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  • #19
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    @magnacarta possibly, but I'll give the benefit of the doubt that since 10% of the population is employed by the federal government, 20% of those employees are productive. Whether what they are producing is of any value out not is open for debate.
  • #32
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    Unfortunately, government position, having the power to confiscate the wealth of one and give it to another, DOES have value to those on the receiving end of the equation. When government no longer has that power, the 'worth' of government workers to the takers will greatly diminish.
  • #42
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    @Dagobert paying your due taxes isn't confiscation of your wealth. it's doing your duty to your country. in actuality, the amt. that you're paid is, in part, based on your taxes that you'll pay. we have to give our nation the money to function and to help those who need it.
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  • #2
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    so if I'm building houses for the poor and feeding the homeless....would this be considered valuable work that should receive a high amount of compensation....I mean it certainly fits the criteria that my efforts are adding to the lives of others...I am not sure what the author considers valuable work...I mean he states....
    "But for hard work to pay off, it has to be valuable work, which is why it's so important for students to think carefully about what skills they should learn."
    but the author majored in Philosophy....that sounds like a contradiction...in and of itself
  • #11
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    I agree with you on most points here.
    You work hard for the benefit of others because you have compassion and your reward is admiration from others or, you believe in a Creator and life hereafter.

    Either way the people that you benefit may praise you or more likely, most will scoff you for wasting your time.
  • #14
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    I would call it valuable work for charity, but you hit the nail on the head. Not everyone will succeed, but that doesn't diminish the value of hard work. If you get a degree in philosophy or liberal arts you shot yourself in the foot by getting the " easy" degree. If you got the degree to be a pharmacist, a radiologist you did good. It's all about you to be honest. While I don't have a college degree I am very educated, with hard work I built a successful business. If I didn't work hard I wouldn't be where I'm at today.
  • #29
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    Whether one finds one's work rewarding depends on the nature of compensation one expects. A school teacher might see their work as important and adding to the lives of others but the compensation will largely remain in the currency of self satisfaction while the meth cook will see the compensation of material wealth for what his/her efforts add to the lives of others.
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  • #65
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    Wow, labor is a commodity. What a statement. LABOR IS A PERSON! Let's say it together now, LABOR IS A PERSON. With feelings, emotions, families, responsibilities, a soul and a member of the human race. Labor is a person, not a commodity, not an object, not something that you use and discard when your done. LABOR is a Person.
  • #86
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    @DeathToVirtue

    @DeathToVirtue

    And feelings is facts. But words have meanings.

    la·bor (lā′bər)
    n.
    1.
    a. Physical or mental exertion, especially when difficult or exhausting; work. See Synonyms at work.
    b. Something produced by work.
    2. A specific task.
    3. A particular form of work or method of working: manual labor.
    4. Work for wages.
    5.
    a. Workers considered as a group.
    b. The trade union movement, especially its officials.
    6. Labor A political party representing workers' interests, especially in Great Britain.
    7. The process by which childbirth occurs, beginning with contractions of the uterus and ending with the expulsion of the fetus or infant and the placenta.
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  • #262
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    Is that our new National Anthem? Ride the welfare bus, be lazyboomers like the rest of us, no need to worry or to fuss, when the checks run out don't you whine and cuss.....
  • #291
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    As Ken Follett,(The Pillars of the Earth) once said:“Hard work should be rewarded by good food.” Or, good pay! And shouldn't be reconciled to mean the opposite.
  • #376
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    yes you will be rewarded , planned parenthood does not reward, if reward is what we all think it is, perhaps the real reward is the wealthy using the persons as fodder for the system , easily discarded. Have anyone worked for the manager who intentionally forgets your name, I have , very eerie. DNA in a dish , the great "idea "is out of procreation a genius will be born , an Einstein, it isn't me.
  • #1
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    Throughout my career, wherever I supervised or managed I taught two principles to all my employees 1). the customer is always right (especially when they are wrong) and to solve the problem at the source and 2). while it is important to work hard it is more important to work smart! There are too many drones in todays workforce that believe if you clock-in at 8 am and clock-out at 5 pm you have "done your job."
  • #17
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    I disagree with the customer is always right saying. I sell plumbing and electrical supplies, if the customer is wrong I tell them. I always explain why they are wrong and the way it should be done. If I went with the customer is always right approach they would end up doing some very dangerous things.
  • #20
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    A more correct management instruction would be, " The customer is often a selfish, rude, stupid, fucking moron. But it doesn't matter. Give them what they want."
  • #27
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    @vows

