Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Humans are Naturally Lazy

Jerry left the following comment on the Retirement Savings post.
"Human beings are naturally lazy, like all creatures, but will work like crazy until their basic needs are met. So before you call people lazy and irresponsible, you have to ask WHY they are not working like crazy to feed and clothe themselves? Could it be that liberal do-gooders have forced them into this dependent state? Why on Earth would they do that to these poor folks? Are they bigots with such low expectations, as in "you can't make it by yourself."" Jerry

I guess I totally disagree with him. I believe their is a broad continuum of humans out there ranging from Lazy Slobbish/ Workavoiders to Obsessive Perfectionists/ Workaholics.

And I think many intrinsic factors determine how one will choose to behave.  Here are some:
  • Physiological issues: Back when I had my severe panic attack / breakdown about 12 years ago, the Doctor had to get the chemicals in my brain rebalanced.  For a few days I swung from my normal high strung perfectionist mode into the realm of depression and indifference..  It was incredible what a few chemical secretions did...  Normally I don't sit down, stop working, stop cleaning, stop fixing, etc, and during this period I had a hard time getting enough ambition to get of the couch.
  • Mental / Physical Capability:  If it is hard to accomplish goals, of course it can be challenging to get motivated to chase that brass ring...
  • Personal Beliefs / Social Norms / Conditioning: If your Parents / Friends believe and model that working is DUMB, and that free loading, welfare, crime, etc is SMART. Guess what...  You may be encouraged to spend a lot of time, effort and creativity on making a living off the efforts of others. I spent most of my formative years being told that picking rocks, cleaning barns, throwing bales, pulling weeds, etc was a FUN family experience!!!
And yes there are Extrinsic Motivating Factors that come into play: 
  • Sticks: Bad things that happen to one if they don't get off their butt and take action.
  • Carrots: Good things that happen to one if they get off their butt and takes action.


John said...

Oh come now. This is an easy topic.

Even my daughters have experienced this reality during group projects for their classes, when organizing volunteer teams for Relay for Life and other group activities...

There are people who have tenacity, professionalism, energy, desire to contribute, etc.

There are people who are happy letting others do the work, while they hang out and get the benefits.

And there is everyone in between. Does anyone here disagree?

John said...

Now the folks who are highly intrinsically driven require few carrots or sticks. They are just wired to keep going, helping, fixing, learning, etc.

The folks with low intrinsic motivation need more help to get and stay going.

5 Ways to Get Energized

Lazy Persons Guide

How to Stop Free Loading

How to Handle a FreeLoader

John said...

Now for arguments sake... Let's say ~10% of the citizens in the country are happy free loading, 10% are obsessive compulsive doers/achievers and the rest of us are somewhere in the middle.

Then let's think of America as a big team that is competing against all the other big teams in the world. I mean I am pretty sure all of us want America as a country to be very successful so we can have Great Jobs, a Great Std of Living, be very safe, etc.

If we were a sports team, what would we do with the 10% who refused to practice?
If we are work team what would we do with the 10% who refused to do the assigned tasks or did them poorly?
If we are a civic volunteer organization, how would we deal with the 10% who did not show up for their assigned shifts?

I know some folks here seem to disagree, I think being American comes with a lot privileges and a lot of responsibilities. The question is what should Team America do when people want the privileges but are unwilling or challenged to fulfill their civic responsibilities?

jerrye92002 said...

To your last question, liberals would respond that every kid gets an equal amount of playing time, regardless of whether they practiced or not, and every kid on the team gets a trophy regardless of the W-L record. Every kid passes the math test whether they get the right answer or not, and everybody at the company makes $70,000/ year, regardless. It's only fair.

Then, of course, there's "the Iowa way" described in "The Music Man": "So what the heck, you're welcome, join us at the picnic, you can eat your fill of all the food you bring yourself." Lazy or not, hunger is a powerful motivator.

John said...

That is why I am curious what our Liberal friends think of this?

Do they truly think the USA can stay the most influential country in the world with a very high standard of living with 10% of our citizens not helping Team America to be successful?

If they were spending their money to hire work done, what would they do if Bob, 1 of the 10 workers, was just sitting around while charging them?

Would they say that it was important that Bob be free to live/work as he wishes? Would they happily pay Bob his salary?

Or would they say? "Bob, You really need to start participating as part of the work team if you expect to be paid."

John said...

My guess is that they would insist that Bob work (ie responsibility/ duty) for his pay(privilege/ reward).

Yet when it comes to public funds and the unmotivated, uneducated, etc. They are fine with giving privileges/rewards even though the folks are not being responsible citizens who are fulfilling their duties.

I mean our society invests at least $200K in each and every child.(ie education costs, child credit, etc) And in the poor kids it is much higher than that.(ie above + food programs, subsidized childcare, etc) What does our society expect in return?

John said...

Now let's say we invest $400,000 in an unmotivated young woman who fails High School, and becomes a young single Mom of 2 kids. Then we start investing in those children while continuing to support / invest in the Mother.

Now replicate this across the country and by a million or so. Thoughts on how this impacts the Global Competitiveness of the US and our long term future?

jerrye92002 said...

I think you're doing too much green-eyeshade viewpoint. These are real people we're talking about and if it was a case of an employee of mine not doing the job they were being paid for, they wouldn't get paid as a natural consequence of their laziness, which would motivate them to do better. Or, if their performance were due to other things like a lack of education or proper nutrition or lack of child care or medical care, I might be inclined to help out, to restore the productivity of my employee and not have to go find another. It would make perfect economic sense, as well as being a matter of common human decency and compassion.

The problem arises when liberals want YOU, and the taxpayers in general, to provide all that assistance but WITHOUT either the personal connection and compassion OR the motivations of being denied that assistance for lack of effort on the "employee's" part. The liberal collects all the self-esteem of being compassionate, gets to use somebody else's money to do it, and doesn't really give a rip as to whether the expenditure is necessary, appreciated or effective at helping a productive member of society. That is a different kind of balance sheet, and it shows a huge loss.

John said...

That is kind of what I was thinking. Even though Joel and other Liberals apparently insist that everyone deserves some payment from society no matter how they choose to live their lives. I am pretty sure they would not write a check to an employee who did nothing...