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View Diary: What about the pay ethic? (294 comments)

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  •  Wow. Jaded much? (2+ / 0-)
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    longislandny, hmi

    Few of the people I know who work hard, study hard, are honest and play by the rules are not successful.

    Are there challenges?  Yes.

    Frustrations?  Yes.

    Are they zillionaires?  No.

    The wages you make are mostly proportional to your willingness and ability to do things that other people will not, or cannot do.

    If you are willing to study hard enough to be a doctor or lawyer or engineer, you will get paid for that.

    If you are willing to walk in the rain and snow and be a postal carrier, you will get paid for that.

    If you are willing to be on call 24x7x365 and wade through other people's shit, you can be a plumber and get paid for that.

    If you are willing to study hard and learn physical trades like carpentry or mechanics, you will get paid for that.

    If you are willing to work 2500 hour years and risk your assets, you can start a small business and may get paid for that.

    If you want to skate through school, or get a degree in English lit or history.  You had better be one of the best in the world at what you choose to do, or you aren't going to get paid for that.

    Are there people who are born with a silver spoon?  Sure.  So what.

    Telling kids to work hard, study hard and play fair is a great start.  Don't throw out the baby with the bath.

    •  You're positively ignorant (5+ / 0-)

      First the data since the 80's has shown that america was one of the least upwardly mobile nations in the western hemisphere.

      Secondly ive done all of the above and bubba, i have a lot more accomplishments under my belt than you do. Created a business from scratch? Check. Extremely skilled in a field (computer science) check. Work my BUTT off andwilling to change field, retrain and outwork my neighbor? Check. Trucker. Try 100 hours a week no sleep. No family. No friends. Management skill? Check. Started as a dishwasher and was running a restaurant by my mid 20's.

      You know what this economy offers me right now? McDonalds. I could try going back to trucking and give up seeing my niece grow up for half what i made before because the competition has doubled. Be home 34 hours every 3 weeks or so.

      My friends (I have a LOT of them)? They dont have those qualifications. And theyre in the same boat. I have several friends who have been unemployed for 2 to 3 years. Not because theyre looking for a dream job. Because theyre looking for a job that pays friggin 8 bucks an hour... just enough to pay gas, car payment and rent.

      Your time will come. And when it does i can bet you'll be the first to scream about the evil gubmint and how its the other guys fault somehow.. but not now.. right now youre eating fine so its time for everyone else starving out their to grab some bootstraps.

      And Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

      by cdreid on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 10:35:28 AM PDT

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      •  Or not (2+ / 0-)
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        kurt, Boogalord

        You don't know me.  You don't know my background or how ignorant I am.  You don't know what I've accomplished.  You assume much.

        You don't always get to choose your circumstances, just your response to them.

        I've worked in IT since the 80s, and it is one of the more egalitarian professions.  One of the first to realize that women and people of color could be good contributors (no, it's not perfect... but more meritocracy than most professions).

        In IT, if you keep your skills sharp and are willing to go where the work is, there is work.  Has it gotten more scarce since the move to offshore?  Yes, but it's there.

        If you are in a position where you can't relocate, I sympathize.  If you are in an industry that has disappeared, like manufacturing, I know times are tough.

        What I was responding to was the suggestion that something OTHER than hard work, school work, and honesty should be suggested to kids entering the workforce.  If you give up on those principles, there is no hope.

        My intention was not to blame the victims, but rather to avoid creating a generation of victims.

        I've been running a small business for the last 20 years.  We have had good times and lean times.  I think this is a combination of hard work and good fortune.  Could we fail next year, sure.

        I don't blame people who are out of work, but telling the next generation that the game is rigged and there is no point in working hard is a recipe for long term failure.  These are hard times.  These times will pass.

        •  Noone has said that (0+ / 0-)


          But its damn sure time we stop lying. Hard work and a moral life dont guarantee anything. In america more often than not they mark you as a sucker. Getting a BA or medical degree will cover you for a little while now. But the entitled middle and uppermiddle are about to feel the pain theyve wrought on the lower classes.