    We have all those drones because when your wages are low and stay low despite efforts to earn a raise, one's morale drops and you become a drone.
  • #44
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    i've always believed that and it's worked just fine.

    not only that, but i've owned retail businesses and have found that the customer is NEVER right... and i quit playing that game to the point that when they were really wrong and wouldn't listen to reason i'd simply tell them to take their business somewhere else.
  • #76
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    @thhutton
    Customer is still right if they consulted a so called expert in plumbing and electrical supplies. Your job is to make sure the customer is always right for buying and using your products and services. By doing your job you are assuring the customer I always right.
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  • #26
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    This is total crap. Rewards for work vary wildly and with NO link to 'hard' work. Nor can you say that easy work like on Wall Street 'should' be rewarded. A lot of it is parasitical and of no real value to society even if it pays REALLY well.

    The aphorism is really about working towards a goal, such as starting a new business that involves putting 110% effort into it and then reaping the benefits of that determination. By just liking it to sore muscles, it takes away all meaning from the saying.

    It is also true that 'laziness' is sometimes a goad to finding better and easier ways to do things. So should we say "Laziness should be rewarded"?? This sort of mindless crap is why I never did well in philosophy classes.
  • #95
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    Yeah...philosophy has more about who is speaking or writing about something, and less about reality. Uhmmmmmmm....most of the time, anyway. By the way, why do we need someone to tell us why something is important or which thing is most important?
    Example...which is most important? 1. sweeping the floor 2. making a hamburger 3. changing a heating element in your deep fryer......Yep, you got it, they all are important to the business. Now, which requires the most skill?
    There is an age old debate in industry concerning this very thing. Who is worth more to the organization: skilled maintenance craftsmen who go to school to learn a craft that requires a lot of skill and work years to hone those skills or the production operator who finishes high school and has spent years working on the "line" and reaches the top operator job? And, by maintenance worker I do not mean a groundskeeper or a janitor who can change a light bulb.
  • #108
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    Laziness in programming tends to get rewarded because we always look for short cuts and ways to simplify our code if we can help it. Efficiency is valued over hard work for hard work's sake, though gaining efficiency may require hard work.
  • #377
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    WE all know that the well paid ,reward if you will, do buy say expensive cars , houses, trips etc. that do reward those that are skilled enough to produce , market these items of indulgence even. It does depend what do the big ticket buyers want, such as sail Ketches 90 meters long or speed boats costing 100 grand, the workers and founders of such endeavors do get rewarded by the parasites , money borrowed from banks , as living in debt, does assist this type of economy, the wealthier are in fact having a heyday . Can't take it with you, don't have to make payments either.
  • #383
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    @albe

    The main problem with the excessive rewards for the rich are that they cannot consume as much of their income as if it went to the working public. If they get an extra 100 million the money is effectively 'removed' from the economy since they mainly put it in mergers and acquisitions (not yacht's) to make themselves more powerful (money is security) which also pushes up the price of stocks and companies as they bid against each other to win the tools of production.

    As the money is effectively removed from the 'consumer' level, industrial output tapers off because fewer workers buy fewer goods, and so jobs start to decline (rather than increase). The 'trickle down theory' has been disproved over and over and over yet it still gets a lot of push from those who benefit most by it (the already rich). This is NOT the 'American Dream' but an aristocracy of money holding on to power. i.e a Plutocracy.

