By definition: If You Don’t Get Paid Enough, It’s Your Own Fault !

Published by: Dan Calabrese
(Reposted without Dan’s permission, but frankly I really do not think he will mind.)

And that means the power to improve your situation rests solely with you. Aren’t you glad I’m telling you this?

The boss, who knows a thing or two about how and why people get paid entry-level wages, touched on this in his post-show video on Friday. I want to expand on the theme a little here, because what I’ve always believed about people’s economic state of affairs is a message that I see as empowering, but that many wrongly see as “blaming the victim.”

And that’s because they don’t like the idea that at some point you have to let go of blame and complaints and admit that only you can decide your own economic fate.

So yes: If you’re not earning as much as you need to earn, or as much as you should earn, that is your fault. Completely and totally. It is not the fault of someone you think is being unfair to you or ripping you off. It is not the fault of “the economy” or of any politician. It is yours. Now this does not let Barack Obama off the hook for his own poor economic performance. But it establishes that we all have to do our best for ourselves whether circumstances are favorable or unfavorable. We all deal with obstacles – bad bosses, scarce opportunity, unlucky breaks – and each of us has a responsibility to find a way to overcome those obstacles. If you fail to overcome them, that is on you.

One thing that has always driven me crazy is when I see unions staging pickets where they hold signs that say “Shame on (whoever the employer is)” for not paying a high enough wage, not paying enough in benefits, whatever.”

Shame on them? They made an offer. If it was a shameful offer, why did you take it? And since you did make the decision to take it, why are you out there marching on a picket line? If you think you’re worth more than that, what you should be doing is busting your butt proving it to that employer, and if that employer won’t recognize your greater value, then you should be finding a way to demonstrate your greater value to someone else.

One of the things the labor movement and politicians have done in this country is to turn workers into infants. People have lost sight of the fact that employment relationships are mutual agreements between freely acting private parties, neither of whom has to enter in. The worker who accepted a job for a wage less than he wanted made a choice and agreed to work for that wage. He didn’t have to. If he felt he had no choice because he had no other options, then he needs to ask himself why he had no other options. What could he have done to make himself more in-demand? How many others could he have approached? How could he have made his skills more marketable?

This is where liberals usually scream that I’m “blaming the victim” and others shriek, “You call yourself a Christian and yet you have no compassion for underpaid workers?”

Oh yes, I am a Christian and my application of godly compassion is to teach people that their fortunes really lie in how they think. If you think you have to simply accept whatever someone offers you, no matter how inadequate, you need to change that thinking right now. You might have to work for that wage for the moment, but you should see yourself as a free-standing business and you should be working a strategy right this minute to move yourself into a better situation in which someone better recognizes your value and will strike a better deal with you.

Of course, you also have to be honest with yourself. Are you really worth more than minimum wage? How do you know? You’re not worth more just because you want more or need more. You’re only worth more if what you produce really puts your employer in a position to realize more reward from what you do. Would you even begin to know how to make such a calculation so you can prove you’re worth more? If not, you should learn. Instead of just complaining that your boss is unfair, educate yourself about your boss’s needs and find out if you really can do more to meet them.

Every individual who wants to earn more money can make certain decisions, and no one can stop you from acting on these decisions, which will put you in a better position to achieve your goals:

– You can get up early every day and give your best.

– You can keep working to improve your skills.

– You can maintain self-confidence and a commitment to excellence.

– You can keep yourself free of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs so you will always be at your best.

– You can maintain an overall healthy lifestyle so you’re not constantly taking sick days.

– You can avoid having children out of wedlock so you don’t constantly face challenges in being a reliable employee.

– You can maintain a positive attitude about whatever it is you’re going to do today.

– You can stop seeing employers as people who owe you something and are screwing you, and start seeing them as people who can open doors of opportunity to you if you do the right things. And if you don’t know what those things are, you could ask.

– You can refuse to accept poor-paying jobs, or at least refuse to let yourself get stuck in them long-term.

– You can follow the example of people who have succeeded in life and associate with such people, rather than commiserating with people who are as angry, frustrated and miserable as you are.

No one can stop you from doing any of this, and if you do it, you will make more money. I guarantee it. And if you’re rolling your eyes at what I’ve written here, please do the rest of humanity a favor and never give anyone any advice, because you are the last person anyone should listen to.

The power to do better in life is entirely in your hands. If you like the sound of that, then you’re probably the kind of person who will rise up and do it. If it makes you mad that I’ve said this, then you’re probably the kind of person who prefers to complain and blame others, and you’re probably the kind of person marching in one of those idiot wage protests while someone else is inside proving their worth to the boss. And you’re probably the kind of person who listens to, and votes for, politicians who want you to think you’re not the one who determines what you earn.

That’s too bad, because those politicians are never going to do a thing to help you, no matter how many times you elect them. Use the ability God gave you, stop complaining and give up giving up.

I’ve faced rough times too. I’ve had a business fail and I was left with crushing debt as a result. What I did was to step back, assess my strengths and weaknesses and develop a new strategy that would get me out of debt and put my career on a better path. I succeeded. I am no smarter than you, but maybe I am more aware than you of how smart I am. If I were you, I would listen to people like me, and Herman Cain, and not the people who encourage you to wave signs in protest marches. Because they are fools who want you to see yourself as a helpless victim.

This is an empowering message if only you will receive it in that way. If you’re a victim, you are only a victim of your own thinking. And that’s about the worst thing you can be, because if you’re that, you did it to yourself.


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