Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Protect the Mediocre

The older you get, the mostly wiser. Well, some of us anyways. This isn't some cliché, like some old-wives tale, it's actually quite true. As you age, you begin to see more and more of the larger picture...if you are smart enough.

Everyone knows a 40-something who has never aged....I don't mean that in a physical sense, but in a mental one. They haven't grown past their own adolescence and are thus some pathetic excuse for an adult. Many of these become staunch union supporters and/or have some turgid opinions on "how-things-should-be". These are the people who believe that a company owes its employees something. These are the people who believe that blacks in the US should get reparations from white people whose distant ancestors owned slaves. That a 6-year old boy who pointed his finger like a gun while playing cops-and-robbers in the school yard should be suspended for a week or more.

Their excuses for these kinds of beliefs are simple: they are doing it to protect us. In Chile, one can get on a double-decker tour bus, sit on the top deck, that has no roof, enjoy a live latin band and quaff some alcoholic drinks. Think that can happen here or in the US? Not likely. The Nanny-state is in full gear...for our protection.

Unions are a prime example of an institution that, for the most part, allows adults to NOT think for themselves. No matter how incompetent or recalcitrant or lazy or shiftless, the union will support your RIGHT to work...which in turn means a company's or government's requirement to retain the useless. Unions protect the mediocre. Forget their claims of ensuring safety and good working conditions...these are tertiary concerns...they make for great PR. No, they ensure that the essentially useless can maintain employment through no effort of their own.

What would happen if we, as a society, turned our backs on the nanny-state and told everyone that you have to be able to perform to be successful. That you HAVE to have legitimate schooling and qualifications...no bell curve to account for your socio-economic status or colour of your skin....but simple talent, drive, intelligence, and ambition. Would that be such a bad thing?