Traffic for 2009 April 2 (entry 0)

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[Comments] (5) the anti-hijack: Rather than hijack a very lengthy comment on Sumana's blog, my response is thus: "But [Jon] Stewart is saying that our wealth, the prize that we've earned, isn't money, but our ability to earn money. Our asset is the ability to create assets."

Yes! People that have gobs of money are not necessarily happy, because spending money brings but momentary pleasure. But the ability to earn the money you spend helps you take ownership of spending choices and pride in what you buy.

Additionally, I find it very satisfying to get paid. But I find it equally satisfying to add value in the workplace. It is very rewarding to see a project end, and know that, without me, the outcome may have been different, even wrong. I get excited when I add value. The idea of punching in and punching out never made sense to me, yet many employed people do little more than clock-watch all day.

We had layoffs this past week, and while I feel for those "who will continue their careers outside of the firm," as the man put it, these people cared little for the value of work.

While there are plenty of CEOs to blame, tis true that many people trusted them for no other reason that they were invested in their product and had to likewise peddle it to sustain the bubble of easy street earnings. I think we would all do well to remember that nothing in life is free, contrary to what the MLM gigs of the world would have you believe.

My church often talks about work being an eternal principle. The very idea of eating bon bons on a cloud in the eternities is simply incorrect. We believe we will be working, having families, creating worlds, managing said worlds, etc. The prerequisites to do the above will require a deep understanding of science, management, and other soft skills. I certainly am not qualified for the above, but I'm willing to learn it when the time comes. I wonder how many will effectively opt out because the road is too hard?


Posted by Sumana at Thu Apr 02 2009 12:56

Great essay, John! By the way, in case anyone reads John's blog but doesn't often read mine, he's referring to this entry.

One of my most valuable discoveries was finding out that I DID have a work ethic, though many unfriendly school and work environments had suppressed it. And that's part of my security, the security that (barring physical catastrophe) I'll be able to support myself and choose my way.

I enjoy reading 19th and early 20th century British lit, but it gives me the shivers to think of being an aristocrat, thinking it's beneath you to labor for wages or make things to sell. Gah.

Imagine what it's like if someone sorta wants to have a work ethic, to find his work valuable, but found that apathy and incompetence formed a vicious circle from which he can't see the way to escape! This actually reminds me of another thing I'm currently obsessed with: an impressionable person who achieves competence and confidence in ANYTHING is more likely to achieve it in other fields. The muscle memory sort of transfers....

Now I'm hijacking!

Posted by Kristen at Sun Apr 05 2009 12:00

We were confronted with a MLM by a friend in Utah when we lived there. I was so offended and it was very awkward to say the least. It seems like they are really popular in Utah too, which is weird. Those things make me so uncomfortable to the point of depression just thinking about it.

Posted by Susie at Sun Apr 05 2009 17:07

It seems that Utahns (Mormons) are particularly susceptible to the something-for-nothing ideals, despite the warnings given in Conference.

Posted by John at Sun Apr 05 2009 17:53

Kristen: I finally found an easy "out" to the MLM sales pitch. I tell them I'm willing to buy their noni juice if they are willing to sell me their tax return prep. The door swings both ways! The way I see it, they are getting the better deal there, so then if they turn it down, their loss.

Isn't Mary Kay sort of an MLM? The idea of multiple layers of people selling goods, each netting a profit as it moves up the chain? With a SIL now in the Mary Kay business, I do my good deed and buy a bottle of cologne once a year from her. I refuse to do more.

Posted by Kristen at Mon Apr 06 2009 12:10

I suppose it is like that. At least it is not something as useless as pre-paid legal. I stay away from that aspect, but like Pampered Chef, Scensty, and Sountern Living and things like that- it helps a housewife earn a little extra on the side, which I support. Sometimes, those types of companies are usually a rip off, Mary Kay is upper echelon but comparable in price to other department store equivalent brands. So at least it is a product I use and will always use whereas Noni juice or prepaid legal or whatever, I will never have a need for and could live my whole life without it.

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