    The idea that hard work should be rewards basically boils down to a statement of the 'American Dream' where you can get ahead by initiative, perseverance and work. Too bad it no longer applies (and society is becoming more and more stratified into 'haves' and 'have nots' with little mobility between the classes.)\

    And the substance of the commentary that hard work shouldn't be rewards is that the Dream is Dead.
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  • #16
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    If hard work alone was the ticket to success, every migrant field worker would be a millionaire, and every spoiled child of wealth would be a pauper.
  • #111
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    @normalFlora
    that might be true if you improperly considered hard work to mean uneducated stoop labor. Is that what you think "hard work" means?
    One summer when I was in college I was digging ditches with a pick and shovel with about 15 other guys, Along came a supervisor and asked, "Who here can drive a truck?" About 5 hands including mine went up. "Requires a chauffeur's license, who has one?" Only my hand went up. I spent the rest of the summer driving water, gravel and hot mix trucks for almost three times what the laborers made. The next summer I was helping to run an auger rig in a surface mine and setting very large, complex timed dynamite charges to loosen coal for the electric shovel, making twice what the truck drivers make. The following year I was running a rotary drilling rig, coring coal for Peabody. Two years later I was chief appellate attorney in the criminal appellate division of a state attorney general's office. And so it goes in America. Ambition, initiative and education combine to improves one's lot in life -- and every step requires very hard work.
  • #196
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    You mean the migrant field workers that come up from Mexico and make tons more money than they could in Mexico? If they made 10G here and took it back to Mexico that would be a little under 130G pesos. That would go along way in Mexico. Not too shabby.
  • #422
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    Only if work does not include the concept of value added. The CEO tends to add much move value to his organization than he is paid. That is why his pay is usually structured with stock options that reflect the amount of increase in value of the corporation itself.
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  • #113
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    I think it's also important to attempt to pursue a career that you enjoy. Especially if you are spending years preparing for it. The burnout rate is great enough without having a job that you despise.

    “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
    ― Confucius
  • #150
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    I've always considered myself lucky in that regard. Even when I had a trained monkey type of job, I found ways to make it interesting and enjoyable.
  • #30
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    Nonsense. Rewarding hard work always meant rewarding that which is of value and not something piddling like becoming good at a video game! Just how hard did this man have to work at trivializing and distorting that which has always been obvious?
  • #98
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    Say what?! Americans just dodged a huge bullet to the gut of our economy thanks to a collection of investment bankers, who got their asses bailed out by the "hard working" US tax payers, and they turned around and gave themselves huge bonuses, and are back to business as usual...making themselves rich. So the author's point is what? As long as you can get away with screwing us over for trillions that's OK, but the work done by homeless service providers, truckers, public servants like fire and police officers and burger and chicken joint slaves, they should stop whining because they are tremendously underpaid? And why are they under paid? Our stable of 1%ers who are running the government don't get campaign contributions from "hard working" poor and middle class folks struggling to get by. And some of you want to go after government employees? I don't get it.
  • #379
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    Sorry to say so but two scenarios could have happened if the so called great recession wasn't bailed out , both not nice , the one we ended up with has been tough on a lot of folk , but I'm ok mack , I eat still and cash a pay check. Not what I want to do , but it is better than absolute nothing, food and roof over my head is Priority one.Also water out of a tap and heat in the winter are nice. Not too optimistic I know , but there's worse off than this.
  • #389
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    I hope we completely agree that the wolves of Wall Street brought things to the brink, and were it not for Bush's bailout, followed by Obama's bailout, things would have been so much worse. I really am pleased that you are still standing, and you have the right attitude about the fact that relative to the one billion people on the planet living on less than $2/day, we all have it pretty well. My concern is that when I hear someone making the argument that working hard is not the point, the point is that people with real money (the 1%) gave something of value to their customer, hence they're rich; that drives me a little nuts. Americans got screwed by con artists and Ponzi scheme operators, and they are still celebrating their thievery with big bonuses; plus they now control our politics and own one political party outright. We either get private money out of politics, or we can kiss our democratic republic good-bye; and that's the part that's not OK with me.
  • #34
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    It's funny to see that there's a few Republicans and libertarians on the thread who are not certain the Labor Theory of Value is bad.

