Balustrade’s Blog

February 18, 2009

Incentives

Filed under: Uncategorized — balustrade @ 10:34 pm

Does anyone outside of the world of economics have an idea what incentives are?  Before I come off as insulting to readers, “anyone” refers to modern liberals.  I’m being sarcastic – or is that ironic?  As an amateur comedian you’d think I’d know the difference like the glorious naked ass of my screen saver. 

Incentives are very simple.  The path of least resistance, the easy road to the treasure so eagerly sought.  What do I want, and what can I get?  Politicians in Washington, and liberals saps around the country, seem to be clueless to the definition.  To sum up simply, if you are hungry, you know you will stay hungry until you eat.  Hunger is your incentive to eat and thereby stay alive, allowing you to waste your future watching The View. 

Any one who started out life as a kid, which means every one except for possibly Cher or Madonna, knows what incentives are.  Go to bed or get taken to bed.  Do you home work, or get the belt.  Clean your room or stay there till you can no longer stand the smell of your own used underwear.  Hell, even puppies get the picture, poop on the paper or wear it on your nose for a while.  Well, unless you have a really nutty dog like the one I had about a dozen years ago who decided he not only liked the smell, but the taste as well.  We moved the cat’s litter box down into the basement over that one. 

As Tony Barretta famously said years ago “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”  The “time” is the incentive to not do the “crime.”  Incentives are actually really great ways of finding your way down the road of life.  If it hurts when you pee on an electric fence, don’t.  If you lick a piece of metal when it’s below zero, your tongue will get frozen to it.  Don’t laugh, it happens.  My uncle told me about how his older brothers talked him into it, then left him frozen to a bridge while they continued on their way to school.  Older brothers, can’t live with ’em, pass the Cheetos. 

Basic free market economics is simple.  We have ‘resources’ – stuff at our disposal, we have goals – stuff we want, and incentives tell us how to best use our resources to reach our goals.  Or, cross start and collect $200.  Want $200? Make it all the way around the Monopoly board. 

What happens if you have no house, no money, no food, and want a place to crash, cool, unnecessary stuff and food? What options are available?  GET.  A.  JOB

Not any more.  We are back in the nanny state, only this time on steroids.  Can’t afford the mortgage payments on a 450 gazillion square foot house in Malibu close enough to swap recipes with Babs Streisand over the back fence?  Not a problem, the government will tell whatever sap ended up with the remnants of the subprime mortgage mess in his portfolio to eat the loss.  Can’t peel yourself away from the reality shows on your Rent-A-Center big screem plasma TV to get a McJob?  Piece of cake, slice o’ pie, the government will just send you a bigger check so you can keep searching for french fries in the folds of your ever-expanding waist line. 

Do not get me wrong.  I have no problem with the social safety net, but I have a real problem with a social safety hammock.  (h/t Bill Whittle)  And yes I know there are people out there in desperate need of help.  I actually search them out and try to help them.  I do so with my own money, not yours.  And if you do not understand, explicitly, about the type of people I am referring to, consider yourself considerably lucky.  I have not been so lucky for several times in my life.  It’s not pleasant by any means.  I’ll never forget the parties when the monthly dole check showed up.  They’d blow the whole thing in a weekend bash living up the good life, then spend the rest of the month scraping by waiting for the next one to magically show up.  I will never forget one episode where they grabbed a busted propane grill I had out on the curb for garbage, and cooked steaks on it.  How ever they didn’t have any propane, and no way to get where propane was sold, and even if they did, they had no money because they’d just blown it all on beer and steaks and lottery tickets.  So they walked down to the dollar store and bought some of those scary self-lighting logs people buy who can’t master the concept of paper and fire.  You know, the kind soaked in all kinds of petroleum chemicals so they start up with one match.  They cooked their feast on them.  Officially, they are now getting a bigger check. 

Guess what kind of incentive that gives them?

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