Thoughts of the Day

  • In most companies, executives get bonuses in return for high profits, but average workers don’t (and often times executives get bonuses regardless of their company’s performance). But why not workers? The argument for bonuses is that they attract and retain talent and encourage efficiency – so shouldn’t everyone be rewarded for their role in a company’s success? Furthermore, why do executives need to get millions of extra dollars – in addition to their six figure salaries and generous pensions – in order to do their jobs well? The average American works very hard for far less incentive, and they’re expected (by their well-paid bosses) to do their jobs without such perks. What sort of perverse ethics are we promoting here? That CEOs should only do a good job if they get millions?
  • Multiple surveys have borne out the fact that religious conservatives are far more likely to reject climate change than any other demographic. So they would sooner believe a 2,000 year-old book rife with inconsistencies and ethical flaws, but not the decades of data and expertise of 98% of climatologists. You can trust the priests and theologians, who have wildly different opinions about God, but not the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community?
  • The Drug War has failed. After over forty years, billions of taxpayer dollars, and hundreds of thousands of incarcerations, what has been accomplished? Drug-related crime has grown because the market is driven underground. Our prison system is bloated, which puts a considerable drain on public funds (Florida being one of the worst cases). And we arrest far more addicts than we do traffickers and dealers. Worst of all, drug usage has at best remained the same, and by most accounts has actually grown. I’m straight-edged myself, but I agree with a growing number of policy analysts that we need to end this clearly broken approach. After decades of poor results despite intensifying our efforts, I think it’s worth a shot to try a different approach.
  • Suffering. There is too much suffering in this world. It’s enough to make someone sick to his stomach. It’s all so senseless and cruel. So many people endure horrific agony for no good reason. They’re just born into it or subject to circumstances they had no control over. They’re victims of cruel chance and nothing more. In light of this stark reality, I must ask why these people often do: why me? Why was I born in a stable and more prosperous place? Why do I have yet to endure a personal tragedy on the terrible scale that tens of millions of people do every year? Of course, that could change at any moment, even as I write this. At any rate, I’m supremely grateful for being one of the few humans