You may know a similar tale, but my high school coach used to tell a story about one summer when he was between college semesters.  He told me that when he was playing ball for a small college in the South he worked one summer in a sawmill to try to earn money to make ends meet. He was so happy to have the job that he was overly enthusiastic and energetic (he seemed to be naturally that way all the time, but I digress).

Anyway, he said that after about a week of working at the saw mill, some union thugs came up to him and asked him what he was doing.  He thought, erroneously, that he was not doing enough; so, he immediately started working harder. However,  to his surprise, the union thugs came up to him a second time and told him that if he did not stop working so hard, then there were going to break his legs (because he is making the other workers look bad).

This type of story is commonplace and exemplifies one of the major problems with any and all systems that do away competition. Without competition effort is thwarted by envy every time (even in the saw mills of the South).

JRD

 

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