    I'm for working hard AND smart, especially when "Smart" means working where your work is valued the most. Then you can be a capitalist oppressor of the downtrodden working class if you want. If the State does not redistribute you into a reeducation camp first.
  • #23
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    I used to hang out on the OSU campus and meet stupid people. I would sometimes tell them they were stupid and they'd say, "I ain't stupid! I'm in college! What are you doin'? I'm a writer who writes very well in English and whose work is legible and comprehensible. No, I didn't go to school to learn to do this. I just studied and showed that I can do the work. It's not much but it can't be outsourced and it services my local community. I'd ask what these "ain't stupid" people were studying. "Philosophy" was the #1 answer. These kids are going to go SO far!
  • #133
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    ...right along with their chums in Art History, Women's Studies, and all the other useless degrees that have zero job opportunities post graduation.

    I have nieces and nephews who went liberal arts and STEM. Those who went STEM are working in their field or a closely related one. NONE of the liberal arts majors (graphic design, theater, music) are working in their fields...hair stylist, mailman, masseur, part-time tutor...
  • #10
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    come on now, if you listen to the media there are no Americans who work hard. heck we do not even sweat, watch our own kids or even clean up after ourselves.

    may be off topic yet media has so many seeing us all as lazy slobs who have to import workers do to none of us will work.
  • #261
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    So only certain kinds of hard work is important? Those that are smart enough to enter fields that can't be outsourced? I can't recall the last time I purchased a burger or did my grocery shopping from China so those employees should be cleaning up right? The smart ones go to tech school and learn construction or carpentry, or some other field that's in high demand just like towards the end of the Bush Administration? Let's let the rocket scientists on the far right pass the "Fair Tax" so any new building will automatically jump in price at least 30%. That'll get the construction industry hopping like nobody's business. It's ok Alasdair, I don't have a degree in Economics either. Mine are in History/Political Science/Education/ and Nursing. If you look at the list of Forbes top 10 wealthiest Americans a lot of inheritance, some hard work, and even with the hard work, they were often starting from a pretty good position in life.
    1.Bill Gates: Exclusive private prep school. Father lawyer, mother served on the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem. Plus hard work.
    2.Warren Buffet: Father owned brokerage firm. and was Congressman. Plus Hard work.
    3.Larry Elllison: Hard knocks and hard work.
    4.(Tie)Charles and David Koch: Inherited wealth from dad who made his riches building oil infrastructure for Stalin in Russia.
    6.Christy Walton: Inherited wealth.
    7.Jim Walton: Inherited wealth.
    8.Alice Walton: Inherited wealth.
    9.S. Robson Walton: Inherited wealth.
    10.Michael Bloomberg: Hard work.

    Inheritance wins 6-4 over hard work.
  • #358
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    @PayThatCEO - Not necessarily...

    I, for one, started at the absolute bottom. Inner city, mixed race black kid, poor family and zero dollars.

    Today I have a 9 figure net worth and employ 54 full time people.

    Hard work and determination has vanished from most of America.

