In the book Atlas Shrugged, three grown children of a wealthy business owner inherit a business called the 20th Century Motor Company. The three new owners were socialists, and decided to run the company like a socialist state. They decreed that all the employees would be paid not on effort, results or seniority, but on need. For example, employees with bigger families got paid more than the employees who were single and had no kids, even if the single employees worked double as hard, made more money for the company, and/or had worked there much longer.
Employees were supposed to work as hard as their ability allowed them to. So smarter, more talented employees were expected to work harder (and remember, not get paid based on this work but instead on their “need”) and dumber and/or less talented employees were allowed to slack off.
When the company started to lose money, the socialist owners, loving democracy, had the employees vote on ‘who was at fault?’. The men found to be at fault were forced to work overtime for six months without pay, because again, the company didn’t pay based on work hours, but only on “need.”
The company quickly went out of business due to all of the jealousy and infighting. Because socialist concepts do not work in companies (much less in real life).
As has happened many times, Atlas Shrugged has predicted real-life future. A few months ago, left wing CEO Dan Price, head of a merchant processing company, declared that EVERY employee in the company was to make a minimum of $70,000 per year, regardless of what that employee did, how well he did it, or how long he worked at the company.
In a 70-employee company, about 30 of them instantly doubled their salaries. As one might expect, left wing websites all over the place praised this utopian moron, um, I mean, compassionate savior of the working man, for his fairness and forthrightness.
What do you think happened?
Would you like to guess?
Tons of customers cancelled their accounts fearing (correctly!) that he’d probably have to raise his prices because of the insane amount that he was paying his employees. Then he lost two of his best employees, stating it was unfair to double the pay of some new hires while the longest-serving staff members got small or no raises. Seeing all this lost money, he got sued by some of the other companies’ owners.
He’s now on his way to bankrupting the company. Big shock.
Hey, I’d love to start a business and automatically pay everyone $70,000 a year regardless of anything else. Honestly, I think that would be nice. Yet I would never do this, because that’s not how human beings work in the real world. Concepts like communism and real socialism are one of those things that look really, really good on paper but do not work at all in the real world of human beings.
Isn’t it astounding that in 2015 most human beings still haven’t figured this out?