User:Leucosticte/The Loser Manifesto

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I recently decided not to bother to seek employment, due to some of the reasons listed here for why being an unemployed loser is better than being employed.

Arguments[edit | edit source]

Our economy isn't really set up to accommodate people who aren't very good workers[edit | edit source]

The way our workplace is set up, is that you hold a position and get promotions or a pay raise if you're particularly good at it. But you do have to start taking on more and different responsibilities in order to justify that pay increase, which means you're doing a qualitatively different job. (You might get a bonus for doing quantitatively more work, but it's usually not guaranteed, and would have to be approved by your boss's boss.)

There are always going to be some people (such as me) who are slightly sub-par at even doing their core job duties, though. They take longer to do their tasks, or they make more mistakes, than a typical worker. In a purely capitalist society, such people would simply get paid less than their co-workers with a similar job title, but our system isn't really set up to do that, probably because it would be considered discriminatory. Our system is set up to pay people a certain rate for a certain number of hours, rather than being based on quality and quantity of output.

To the extent some consultants and such are paid more, often they're being paid for meaningless bullshit, like having more advanced degrees and credentials, or working for a bigger and more prestigious firm, than lesser consultants. It isn't usually based on having more or better output.

There's always going to be 50 percent of workers who are below-average, and the economy doesn't have much of a place for them. A lot of them just stay in the same position for years because no one feels like going to the trouble of firing them, but they're prime candidates to be fired as soon as there's a downsizing, restructuring, etc. or if they're ever found to have an undisclosed felony in their past, or some other BS like that. People with sub-par performance are simply fired, and after they've been fired enough times, it gets harder for them to find jobs unless they can get away with using fake references to explain away why they kept changing jobs.

I suspect a lot of people who turned to crime and ended up on Jay Leno's "stupid criminals" segment, sucked at the workplace, or would've sucked at it. That was why they turned to crime. It would've been cheaper if society had just said, "It's not your fault that you suck; you just happen to be in the bottom 50 percent" and put them on the dole (which, if I'm going to be libertarian about it, I guess I should advocate should be privately funded).

It's the same way with starving artists. They don't even necessarily give a shit about what society thinks of them, as long as they get to pursue their artwork and buy the occasional coffee shop latte. Might as well give them a little dignity.

Arguably, we need to stop pressuring sub-par workers into the workforce, because they do whatever it takes to get hired (including lying, if they need to) and then they cause a lot of problems once they get there, because they're being put into jobs where they're expected to perform at par, yet they're not performing at par. So they either get fired or they just keep providing sub-par performance and getting paid for par performance, while filling a position that could've been filled by someone more able.

Now, given the law of comparative advantage, maybe these sub-par employees are actually freeing better employees to do more important work, and thus they are still making a valuable contribution. But I would argue this is not actually being done in an orderly way, except maybe in industries like fast food, where customers typically understand they're getting shitty quality service in exchange for paying a lower price. With the minimum wage being increased, though, fast food seems to be going away. (McDonald's for example is closing stores.)

Our economy isn't set up to accommodate people with felony convictions[edit | edit source]

No one wants to hire felons, because of liability concerns. Maybe the guy was a crack dealer 30 years ago and is now a born-again Christian, but he can't ever hold a white-collar job because people are worried he'll quit an investment banking job and go to back to crack-dealing, or maybe just decide to deal crack out of the investment banking firm, or do a drive-by shooting of people encroaching at his former crack dealing turf just for old time's sake.

If you're a felon, you're going to repeatedly get a big "fuck you" from society, not only during the job application process whenever you disclose your felony or get caught having a felony you didn't disclose, but also when you get fired for being a felon. Theoretically, when you have a job, you're a success, but every time you get fired for having a felony, people are going to consider you a loser.

That might not matter too much, if you can just get into some trade that you're good at, that doesn't care about felonies. But, if you're also not a very good worker (see above), then you're fucked. Our economy definitely isn't set up to accommodate people who not only suck at working, but also have felony convictions.

