The Unprofitably Incompetent, by Robert Gore

Those who can’t do, demand.

Profit propels civilization. When a producer can make an item or provide a service at a cost lower than a customer values that item or service, and the customer has the means and the freedom to buy, the difference between what’s paid over cost is profit. That profit is the producer’s incentive to produce, and in turn funds the producer’s consumption, savings, and investment, which creates other producers’ profits. Profit is the necessary prerequisite for consumption, savings, investment, and consequently, progress.

Many of us profit every day. We offer services and provide goods, supporting ourselves at a cost that is lower than what we’re paid. We’re profitably competent, engaging in honest production and peaceful, voluntary exchange. The only alternatives to profitable competence are living off of someone else’s profitable competency via inheritance or charity, or criminality—theft via fraud or violence.

Criminals cloak their thefts in all sorts of justifications, some of which, like socialism, become full-blown political doctrines. Ironically, a larcenous litany of demands and rationalizations are efflorescing at a time when whatever is left of the overall profit pool has been drained. It has been mortgaged multiple times, just as hordes of the unprofitably incompetent, who had no hand in producing it, clamor for their “fair share.” They’ll insist the profitably competent figure out how to pay for it, but the fair share of nothing is nothing, political promises to the contrary notwithstanding.

“Your means, my ends; I wish, you fulfill,” is the foundational fantasy of modern governance. The favored groups shelter in their safe spaces—government and its rackets, crony corporations, academia, the media, and Hollywood—living on the delusion that there will always be someone who will produce, without question or protest, for their benefit. Upon that foundation they’ve constructed a phantasmagorical edifice of illusory constructs and passages to nowhere.

As the foundational fantasy totters, the fantasies it supports become more fantastical. The profit pool exhausted, you would think everything possible would be done to succor the profitably competent who are supposed to replenish it. Instead, that illustrious group is demonized at every turn, and the demands on them become ever more absurd. They are guilty because they’re productive, and must expiate their guilt by producing for the unproductive, whose incompetence makes them morally superior.

The most “toxic” trait often associated with masculinity may be competence. It’s not exclusively masculine, but whether its possessors are male or female it has certainly become toxic, depriving them of any right to what they produce and any right to criticize those who steal it from them. Twits who can’t replace a light bulb demand free schooling and medical care, guaranteed jobs and incomes, trips to Mars, and who knows what else. Those who are to fund it all are to cheerfully regard doing so as a privilege.

The notion of reparations won’t die. Anyone with money (the only people who can pay) supposedly owe the descendants of various victim classes reparations for the supposed sins of their ancestors. To hold individuals guilty of crimes they couldn’t have committed is a moral obscenity. The demands for retribution are simply another naked money grab.

The rhetoric grows increasingly hateful. The slave class can be openly disparaged, denigrated, and deplored based on their race, gender, geographic location, religion, politics, the way they smile at a Native American, or any other characteristic the masters don’t like. But woe to the slaves who utter anything the tyrannical cult deems offensive or incorrect. Transgressors are put through social media hell, ostracized, ruined, and coming soon, incarcerated.

If you’ve found your safe space and you’re incapable of producing marketable value that exceeds its cost of production, you’re dependent on the profitably competent, but their very existence is a constant reproach, a reminder of your own inadequacy. So where gratitude would be appropriate, you instead hate, mock, and abuse your meal tickets. This isn’t PhD in psychology material—spoiled children have been abusing their parents for centuries. Interestingly—at least for psychology PhDs—the dependent get more abusive as they get more dependent.

Their safe spaces require little or nothing in the way of competency. They have become havens for personal predilections and peccadilloes that were once socially unacceptable, virtually free from any standards of comportment or dress, and citadels of venomous, self-serving ideologies.

One month into the partial shutdown of the largest safe space, it’s obvious that not only has the sky not fallen, but unsurprisingly, America is doing just fine without those 800,000 furloughed workers that even the government considers nonessential. Which elicits the question: What were they doing when they were on the job?

“Not much” is not necessarily the right answer. The 100,000 plus pages of the Federal Register and the tax code suggest that they’ve been spending a lot of time gumming up the works for and extracting money from the profitably competent many of them despise. The furlough may accomplish the first step of breaking America’s addiction to government: realizing that most of it is not only useless, but harmful. We’ll see if it leads to the next steps: getting rid of personnel, programs, agencies, and entire departments, and changing policy accordingly (we can dream). If things change in that direction, expect the denizens of what are no longer safe spaces to become increasingly vitriolic.

