You should be grateful

July 26, 2007

Darn, I missed this CATO posting more than a year ago. Listen kids, Will Wilkinson is reminding you of an important lesson in life: you should be grateful to even have the chance to work for free! After all, isn’t it a bit materialistic on your part to ask for money on top of the chance to get experience and contacts?

I know! That’s exactly what I was telling Steve Jobs: you’re so lucky to be the boss of the greatest company in the world, transform the computer and music industry and now the phone industry. No wonder you’re getting only a dollar a year! I think everybody should follow your example and forgo their salary because after all, they should be grateful to have a job at all. A temperate place to stay and, sometimes, sit all day, coworkers that can be friends, a shot at proving the world that you can work, and what more can you get out of a job? No, not a salary!

Hey, it’s competitive out there and, spread out across companies as you are, there’s not a chance that you will get organized. On top of it, kids-with-the-pillow-face, you haven’t proven the slightest bit yet that you deserve an entry-level salary. For that reason, the new entry-level salary should be $0 (on either a monthly or annual basis, depending on merit). Then, after a few years (exact number to be decided), you may get a chance to earn a better salary. It’s up to you to be the best and you’ll be able to pay the grocery. That’s how you raise productivity. Oh, and as a corollary, all people who are promoted or switch jobs will not be paid for any new task that they were not performing before, that is not until they have proven over a certain period that they are good at it.

Don’t argue: there’s always a good rationale at hand as to why people with no money should receive less and rich people should receive more.

(by way of Generation Debt)