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Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I saw an interesting term, called "Dofenism". It means "Why bother?"

It comes from the Soviet Union. In an absolute communist dictatorship, it makes no difference if you do a brilliant job or a barely competent job. The incentive is to do just enough work to get by.

This attitude is spreading towards to the USA. The USA is acting more like an absolute communist dictatorship, and less like a free market. A lot of people are giving up. They know it doesn't make a difference, so they do the minimum possible work.

For example, in my current wage slave job, it makes no difference if I do a brilliant job or a barely competent job. I do my best, but maybe that's because I'm stupid. Even if I stay with my current employer for 20 years, the odds are practically zero that I would get promoted to Vice President or higher. Why should I work excessively hard?

You might say "Switch jobs if you're underused." However, any wage slave job will have the same problem. If I switch jobs, my next employer won't know what I'm doing now. How can a clueless prospective employer tell the difference whether I'm a good worker or an unqualified loser? I should start my own business, but the State makes that hard.

For most wage slaves, hard work no longer leads to promotion and advancement. Why should anyone work hard? The people who work hard are exploited losers. This attitude is spreading and it's dangerous.

State thugs have mostly disconnected effort from reward. The result is that most people have stopped trying. The USA is in danger of collapse like the Soviet Union collapsed. The USA is getting more like a communist dictatorship, and less like a free market.


Anonymous said...

I worked very hard in several jobs. By hard I mean working on a Saturday from early afternoon to the early hours of the morning, in addition to a long working week.

But in fact I got paid less than a far less skilled worker working a standard 40 hour working week.

What chocked me was that several of my employers marveled at my perfect standard of work. But it never translated to paying me a fair wage - even a wage proportional to the hours I worked over other employees!

Part of this might have been my fault for not negotiating better when I was hired.

One easily recounted experience was when a client telephoned my manager for work to be done late in the week. This effectively meant I had to do the work at the weekend. My employer then billed the client for work I effectively did for free at the weekend. The client was an investment bank! I had a low wage at the time and was effectively working FOR FREE for a wealthy bank.

What a rip off! Needless to say I left than job.

But the new job wasn't that much different. The work I was doing had more long-term benefit and I was made better use of, but I still got no benefit from my work.

I had thought these jobs were exceptions. Maybe I was unlucky.

The problem is managers in the software business often don't have a clue what the workers are doing. I suppose this will be the same for any technical discipline.

Anonymous said...

steamroller says:
FSK - You are quite correct!
Your last paragraph articulates the problem. We have no incentive anymore, and thus no competition. Competition always results when there is a reward. Coercion is the product of a failed state where incentive has been removed. The examples you stated are evidence.
I blame unions. I have seen many times where union thugs have told a wage slave: "Slow Down, Pal, you're making the rest of us look bad - so capeesh? This results in lack of productivity because of being non-competitive. The USA is non-competitive and non-productive and thus the standard of living will continue to decline. Materialism will no longer be an entitlement - it will be back to the only way - WE EARN IT - or we will become like Argentina and do without it.

Master Doh-San said...

The whole country -- at least the smart ones -- are "going Galt" in this very subtle way. As they used to say in the old Soviet Union: we pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us.

Anonymous said...

In my experience of jobs, it is the incompetent, who can't program at all, that get promoted to management or team leader positions. I've seen this again and again.

Allison said...

Is it not enough competition... or, perhaps, is it too much? With the actual unemployment rate at around 25% and rising, I doubt you're suffering from lack of competition. Corporations (who we all know are only dedicated to profits) pay more for employees only when they are forced to pay more. Corporations have not been in such a situation since the 1970's. For more understanding, see Dr Richard Wolff video lecture, When the Shit Hits the Fan.

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