Toxic Heap of Bullshit Smackdown #1: “Incentives”

4 Aug

The idea that workers won’t do a good job unless they’re under the threat of getting fired is such a toxic heap of bullshit. (New favourite phrase BTW – I may make it a regular thematic feature!).

The highly loaded concept of “incentive” does warrant more elaboration and refutation, which Corey Doctrow does here. Meanwhile, I think Matt Damon did a lovely job of simply calling BS:


Given access to meaningful work, opportunities to excel, chances to improve one’s skill level, workers generally thrive and do a great job. There’s a load of information – academic, anecdotal, etc – that all points to people getting a high degree of self-actualization through their jobs when they do something they love.

I think there’s no greater example of this than Matt Damon himself. It’s hilarious that the reporter and cameraperson suggested that Damon owes his professional and artistic accomplishments to such a crude motivation. You don’t become an Academy Award winning actor & screenwriter because you’re toeing your employer’s line.


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