    Resignation and reliance on government welfare have taken it's place.
  • #387
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    Contratulations. Unfortunately, that is the exception rather than the rule. There's still a lot of hard work, the lack of reward for that work is what has vanished. Most of he people I know from high school, waaaaayyyy long ago in the 1970's, with a few exceptions, like a buddy who became a Nuclear Engineet from Ga Tech, just went to business school, but got their jobs through family connections ala country club or some other connection before any work was even done. School has almost been priced beyond the reaches of most people unless you're willing to go deep into hock with no guarantee of a job, even for what used to be shure things like schoolteachers, who don't exactly make a bundle to pay back tons of loans. I have multiple degrees but went when before states gutted funding for education and it was affordable and ended up with a BSN before I developed a genetic arthritic back disorder and am now disabled (and many want to kill what pitiful safety net there is for those of us who worked all of our lives have). Everyone isn't college material, but people who are willing to work deserve a paycheck that's enough to live on. Why do people consider a guy who sweats all day picking up our garbage as having a worthless job? Look at EMT wages. They save our freaking lives and get paid squat. Since around 1979, wages haven't come close to keeping up with inflation but the big guys pay has gone up 1,000%? They aren't working any harder, yet productivity for the average working stiff has more than doubled. Why do so many people in this country think it's ok for people who work not to make enough to afford a place to live, basic transportation, utilities, and food? I don't get it. In doing some basic research (2 of my degrees are History and Political Science, I've always dug research), I found that medieval serfs actually had more rights than American workers. They were provided a place to live, only had to work 6 days a week, a day of work was on half a day due to a midday break for sleep, and breaks at meals, and, thanks to the church, were required to be off for Holy Days (and there were a lot), weddings, births, and other occasions, so probably only worked around 150-180 days per year. The US is the only industrialized modern country that has no laws guaranteeing its workers ANY time off. Here your employer could literally work you 365 days a year with split shifts and no vacation. Capitalism is better than anything else out there, but unfettered capitalsm is where we appear to be headed, and are only a step removed from a return to slavery, but there again, there they fed and housed you. Not to mention, many of those at the very top are susing their wealth to influence poicy and politicians to further screw the average working men and women, make the tax laws even more favorable for themselves, and take this country even further into plutocracy.
  • #118
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    The first mistake is the belief that the "reward" must be monetary compensation. Playing a video game has its rewards for the person playing. The value of those rewards is subjective but they still do exist. You reward for hard work can be the sense of accomplishment you get or the benefit of escapism.

    There is also the saying "Work smarter not harder". Smart work can also be rewarded. Rewards are not limited to "hard" work"
  • #85
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    Well, I agree with the title, but the fellow who wrote it is an arrogant and ignorant fool. First he equates playing hard with working hard. Since when does your play get considered hard work.

    Then, he goes off on the usual idiotic rant about who should go to college and study what.

    Here's a fact you need to learn! We have about 15 million people unemployed in this country. About 25-30% of our kids get degrees, that's 70-75% who don't. We have more than enough to fill every single skilled job, every single trade school, every single apprenticeship in this country. Not just to fill them, but several times over.

    The problem is not people getting degrees that are not in demand, the problem is a shortage of jobs in general. There are damn few courses taught in colleges that are not of value, there are damn few jobs we can't find people to fill, what there is not enough of is the focus on creating jobs for people who need them.

    That means not importing workers, not illegal, not legal. That means actually paying to educate our children. That means ending free trade and yes, paying more for goods made in this country.

    Stop trying to go cheap, and start focusing on making our country successful as well.

    Oh, and the wealthy entrepreneurs are few and far between. Most of the wealthy do not qualify as entrepreneurs by any standard I accept. Hedge fund managers, investment brokers, and bankers in general are not entrepreneurs. Too many of them are parasites, but that's another matter.

    Next time, try to get an article by someone who actually knows what he is talking about.
  • #47
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    It seems that when you parse a question - should hard work be rewarded - to the degree Denvil did, you can come out with whatever obvious answer you want. How about, "all things being equal, should hard work be rewarded?" Then, the laborer, for instance, who works twice as hard as the next guy, ought to be rewarded. Again, all things being equal: in most work environments, politics makes this almost impossible. Try that with teacher pay and base 'hard work' on test results, and you see all sorts of unwanted seedy rewarding going on. Another, point, the argument is unnecessary: hard work is and always has been rewarded ...just not in some fairytale, equal fashion. For cryin' out loud: we're human.
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