People might argue, "Just don't commit crimes and you'll be fine." Okay, well, so much for civil disobedience, then, which is the main way of changing government policy, aside from participating in a democratic system that mostly is run by a wealthy oligarchy of rent seekers, and whose elections are usually decided by meaningless bullshit (like who got Swift Boated, or who got caught on tape saying that stars can grab women by the pussy). Also, most people do in fact commit crimes; George W. Bush was a felon, i.e. a cocaine user, but because he didn't get caught, he was able to rise to the highest levels of government. It's all just a bunch of hypocrisy when people say that felons are less trustworthy than others. Nick Danger writes: Template:Quotation People used to tell me that it didn't matter if I lied about my felony on job applications, as long I didn't steal anything after getting hired. "All's well that ends well," they said.

After I got fired for not disclosing my felony conviction, after being on the job for year, I concluded that it didn't actually end well. They put all that training into me, and then it was wasted when they had to fire me. A large part of the point of having a job is to feel good about being productive and contributing, and that is defeated when this happens.

Not only that, at this point, I feel like most jobs at which I could work (especially in this DC Metro area, which I have to remain in because it's where my family is) are governmental or quasi-governmental jobs anyway. In other words, it's not that much different than the work I did when I was in prison. I've worked for government contractors, for CPA firms, and for the pharmaceutical industry, all of which heavily lobby the legislatures and regulatory agencies to get favorable treatment, often at the expense of consumers and taxpayers. Where's the sense of pride in working for those companies?

Employers treat job applicants like shit anyway[edit | edit source]

It's been noted by many that companies treat job applicants like shit (or like "dirt," as they have to say in publications that are required to be safe for work). Gee, how enticing for those who are unemployed, to put themselves through this:

Liz Ryan writes: Template:Quotation It's even worse if you're a felon.

When you have a job, you're mostly just working to support losers anyway. But why is it better to be a provider, than to be provided for?[edit | edit source]

When I look at a typical paycheck, a large percentage of it is going to support losers, or even malefactors in some cases. Let's look at the deductions:

Deductions from gross pay
Item Amount Comments
Gross pay Template:Font color This is what I theoretically make. Wow, what a lifestyle downgrade I'm going to have to make, if I want to subsist on welfare instead, right? But let's run the numbers before jumping to that hasty conclusion.
Federal income tax Template:Font color Pays for losers such as corrupt politicians and political appointees, defense contractors who survive on pork barrel projects, psychopaths who want to enlist in wars of foreign aggression so they can be badasses and go shoot people in real life (not just video games), drug warriors, and federal bureaucrats who wouldn't be able to get a comparable job in the private sector
Social Security tax Template:Font color Pays for losers who feel entitled to be lazy once they've put in a certain number of years of work, or who because of old age are too decrepit to support themselves anymore; if no friends, family members, or charity finds them worthy of being supported, they should probably just kill themselves and free up resources to support the young instead
Medicare tax Template:Font color Pays for losers who probably neglected their health for years and now want the taxpayer to pick up the tab for a leg amputation necessitated by preventable type two diabetes
VA state income tax Template:Font color Pays for losers such as public school teachers and correctional officers, who mostly or entirely exist to babysit and/or warehouse people who have done nothing to deserve having their freedom restricted, and who aren't being very effectively educated or rehabilitated by these socialistic institutions; also pays for the losers on food stamps and unemployment benefits, who have to pretend to be unsuccessfully job hunting
Dental Template:Font color Pays for losers who didn't bother to brush their teeth and now need fillings. When I had a job, I didn't even go to the dentist, because I was too busy working and didn't want to use my 80 hours a year of Paid Time Off on appointments, rather than on vacations
Health insurance Template:Font color Pays for losers who seek antidepressants because they (and the people who influence them) believe psychiatrists' pseudoscience about their unhappiness being brought about by a chemical imbalance, rather than by their being in an unfavorable position resulting from their own or society's dysfunctions. Also pays to support losers with expensive terminal diseases, who insist on staying alive when they really need to just die already since what they'll produce in their remaining months or years will never outweigh the costs of supporting them, and they're probably not even living a happy life anymore. However, it's hard not to sign up for health insurance when you have a job, because if you have to visit the emergency room, you might actually be held responsible for the costs because you're not indigent.
Vision Template:Font color Pays for losers who apparently didn't realize they could just save up, or put on a credit card, $150 every couple years to buy glasses, for the same as what they pay for vision insurance premiums
401(K) Template:Font color Pays for my future loserdom, after I become too lazy or decrepit to work anymore; in reality, though, they're probably just going to cash it out and give it to me early (less 10 percent penalty) if I stay unemployed and don't roll it over
Net pay 1359.35 Wow, that's all that's left?

