Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Quickies: Something For Nothing?

     I’ve been noticing a certain trend in human relations, and I must say, I can’t find it in me to approve of it. Quite a lot of folks have started demanding stuff to which they have absolutely no right. Moreover, they’re offering nothing in return.

     Take this business of the minimum wage. There’s a lot of agitation for a sharp increase in it. At least two states and several municipalities have bent to it...without getting anything in return. Were I the lead negotiator – assuming there’s anyone to negotiate with, of course – I’d ask one question:

     FWP: To pay you an additional $6.00 per hour in wages will cost me $240.00 per week per employee. What will I get in return?
     Them: Uh...
     FWP: I see. No, you’re not getting an increase.

     That, of course, is why the demanders pitch their claims to the Omnipotent State, which can magically make us capable of affording such an increase in labor costs with no increase in labor productivity. They might as well ask for $100.00 per hour minimum. It’s just as contrary to the laws of economics and would have the same result: a sharp decrease in the employment of the lowest-category employees.

     On the international front, the demanders of greatest notoriety are the Palestinians. They want a sovereign state with full international recognition, a corridor that would join the West Bank to the Gaza Strip, half of Jerusalem, and the removal of all Jews from “their” territory. To which any Israeli premier would quite reasonably ask, “And will you recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state?” The answer, of course, is a resounding NO! So why should Israel even talk to them – especially given that they won’t agree to cease bombarding Israel with Qassam rockets, digging tunnels into Israel, or trying to kidnap or assassinate Israeli soldiers?

     Something for nothing? Sorry, chaps; no sale.

     Just today I had a “close encounter” with the trend. A representative of a home improvements company cold-called me to ask if I might have need for their services. We discussed a project I have in mind, and the representative told me he could have someone at my home “between 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM.” The rest of the exchange ran roughly as follows:

FWP: Can you guarantee that he’ll get here during that interval?
Rep: Well, he might be late. He’s got a full schedule.
FWP: If he’s late, I won’t deal with your company.
Rep: Don’t you think that would be a little harsh?
FWP: What, I’m supposed to commit to being here indefinitely throughout the afternoon and into the evening for your convenience? If your company representative can’t keep an agreed-upon appointment, wouldn’t I be a fool to trust you to deliver a major renovation project on time and within budget?

     The conversation ended shortly thereafter.

     “Something for nothing” is an unattractive proposition. Yet a great many people listen to such demands as if they owed the demanders something. I don’t get it. Do you, Gentle Reader?


Capt. Kranky said...

Something for nothing is our new motto in the USA with children receiving trophies for simply participating to illegals coming across the border and getting financial assistance. We have become a country of dependent adults who no longer wish to fend for themselves when we can let the all powerful government subsidize societies' laziness.

Unknown said...

Impossible to measure the benefit America's Free Enterprise system has had on the world at large, but there is one area at home where it is questionable; speaking of effects, that is. In this country it has worked almost too well. It's made us neglect, or at least be unable to show the younger generations why and how to "put back" what is taken out. Complacency has been a deadly side-effect. Comfort has smothered accountability in many ways. But I still love this country, and am mightily blessed to have been born and raised in it.