You can’t reach a point where dependents openly denigrate those who support them without the latter’s tacit or explicit consent. Parents who spoil their children and endure the brats’ abuse get what they deserve. Ayn Rand had it right. The people who make America go could bring it to a shuddering stop simply by stockpiling their resources and walking off their jobs for a month or two. An added turn of the screw would be withdrawing their funds from the banking system (see “The Yellow Vests Get it Right,” SLL).

It’s time to stop funding the abusers, time to stop excusing them with “they mean well, but…”, time to reject their claims to moral superiority, time to stop building safe space sanctuaries, time to stop apologizing for profitable competence, and time to recognize its moral value and reclaim the right to its profits. If it takes a strike to hurl the brats into the maw of their own incompetence and upend the tyrannical cult, so be it. The biggest crime hasn’t been that of the brats and the cult, it’s been the failure of those who haven’t defended what’s rightfully theirs.

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56 responses to “The Unprofitably Incompetent, by Robert Gore

  1. Pingback: The Unprofitably Incompetent, by Robert Gore | NCRenegade

  2. Robert well said. Perhaps the answer to the massive Nanny State we find ourselves in, with so many nursing at the teat of Big Government at the expense of the productive few, would be to do exactly what Rand recommends–for the productive serfs to”stockpile their resources”, but instead of walking off their jobs, find productive alliances in their local communities with other like-minded productive people in order to circumvent as much as possible supporting the insatiable appetite of State.

    That would entail bartering, trading work, and supporting local businesses.
    Quiet civil disobedience, hard work, and getting to know your neighbor would go a long way in subverting this insane Buearacracy that drains us in so many ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I certainly don’t dismiss your suggestions. Get enough producers of like mind together and the tactics will almost take care of themselves.

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  5. What enables the franchise of the unprofitably incompetent to endure and grow, is not only those who slither in the political weeds, but those of the profitably competent who advocate, lobby, and “serve,” on their behalf. Both the despicable and naïve moralists who embrace the idea that each of us must serve some sort of “higher” purpose with our lives

    Unless or until it is commonly understood that there is an inescapable corollary to Bacon’s timeless truth. Just as, “for Nature to be commanded she must be obeyed,” there follows, “for each of us to live in harmony with the rest of us, our lives must remain our own to live,” is equally relevant. Nature exacts a prompt and unforgiving “toll” for failure to adhere to the first “truth.” Human beings extract an equally unforgiving toll – though not necessarily as prompt, for failing to adhere to the latter one.

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    • Very well said.

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    • @dwlievert,

      Could you give me an example of the “profitably competent who advocate, lobby, and ‘serve,’ on” the behalf of the unprofitably incompetent?

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      • Good question. I am walking on thin ice here, but when I think lobbyist, I think trail lawyers, insurance companies, and military contractors. I cannot honestly say, after a little thought, that these meet the “profitability “ acid test. What comes to mind are frivolous lawsuits, Obamacare, and $20,000 toilet seats. These seem to more come under the heading of fraud and criminality. Oh yes, I almost forgot, corporate lobbyists who lobby for profitability through safe spaces called tax loopholes custom written for them.

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  6. Very good. i consider the following a trap.
    “The demands for retribution are simply another naked money grab.”
    Yesterday, i was compelled to right this for those who are triggered by such as the maga hat. Now i would never wear one,would never buy one yet?
    We are so ‘weak minded’ that we are now triggered by ____________.
    All snowflakes need to fill this out.
    Man how looney can they get?

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  16. Another ‘home run’ slammed out of the ballpark, Robert!

    By the way–speaking of competence–I just watched a You Tube about the secrets of the Terracotta Army, buried in China. It is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE with the purpose of protecting the emperor in his afterlife.

    These are over 8,000 unique, individual, and different sculptures, each one done so perfectly–it is astounding. Archaeologists amazing find–that under Emperor Qin– “incompetence” was a capital offense! Make goods or services badly–you forfeit your head!

    At 43:33 here:
    https://straightlinelogic.com/2019/01/25/the-unprofitably-incompetent-by-robert-gore/

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  17. The reparations question is interesting.

    Certainly, I can bear no guilt for what my forefathers did … but, I think it’s more complex than this.

    Suppose that my Grandfather took YOUR Grandfather’s house and farm, at gunpoint. Well, sure, I’m not guilty of that theft, BUT, I’m still living in that house.

    In English law, one never gains Title to property which is stolen. Thus, that farm never becomes MINE. Were it otherwise, then it would be easy to profit from theft. One would only have to bide one’s time.