Why be the chump who pays to support losers, rather than being one of the losers yourself? (I wasn't sure which category of deduction pays for malingerers with fake back pain who collect disability, so I didn't mention them.) These deductions don't even take into account the fact that my employer is having to spend even more money to support losers, by paying for Virginia unemployment insurance (which I've never collected) and for half of the Social Security payments that are made on my behalf.

There are a lot of other job-related expenses, too[edit | edit source]

But that's not even the end of the job-related expenses. There are all kinds of other expenses:

Job-related expenses
Item Amount Comments
Net pay Template:Font color Oh well, at least I get to keep this much, right?
Cell phone Template:Font color (44.26/month times 2 pay periods/month) Every member of my family has their own cell phone, plus we have a house phone, and in an emergency I can probably borrow a phone. So I don't really need a cell phone, except that I might need to take a break from work, or use my lunch break, to conduct personal business sometimes, like calling to see if my car is done being fixed, etc.
CareerExcuse Template:Font color (50/month times 2 pay periods/month) I just need this in case I get fired and need to job hunt again
Car repairs, maintenance, and depreciation Template:Font color (Just a guesstimate, based on buying another used car every year or two for about $1,000, and then spending about $2,000/year to keep it in working order and make it fit for inspection) My car ownership and use is mostly work-related. I could walk to the store, and borrow someone else's car, or ride with them, to go other places
Gasoline Template:Font color (Six fillups a pay period, for $20/fillup, to pay for sitting in 600 miles of stop-and-go traffic every pay period while going to and from work) To help empty out the highways of all that excessive rush hour traffic, it's time for me to join the ranks of the unemployed
Car insurance Template:Font color ($41.05/month times 2 pay periods/month) If I drove someone else's car, I would just be covered by their insurance, and not need to pay this
Interest on credit cards Template:Font color I end up living beyond my means because family members expect me to keep shelling out money as long as I have enough money to afford to make payments on credit cards. When I'm unemployed, I can just default on credit cards because I'm judgment-proof
Legal expenses Template:Font color I had to spend a bunch of money on legal expenses for family court because I wasn't indigent, and therefore didn't qualify for court-appointed counsel. It's just an example of the kinds of stuff people have to pay for out of their own pocket when they have money
Remaining pay 901.20 This is barely more than what people on federal disability get for sitting on their couch doing nothing

That leaves $901.20 for other expenses. So really, I only earn about $11.26/hour, if you figure I work 80 hours per pay period. And when you consider, I spend 3 hours/day sitting behind a wheel when I work in this area, that's actually more like 110 hours every pay period devoted to work, so I'm making $8.19/hour, which is barely above the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour.

What was the point of going to college? I could walk to the Dollar General across the street and be a cashier making that much. I wouldn't even need to buy my own work clothes; they'd give me a uniform.

By the way, I haven't even counted the costs of job-hunting, such as driving to interviews and such.

There are some people who move closer to the city, and deal with the extra crime, the higher cost of living, having to live in a smaller house in closer proximity to neighbors, etc. just so they can have a shorter commute to work. Talk about a major job-related expense!

If I decline to work, and instead live out in the boonies on government assistance, then I'm helping bring down the cost of rent and property ownership near the city, by reducing the demand. In that way, I'm making others' lives better.

When you have a job, you don't have free speech, unless you speak anonymously, which has its limitations[edit | edit source]

When I was applying for jobs, I had to take my blog private so that I wouldn't face employment discrimination based on my past and my opinions; and when I had a job, I had to take my blog private so that I wouldn't get fired if people googled me and found out about my past. When I'm unemployed, I have freer speech.

