There is a proposition on the California Ballot, Proposition 63, that will increase the tax of people who make over $1million dollars by 1%. This would raise approximately $750 Million a year by taxing only about 25,000 to 30,000 people No big deal right? Sounds like a great deal "Because they have the capacity to pay it." It looks like it is going to pass. I'm here to tell you what a really bad idea this may be.
Imagine you are a very hard worker at your company and you are the best at what you do. While most people work 32-40 hours a week you voluntarily work 80 hours a week. You make a little more money than most, not twice as much but you like your job and you don't mind much. You know that your hard work will help everybody in the long run by making the company more successful.
Now the company decides to implement a new policy. It tells you that all the best workers are required to work more hours. Not a lot more just a little. It shouldn't be a big deal "Because you have the capacity to do it" Those who don't have the capacity, the people working 32-40 hours, actually will get to work less. They tell you that you are now REQUIRED to work 84 hours, just 5% more than you are currently working. Because you are good at what you do and so much more productive than everyone else everyone else gets to work 2 hours less.
Great plan right. I mean only the people who have the ability are affected. Everyone else, those without ability, get to live a slightly easier and better life. Why should you care? You can handle the extra small burden.
What would you do? I know I would leave the company and find new work. Where does that leave everybody? The company just lost one of its best workers who not only worked harder but also was more productive. That means everybody has to work HARDER now, 40-48 hours, than they did before or the company will do worse. Even a bigger problem is that most likely it doesn't matter how much harder everyone works, there are certain things that only you can do. No matter how hard I work, no way can I do the creative work of the Graphic Designer just like no way can the Graphic Designer come up with an elegant software architecture.
But it's only a little! The problem is that there is a domino effect. It takes one hard worker leaving the company. Let's say that is someone else. Well then production for the whole company goes down. What happens? Well, why don't we just make the most productive work a little harder? It’s only a little. What is another 5% right? So now you are working 88 hours. See the problem?
People sometimes say I lack compassion because I don't believe in helping the poor at all cost. I say that these people don't have a view of the larger problem. What happens to those without ability when the company goes under? How will they find more work? It's probably not a big deal for the hard workers to find new jobs but what about those that are not as hard working? Who was really hurt because you decided to ask for more from those most able? Have the people who said this ever had to lay someone off? It isn't fun. So who lacks compassion?
Think about it.