What Are You Working Toward?

Scott Adams really captured something with this edition of his Dilbert comic strip:

Dilbert.com

Our progressive readers will no doubt declare this to be the reason that unions and government are necessary parties in the employment exchange. From my perspective, it’s the reason that government ought to make it easier for all of us Dilberts to step out on our own and compete with our oppressive bosses — or at least work for some entrepreneur who can profit by luring dissatisfied talent from incumbents.

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Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

As someone who stepped away from the “boss” when I was 23 and never looked back, I would highly suggest doing that.
However, one of the reasons our innovation is slowing is that people are scared to leave their jobs because they lose their health care. Frankly, we are becoming less mobile in our jobs and living because of being tied down to jobs due to the benefits.
That is part of wage slavery.
By making health care universal and/or portable, you empower people to take the chances which result in innovation. However, asking them to do so without health care coverage is like jumping from a plane without a parachute – it is not likely to end well for many.
So, yes, government just made it a bit easier by passing a health care bill. They also made it easier, both federally and in many states, by the COBRA act and extensions.
There are also many other gov. programs specifically to help people succeed on their own – from districts where sales tax is reduced to free business counseling and planning by SCORE. I have done some of that counseling myself, and know other that belong…..they give out priceless info to folks starting out. Another government program that WORKS WELL. Oh, it costs nothing to those who use it, and the budget is tiny – none of the counselors make a penny (all volunteers) and the government is cheap,cheap,cheap with giving them expenses and office space.
A great deal for all.

Andrew
Editor
11 years ago

The strong linkage between healthcare and employers in the U.S is largely an artificial creation of the Federal regulatory and tax code — and a system the Democrats have strenuously fought to keep in place, because…

  1. They are unable to support the policy of extending the current tax breaks only enjoyed by corporations to individuals, because they are ideologically resistant to the idea of extending tax-breaks, even when doing so is more sensible than existing policy, and
  2. Democrats like the idea of using corporate HR departments as “free-of-charge” bureaucracy for imposing their healthcare plans.
Justin Katz
11 years ago

Yeah, right. As if the pensions of old didn’t tie people to their workplace. And as if. I’ll agree that one of the most beneficial steps our society could take to move forward would be to decouple healthcare from employment, but via government isn’t going to do it, because government ultimately has to take the money to subsidize the program from somewhere. Better, also, to decouple routine care and minor services from “insurance” altogether — not to mention government mandates for specific coverage.
The more bureaucracy and regulation, the more information entrepreneurs will have to master to have a shot. Whether the government gives that information out for free, talent at making a particular good or providing a particular service isn’t necessarily (even usually) combined with talent for or desire to maneuver such mazes, bringing the power back to managers, not producers.

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

Justin, Social Security IS portable, so that end of the deal is already done! Almost no one in the private sector gets pensions any longer…which are not funded by themselves (also portable), so that roadblock is also clear. It makes no sense to look toward the future while pointing to the far past of pensions tied to corporate jobs – because it simply is not that way now and will not be that way in the future. In other words, the current system is working towards freeing people for innovation, with lack of health care portability being perhaps the biggest boondoggle. As to the bureaucracy of getting help, I didn’t see that as being part of the cartoon or debate. After all, if one is not innovative enough to call up their local SCORE office or take similar actions, they should not consider going into business in the first place! Still, even for those who do not want to lead – there are advantages to being able to move from one employers to another – maybe where their skills and more useful and they are more productive. Health care portability helps achieve that also. The bright side of Great Depression II is that lots of people have been forced out of the corporate work force and now must sink or swim using their creativity and skill. Once we get moving again, which I predict is 3-5 years in the future, there should be a good foundation of talent and new businesses. Chances are they will be in the services sector – everything from medicine to carpentry to teaching. Hopefully, this country can stop headed down the hole of spending all our money and resources on security and medical insurance….and instead use our “profits” (what we have over and above the… Read more »

David S
David S
11 years ago

“Our progressive readers will no doubt declare this to be the reason that unions and government are necessary parties in the employment exchange. From my perspective, it’s the reason that government ought to make it easier for all of us Dilberts to step out on our own and compete with our oppressive bosses — or at least work for some entrepreneur who can profit by luring dissatisfied talent from incumbents.”
Historically US govt has firmly been behind capital, not labor. So how can you put the two together? Do you know how many times gov’t has used force against workers? What happened in 2009 would support your argument?
There is hope for you, Justin, that you see yourself as a Dilbert. This is precisely the union argument. You will never be taken seriously by capital until you join forces.
But since you totally reject gov’t as a valid player in the economy, why do you seek redress?
The Galts will be quickly replaced with those that figure a way to profits.

BobN
BobN
11 years ago

The comments here show that some people have no sense of humor. I meet up with a large number of “leadership” consultants and executive coaches who walk dangerously on the fine line between the Dilbert world and reality.
Isn’t the new Obamacare law a perfect example of “trading imaginary things in the future for real things today?”
Sure, the reason Dilbert is funny is because there is a painful grain of truth in each cartoon. But anyone who thinks that all businessmen or “capital” thinks of Catbert or the PHB as a role model is an idiot.
If you look at the really successful businesses, a common thread is that they do not show the behaviors of Dilbert characters.
I once was CFO of a tech company whose HR director tried to ban Dilbert comics from peoples’ desks. As you might expect, she couldn’t seen the irony in it. Yes, she was a moonbat Leftist, too.

