I received an email today from someone who asked a couple of interesting questions about government policies. Here are those questions and my answers…

[Question…] Is a person more likely to perform an additional amount of work if the compensation is the same rate, a lesser rate or a greater rate than the previous work? How does this rationalize the existence of time-and-a-half for overtime and a progressive tax rate?

[Dr. Gruder’s Response…] While I absolutely work for money, I choose to collect money working at what I love what I do. My relationship with being compensated is that I won’t take a job if the compensation, monetary and otherwise, is less than what it would take for me to be thrilled to do the job. I know that’s a very privileged position, but part of my passion is to help people find ways to reorganize their career around reclaiming their thrill of business instead of continuing to sacrifice their passion, life energy, integrity, and loved ones in the name of purchasing a particular lifestyle. I recoil at being taxed for generating income. The feels like being penalized for being productive. I’d prefer to be taxed for spending it. That feels like taking responsibility for what I do with my money. This is why I favor the Fair Tax proposal.

[Question…] How can one, at the same time, want more people to have a job, but penalize an employer for hiring additional people, like breaching the limit of 50 employees that requires a jump in employer medical insurance expenses?

[Dr. Gruder’s Response…] Same thing: I recoil at businesses being penalized for employing more people. Employment disincentives sabotage the objective of reducing unemployment. Speaking as a psychologist, if someone came to me for therapy because they were punishing themselves for being productive and for putting other people to work, I would diagnose them as suffering from masochism – a self-harming personality. Similarly, I would diagnose a government that penalizes workers for being productive and penalizes employers for employing people as suffering from Societal Sabotage Disorder.