Wednesday, August 20, 2008


That politicians, political activists such as unions and professional societies, lobbyists, and others who wish to live "politically" should be willing and even eager to burden jobs comes as no surprise. Their source of wealth depends upon ordinary working people transferring a part of the wealth they have earned "economically" to those who wish to live "politically". The question is why is it those ordinary people so willing to allow jobs to become so heavily burdened. We have already discussed one reason in our exploration of the "health-care" problem. Today we look at two other reasons, the first is closely related to health care. Earlier, we considered the reason due to fear of a serious long-term illness. Now we consider the effects of a sort of low level lack of health.

The problems stem from the idea that "jobs" imply work. Many, if not most Americans, recognize that they are simply incapable of the sustained effort required to earn a living in a totally free market environment. They, therefore, look for some kind of guarantee. One such guarantee is making it difficult to lay a person off. Another, of course, is job-loss insurance. To understand why they are incapable of a sustained effort I am going to cite a popular weight loss book. The book is "Fit-or-Fat by Covert Bailey. In his book Mr. Bailey tells that he worked on the ski-patrol as a young man. One of the requirements was to carry a 10 lb. pack with various items that would be helpful if he found someone in trouble. He skied around and was very active all day without the additional weight bothering or hindering him in any way. He found, however, that when he gained ten pounds, that he tired much sooner even if he did not have to carry the pack. In other words, being ten pounds overweight was much more enervating than carrying an equal amount of extra weight when he was at his correct weight. Many Americans acknowledge that they are overweight, but it is unimportant because their work requires mental effort rather than physical. The problem with this sort of thinking is that mental effort is probably hindered as much, if not more, by poor health. The Greek motto--a sound mind requires a sound body--almost certainly applies.

As problematic, probably more, than the fact that many Americans are incapable of providing for themselves in a truly free market arena, is the problem that many do not know what hard work is. Almost everyone thinks of themselves as being a "hard worker". But it is important to recognize that some "hard work" is simply not worth doing and some is counter productive. Harry Reid, in describing the people in his hometown, said of them that "they never shunned hard work". This is a better way to think of the value of effort. In the Sherlock Holmes story "the Redheaded League" the crooks can certainly boast that they worked very hard, mentally and physically. They devised a scheme so complex and confusing that only the Greatest Brain in detective story history is able to unravel it. They also dug a tunnel underground a considerable distance to break into the Bank of England, requiring an admirable amount of physical effort. But what they were really doing was shunning the really hard work--the effort, both mental and physical, required to provide for themselves in a free market, i. e. the effort to live "economically". It is the attempt to avoid of this effort that gives the burdening of jobs one of its greatest appeals.

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