          And i do wish you good luck and honestly hope you persevere and continue to succeed. We both know how unlikely that is though. All the software to permanently oursource any "it" job to anywhere on the planet is stable and cheap now. No reason to pay an on staff it guy 40k a year when an indian firm will do it for 10k and even give a floor supervisor a 20 minute online course in "how to swap out equipment when we tell you to". And programming.. well.. the situation is even sadder.

          You cant succeed when there is no opportunity to succeed. There are millions of literal geniuses around the planet who are living in utter poverty. And billions of average people. Not because they wont work hard. But because they have no opportunity.

          And the world they live in is the world the republicans AND democrats are creating for us.

          And Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

          by cdreid on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:36:10 PM PDT

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          •  I agree with you (1+ / 0-)
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            Hard work and a moral life dont guarantee anything.

            There are no guarantees and life isn't fair.  But hard work is a good start and the best bet most people have.  I was responding to a comment that said, basically what you said after, that people who believe in hard work are suckers.  I disagree.

            As to globalization, if the IT guys in India can do it better and cheaper than me, they should.  I need to be reinventing myself to do something better and cheaper than they can do it.  I worry about that, but I don't fear it.  It motivates me.

            •  It will happen (0+ / 0-)

              theres more than one reason i dont do programming, web design, seo etc etcetc. Youre running a highly competant buggy whip factory. The problem is my friend theres nothing to reinvent yourself as unless you have the time and money to go into a medical profession. And are of that bent.

              And Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

              by cdreid on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 07:47:56 PM PDT

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    •  I work, at most (3+ / 0-)

      about 2 hours per day. Sometimes two or three. I got this work by sheer luck since I lacked any meaningful qualifications or experience for it. And I make in a month what a lot of people make in a year.

      And it is the kind of work anybody with a pocket calculator could do.

      So, the idea that everybody has what they have because of merit is just pure bullshit. Most of the people I know on Wall Street wouldn't last 10 minutes as a drug dealer in the hood. But if any one of those street kids got a crack at a bond desk like i did, they'd run circles around these fools.

      Merit is a bullshit fantasy. It is all about access, connections, and luck.

      a spook who sits by the door

      by brooklynbadboy on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 11:45:17 AM PDT

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      •  Merit matters (0+ / 0-)

        Is life fair?  No.

        Is merit ALL that matters?  No.

        Is it a good idea to tell children that merit doesn't matter?  NO!!!

        I live on Earth.  If persons A and B have the same level of skill and person B has a network connection to a job, I know who will get the work.  And I don't think this is bad.

        I will also tell you that if person A is much more qualified than person B, connections won't matter nearly as much, because the person hiring is also trying to be successful... in fact, they are trying to hire someone who will work hard and be honest (or they are fools who will not survive in most industries for long).

        I'm not trying to be disrespectful or suggest these aren't tough times... but if we get so jaded that we begin to tell our kids that the game is fixed and honest effort and hard work don't matter we will banish them to the trash heap.

        Luck matters.  Access matters.  Connections matter.  Hard work matters.  Honesty matters.  If you don't think all of these are true, what planet are you living on?

        Do scumbags sometimes manage to steal a lot of money? Yes they do.  Do you want your kids to aspire to be scumbags?

        We don't get to choose our parents or our socio-economic group - but we have a lot of choices we can make about whether or not we study hard, work hard, play hard and play fair.  In the long run, for most people, working hard will pay.

        •  Ha! (2+ / 0-)
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          Odysseus, kurt

          I can assure you that qualifications ALWAYS takes a back seat to connections. It is a very rare occasion when the merits of someone's resume is the deciding factor in choosing who gets what.

          As to the idea that working hard will pay off in the long run, this is a statement of faith than a matter of fact.

          My advice to youth is very simple:

          Just try to enjoy your life and take time to smell the roses. Do whatever makes you happy and don't worry about material things. If you are doing what you enjoy, material rewards will come, if you're lucky. But mainly, lucky or not, do what you love.

          a spook who sits by the door

          by brooklynbadboy on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 01:58:52 PM PDT

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