    So, I might argue that the house and farm still DO belong to the people from whom they were stolen; and their descendants. They’re still fighting about these questions in Ireland.

    It’s also interesting to apply the same standard to Monarchs. The predecessors of the English Crown were men who came in force and took everything that they saw. Is their claim of ownership, rightful?

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  22. How do you know you are a son of God?

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  23. It’s a million-mile stretch to say that because some individuals may hold property that was stolen by someone back in their family tree that entire classes of persons are entitled to reparations from other classes of persons. Let’s take slavery as the classic example. Slaves were brought to this country against their will and they and subsequent generations were subject to slavery prior to the Civil War and discrimination and institutionalized racism afterwards. Certainly injustices were perpetrated against slaves and their descendants, as they were against many people. However, what are the damages? Are we to say that anyone whose ancestors suffered injustice is worse off than if their ancestors hadn’t come to this country, especially those that came involuntarily?

    Just based on income and wealth levels, the current descendants of slaves have it far better in this country than they would have been if their ancestors had remained where they originated. That’s because notwithstanding undeniable injustices, the American economic and political systems produces tremendous opportunities for advancement, opportunities not available in those countries of origin. If they were, you would see an exodus back to those countries. Countering the injustice narrative is the narrative of millions of people who came to this country, and their descendants, who have built better lives for themselves. That includes people who were brought involuntarily as slaves and their descendants. We can all claim some sort of injustice was done to our forebears that deprives us of something through no fault of our own, but a full accounting must also reckon with the opportunities and wealth created by and for our forebears which we now enjoy through no effort of our own. In virtually every case, the latter far outweighs the former.

    Liked by 2 people

    • In the middle age, the churche said the slaves were not sons of god. It was a “straigt line logic error”, no? How do you know you are a son of god?

      Like

    • Wow, I have often thought about this and wondered why no one ever seems to use this logic to refute the calls for reparations. I’ve never seen anyone pen the argument so eloquently. Well done, Robert.

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    • Of course, I agree that an injustice done to one man, does not merit reparations to a whole ‘class’ of men. I would think that any reparations would have to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

      I know that, if I were the descendant of one whose Property had been seized, I’d probably seethe with the injustice of it. And, if that seizure were to happen to me today, it would be impossible to put it out of my mind.

      And, I absolutely agree re slavery. I tend towards Walter Williams’ view that, for most of the slaves’ descendants … it’s been a ‘Lottery Win’. Instead of miserable lives in some African’ ghetto, they have luxurious lives in the World’s richest Nation.

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  24. Mr. Gore,

    Thank you for publishing another exquisite essay. You never disappoint.

    As Edmund Burke stated in 1784(!), “The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.” Lately I have been ‘studying’ presentations by Dr. Sam Vaknin regarding the rise of malignant egalitarianism and delusional impetus of the Internet Age and social media — that is anything BUT social.

    In an ‘documentary interview’ with Richard Grannon, Vaknin stated, “The thing is that social media is structured to prevent certainty, and to deter intimacy. And the reason it is structured that way is because intimacy…is geared…intimacy reduces the need for addiction — reduces the need for conditioning.”

    You wrote: “The biggest crime hasn’t been that of the brats and the cult, it’s been the failure of those who haven’t defended what’s rightfully theirs.” You are in good historical company. John Stuart Mill (1867) said, “Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” And Einstein (1953) hit a big proverbial nail on the head when he wrote, “The world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it.”

    Note the ‘sinful’, reprehensible, politically incorrect words used by these great thinkers, writers, and speakers: ‘Bad men’. ‘Good men’. ‘Evil’. In this age, when moral and intellectual relativism is blowing full bore, such thoughts of good, bad, evil, and truth are considered anathema.

    With gratitude… Be well.

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  25. Thanks for this totally awesome article, one of the best things I’ve read in a long while. I’ve gone Galt and my sanity has increased exponentially. I also live by George Carlin’s advice and try to just be a spectator since I can’t do a damn thing about any of it so there’s no point in letting it get to me. And it IS definitely entertaining.

    Keep up the good work!

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  26. “Which elicits the question: What were they doing when they were on the job? “Not much” is not necessarily the right answer.”

    Or, to put it another way, they’re going back to doing “not much”. Except, as you put it, they’ll continue to gum up the works for those of us, and I use the term “us” euphemistically, who do produce, around 20% or there about.

    Great article, as usual.

