwork steps be followed — all I’m doing is making sure the government people follow their own required procedures, no matter how time-consuming and painful.

  5. Speaking for myself, I’ve always taken pride in taking care of/supporting myself and not being a weight around my neighbors (or anybody else’s) neck. Even though sometimes I was tired and it seemed rather pointless to continue, I still would not allow myself to ride on the wagon rather than to keep pulling.

    It seems this attitude that I always thought was prevalent in my country and what, in my mind, helped make it great is fast disappearing, much to my chagrin.

    ‘Nuf said.