Monday, October 29, 2012
Eat only What you kill
I am not an "eat what you kill" kind of person. I never was. I am, in fact a little disgusted by those people. I am more of a "when we succeed I succeed" type. I think we should be. I think it is good for a pack animal such as the homosapien. This is why I support a redistribution of some money to the pack from the highest earners and oppose an Objectivist "me me me" mentality.
What does "eat what you kill" mean? Well, there is a personal injury law firm in my area (a big one) that has that as part of their training. After an attorney is hired they get a small salary for six months and then they only get a portion of the fees they bring into the firm. Don't get any cases in month 7 and you get no paycheck. You eat (money) what you kill (cases). Sounds fine. Nice shallow sensible logic.
Here is the thing though... The firm has a huge turnover rate. People don't stay for very long. After a while they realize that, aside from the advertising, they get nothing from their firm and they are way better off going it alone. They take there clients and start their own firm. This leaves the firm with new inexperienced lawyers for ever.
This does not help the clients or the lawyers there. The only people this policy benefits are the Partners. Any new lawyer with the killer instinct and no learning curve will do well but they would do well no matter what and will use the firm long enough to get their footing and abandon ship. Why give part of their money away? Those who take a little longer to warm up or to get a client base will move to a different area of law.
Seems to me there are better ways to exploit the skills of more people. Reward assistance. I would use a hockey or basketball metaphor about assists if I were a sporty guy. But I am not. So I shall not. But you get the idea. There is no way to have an army full of leaders. You need followers or helpers or assists. Why not reward support staff. Why not reward collaboration? Why not consider the team? When the team benefits we should all get some. The incentive is for the individual to better the firm. Result? I think a stronger firm.
The argument against? The free rider. If an attorney gets a small paycheck without doing anything and gets bonuses based upon performance (which is what I suggest) why not just take the small paycheck and live lazy and a little poor? There is status. There is more money and therefor more economic freedom and power.
If you have not figured it out by now, I am using a metaphor to talk about the social safety net. I am talking about welfare and unemployment and Social Security and free education. I am talking about those who need help because we do not think what they have to offer is valuable. Many of us are not intellectually predisposed or have not had the appropriate early training in how to think good. It is a skill and one that needs to be learned fairly young. Those people used to be able to work with their hands and do grunt labor. They could support their family. We no longer value their work. We have outsourcing and machines. Screw dumb, strong people. I disagree, but even if we accept this idea (useless people should just starve) they have children. This is no "what about the children" plea. These kids should be able to get the kind of education that enables them to contribute to the new economy. For them and for equality and flowers and shit? Yes, but not only.
My question is about Einstein. Or more correctly, the next Einstein. Only this one never had any schooling and he works at Costco, night manager. He never got the training and the intellectual investment that makes a born genius into an actual genius. Will we produce a crapload of smart useless people like me? Yes. But every once in a while we will get that one in a million mind. The kind that can conceive of a new way to look at light, or energy, or matter, or antibiotics, or prosthetics, or discover a way to protect us from aliens or what have you. We would have lost this. A whole generation of starving children with no education gives us a dark age. What we need now is a lot of minds thinking about a lot of things. I often wonder how many geniuses our country lost by enslaving a huge portion of their population for so long, by not education our women and by shitting on people whose only sin was to be born poor.
I support a society where we can (selfishly) use the assets we have. We can educate the poor and keep them from starvation to make this country better which makes it better for all. Better for the rich and better for the poor. We need to remember that evolution is about the survival of a group first and an individual second. At least it is in pack animals. And we are the ultimate pack animal. Unlike these Ayn Rand supporters I know I am part of a pack and that pack is America and I want the city on a hill to last into the next century and beyond. I love my country and I don't think the modern Republican Party does. And the both saddens and frightens me.