Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Two to muse on

Comets, life and the unimaginably vast Oort Cloud

Do Smart, Hard-Working People Deserve to Make More Money?


James Higham said...

They deserve to if they are clever enough to.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

As I commented on the linked site, "deserve" isn't really the issue.

We need them to, because it's the best - perhaps the only - way of harnessing the talents of the most talented, from which we all benefit.

Our civilisation requires the efforts of a lot of extraordinarily gifted individuals in order to progress, or even to maintain the status quo.

If we don't reward them, most of them won't bother, and then we all suffer.

hatfield girl said...

It's not quite deserve, rather they cannot avoid it under a system of market capitalism. Stopping them is invariably an interference with economic activity for political goals, deemed more important, and by political not economic means.

sobers said...

Its more about living within whatever means you have. The vast majority of problems people encounter in the Western world with regard to finances is down to spending money they don't have on things they don't NEED, just things they WANT. Credit cards, personal loans, equity withdrawal are all the roads to ruin, however much the income is to start with. There are people who earn very little, but live within their means, and middle class people who earn £50K+ who have thousands of unsecured debt. Mostly it comes down to bad choices when times are good, that come home to roost when times turn bad.

Never forget that a debt is merely a device for drawing forward the fruits of your labour from the future to the present. The future earnings may be spent and the memory of that holiday long gone, but the labour still has to be done. Have now, pay later. People like the 'have now' bit, just tend to forget about the 'pay later' bit.

Paddington said...

The conservative mindset in the US seems not to accept how much luck is a part of success, including the luck of intelligence and the capacity of hard work. This appears to go hand-in-hand with the religious fundamentalism in the South.

Sackerson said...

Interesting range of comments, thanks. For my part, I'd say:

1. It's going to happen; the question of desert opens up a can of worms.

2. Your degree of financial success depends on the field in which you choose to work.

3. A bit of modesty would not come amiss.

4. There is a place for sumptuary laws, and the current flaunting of huge bonuses may show the wisdom of those old laws.

dearieme said...

"This appears to go hand-in-hand with the religious fundamentalism in the South": if I may say so, rubbish. It's part of the American civic creed; nowt to do with fundies.

Paddington said...

dearieme - I did not mean that it's connected directly with religion, just that the same mindset generates both. I am not sure which is worse, ignoring luck and assuming that the rich are 'better', or the egalitarian approach that says that the successful should be punished.