    Like

  27. Enjoyed reading your essay here. Thanks!

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  28. TBS: It is anyone who fails to conduct their life in a manner consistent with, “for each of us to live in harmony with the rest of us, our lives must remain our own to live.”
    Examples encompass almost the entirety of the electorate. Generally, they include those who believe they have a right to that which must first be produced by others. Specific examples include those economic. Banking, business, and corporate leaders, who manifest values of character reflective of Rand’s “sanction of the victim,” and having so sanctioned, then advocate the rest of us so too comply as well. Go down a list of the notorious among us and, if you understand the philosophy – particularly the MORAL philosophy in play, you can pick them out yourself.

    Economic leaders who preach fiat money (virtually every individual in the employ of the Federal Reserve). All bankers who are members of and support the idea of a Government franchised source of money and credit. All business leaders who advocate on behalf of subsides, tariffs, licensing (by the State), and all other forms of political (legal) “favors” (sanctions/prohibitions). Corporate leaders who trade money for “pull.”

    And in finality, ALL those who “serve” them – in whatever capacity. Best summed by the adage, “when legislation is needed in order to buy and sell, it will be legislators that are the most important commodity to be bought and sold.”

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  29. What you are speaking of, is the classical question; “Who is John Galt?”

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  30. @dwlievert

    Thank you for your thoughtful response. I suspected that was where you were going with this in your original reply. And, in essence, I concur.

    My problem comes in branding this kind of folk as “profitably competent.” They are morally bankrupt, so maybe there needs to be another subset — the ‘unprofitably competent’? Profiting financially while destroying moral and ethical fiber — on balance, not profitable. Or maybe the ‘profitably incompetent’? Gaining riches while enjoying no real wealth — Showing moral incompetence.

    Or … maybe there is no real difference between (a) the seemingly ‘profitably competent’ one “who fails to conduct [his] life in a manner consistent with, ‘for each of us to live in harmony with the rest of us, our lives must remain our own to live.’ (You)” and (b) the “unprofitably incompetent, who had no hand in producing it, [and] clamor for their ‘fair share’ (RG).” The ones you hold out as morally bankrupt contribute nothing of value to society and are no more productive than the ‘unprofitable incompetents’ — both groups seek to wrest from the ‘profitably competent’ their right to live their own lives.

    Just wondering…

    Thanks again. Best to you and yours. Be well.

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  31. Yes, Ayn Rand did have it right, especially when she named the principle to which you merely eluded: “The Sanction of the Victim.” The abuse of the producers cannot get this bad without the producers allowing it to go on, allowing their virtue to be vilified by these looters, moochers, and snowflakes.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Damned autocorrect! Just noticed “alluded” came out as “eluded.”

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  33. One need not leave work entirely to ‘Go Gault’. One can also ‘Go Gault’ from society. Woman well below ‘a certain age’? Get your own door, fix your own car on the side of the road.. etc. Soy boy can change the light bulb? I won’t help but you can pay me. The list is endless. Since I’m already evil I may as well check out and let those who cannot attend to themselves w/o my help.

    As for reparations – it is indeed a scam. To the racists of the left I look like I’m brimming w/ ‘white privilege’. Too bad my ancestry is 1/2 hispanic and the other 1/2 were virtual slaves in coal mining company towns. Let us not forget the black men who also owned black slaves. Yeah.. I know.. its about ‘get whitey’ and little things like facts can be ignored.

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  34. It is simplistic to state it, without unfettered free unencumbered economic activity, Liberty is almost impossible.
    But it is the truth.
    If you look at the mind blowing creativity, craftsmanship, artistry and the whole gamete of human activity in the years when the Colonial’s produced their civilizations direct needs for everything from firearms to tin plate ware, clothes to hard cider, blacksmithing to printing, it is an unparalleled era of prosperity, productivity, industriousness, innovation and invention, and personal wealth creation on the provincial scale.
    Its no wonder why they patriots of the time abhorred the taxation and duty, among other extortionary levees placed on the colonials by King George’s England.

    Think of the last penny when you have spent it, out the dollar you earned by the creation of wealth, the only place wealth creation comes from, your labors, how many times compound that dollar of wealth you made is taxed. Its getting close to 70 percent.
    Its taxation upon taxation upon taxation at every level, from everyone who touches the product or service, at every level. I bet it is almost incalculable figuring out how many times say a gallon of gasoline is taxed somehow before it burns in the cylinders of your engine. And even then the sonofabitches are trying to tax the air your exhaust mixes with.
    Where is the end to this madness?

    When we begin to shoot the bastards strip mining us? Under the ultimate threat of their guns, if we refuse to comply with our existence eatin’ out?

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