David S
David S
11 years ago

BobN I do not dispute your premise. “If you look at the really successful businesses, a common thread is that they do not show the behaviors of Dilbert characters.” They are the ones that will replace the Galts.

Monique
Editor
11 years ago

“whose HR director tried to ban Dilbert comics from peoples’ desks”
No way!

BobN
BobN
11 years ago

No, David. Perhaps you have not read Atlas Shrugged. John Galt himself is the opposite of the Dilbert bosses. He is totally above-board and explicit about the terms of any deal, insists on providing the value he promised, and pays not only in cash but in gold. The Galts are men of their word, and they are leaving places like RI because they will not deal with men who are not.

Phil
Phil
11 years ago

The Galts will be quickly replaced with those that figure a way to profits.
Posted by David S at April 10, 2010 6:08 PM
No, David. Perhaps you have not read Atlas Shrugged. John Galt himself is the opposite of the Dilbert bosses.
Posted by BobN at April 10, 2010 7:35 PM
Hmmm. A fictional character from a book is opposite a cartoon character. Bobn seems quite taken with Ayn Rand and her fictional tale. I wonder if it was he who paraded around with yellow signs at the Statehouse. David S is on to something here though. No one is really indispensable. The next generation of John Galts in Rhode Island will most likely be named Juan Garcia or Juanetta Gonzales.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Phil-you are behind the curve-Juan Garcia is here-he runs Immigrants United or some such crap-he’s a race pimp and feeds off his own “brothers”like a lamprey.I hope that’s not who you’re talking about.

BobN
BobN
11 years ago

Isn’t it racist to presume that the next great entrepreneur will necessarily be of a specific ethnicity to the exclusion of all others?
Of course, racism is one of the core principles of “liberals” so one shouldn’t be surprised.

Phil
Phil
11 years ago

BobN
Why so coy? The picture of the man clad in black holding two yellow signs is a picture of you. Why deny it?

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Phil-you are wrong.I was speaking to BobN while that guy was holding the signs.Unless BobN can be in two places at once,your accusation is unfounded.

Phil
Phil
11 years ago

Joe You seem to be everywhere. O.K. I’ll relent.Have a good Tax Day Rally. (although the deadline for filing taxes has been moved back to May 10th for RI residents and some from Mass.)

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Phil-I realize you can’t tolerate being told you’re wrong.I never claimed to be everywhere-and I’m not attending the Tea Party rally.Just don’t accuse me of being a liar.I was there.I ran into BobN-end of story.If you’re calling me a liar-go f88k yourself.Who the hell are you that you’re worth making up a story for?

Phil
Phil
11 years ago

Joe Relax. What do you think O.K. I’ll relent means? I’ve accepted your statement as fact. No one likes to admit to errors but please read more closely in the future. As to BobN I quess I will concede that I am amazed that there could be TWO Ayn Rand obsessed wingnuts out there.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

OK Phil,I guess I read something into your answer you didn’t say.See,now that wasn’t hard for me to say.If I had a quarter for every time I stepped in it,I’d be driving a BMW.
Now,about Ayn Rand.I never read one of the books,although they had a currency when I started college in 1963.
Fiction is not totally irrevelant to real life-quite the opposite-the author has leeway to opinionate and shape the story unlike(we hope)historians.Of course historians do that too,but they won’t admit it.
Sometimes fiction is the best way to mirror a particular time through the eyes and actions of the characters.You always have to keep in mind that it IS fiction.
I personally enjoy Cormac McCarthy.I’ve read all his novels.They are not remotely political,but they reflect certain consistencies in our lives and that can be really uncomfortable.
One of his books,”Outer Dark” is the ultimate literary nightmare-the book is more chilling than any supernatural horror novel.Thete is SOMETHING about the book that seems supernatural,but not explicity so.
Boy,off topic to the max here,but you got me started when you implied that fiction had no legitimate applicability to what is going on around us.

Phil
Phil
11 years ago

Joe
Good. I would not come at you that way. Whatever differences we may have trust me when I say that I respect the fact that you did difficult work in your lifetime on my behalf and others.
I’ve read some of McCarthy’s books. I’ve got to admit though that I think I have to reread most to be able to comment. I have not read Outer Darkness. I think I will. Thanks.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

It’s actually titled “Outer Dark”if you want to look it up on Amazon.
Yes,re-reading can be necessary with some of his stuff-also a dictionary,because if anyone thinks they have a good vocabulary,just try reading “Blood Meridian”without having to look up words.
He also uses a lot of untranslated Spanish.I am pretty fluent in Spanish,but still had to look up some things-even my wife,who grew up speaking Spanish and English concurrently,didn’t know some phrases he used.I think because they were Mexican usages as opposed to the Puerto Rican vernacular she spoke as a kid.
“The Road” and “No Country For Old Men”are his most accesible works,the latter being excellent,and the former not his best stuff,but still very good.

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