When you have a job, you can't implement your ideas for side businesses, hobbies, etc. whenever you want; you have to go to work and spend your best, sharpest, most alert, most well-rested, most potentially creative hours sitting behind a wheel, or doing some corporate gruntwork that you're really not in the mood for[edit | edit source]

'Nuff said. If you rise to the higher levels, you can do more interesting stuff, but guess what..

To succeed in the work world, you typically have to not only be good at your job, but be good at office politics, or dealing with customers, etc. You have to be willing to suppress your true personality and beliefs, and be a conformist[edit | edit source]

Some people just don't have a knack for that shit. They're not very diplomatic and good at being fake. Or they're just weirdos who don't fit in.

Weirdos can do some lower-level job where they work for some understanding individual, but they'll never rise to the highest levels. Unless maybe they fill a particular niche like IT guy, where they succeed due to their extreme acumen at their specialty. But not everyone has that; see above, about sub-par workers. In fact, the whole reason why these specialists are able to succeed despite being weirdos is that their skill is rare, and therefore only a relatively few people are going to be able to use that to succeed. The rest will need to be good at the office politics and whatnot.

When you're a loser, you stop being so dissatisfied with what you have, because you consider yourself lucky to have anything at all[edit | edit source]

There's no more saying, "Do I have the best job I could have? Am I getting paid what I'm worth? Do I have the best wife that I could've gotten?" If you live off handouts, you consider yourself lucky to get anything at all. It's easier to have a mentality of gratitude.

Also, you realize that the people around you aren't there because of your money, but because they like you. In fact, if they're willing to support you even though you're basically a financial burden, that shows they must really like you (assuming they don't feel socially obligated to support you).

I don't have a lot of stuff that's important for me to fund, that I can afford on a middle class salary anyway[edit | edit source]

If I were rich, I could fund some important businesses and causes. But, being in the middle class, all I can really afford are a few donations here and there. I could save up money to run for office, but it seems pointless because I'm politically homeless and not really looking to start a one-man movement. I would want there to at least be a second person involved (or at least on my side) to provide moral support.

I don't have any kids[edit | edit source]

I don't have any kids that I'm allowed to raise, and it's unclear whether I ever will, so I have less invested in this society than I otherwise might. I got punked out of the opportunity to raise the one kid that I had, and guess what, libertarians weren't even supportive of my getting to raise her; at most, they thought what happened was "sad" rather than "wrong". They may have viewed it as necessary and right, although unfortunate.

Fuck society, man. Why should I do anything to support it? I don't fit in anywhere, and I'm not appreciated or wanted (or, arguably, valuable) where I would seek to contribute. I'm not even allowed some of my basic rights.

Oh, I could try to improve society, rather than just bitching about it. But like I say, I want at least one person actively on my side, first. I'm tired of fighting alone, getting nowhere, and then getting demoralized and giving up.

Sub-par workers are either irrelevant (in which case it doesn't matter what they do), or fellow Atlases who can influence society by going on strike (and therefore maybe not losers after all, in that capacity)[edit | edit source]

The know, the thing about Howard Roark, is that until he actually had the opportunity to take part in designing a building that would be built, he was a loser. There are a lot of people like that: people with great ideas that could change the world, but who don't get the chance, because they don't get buy-in from those who have the necessary resources.

Of course, there are also a lot of people with bad ideas that would fail if implemented. But, till they're implemented, we don't know which is which.

Anyway, you don't have to be successful before you can go on strike and have it be meaningful. You won't get recognized as having been anything, but you can at least write a loser manifesto and justify it to yourself (and anyone else who will listen, which may or may not be very many people), which is half the battle.

The film American Beauty was about a fictional heroic loser who dropped out of the white-collar workforce. From working at Mr. Smiley's, it's only one step to being totally unemployed.

MGTOW is fucking awesome, by the way, and that's what Lester Burnham basically became. (He was gonna fuck the high school chick, but decided not to, although the reasons for why not are kinda murky.) Without MGTOW, we would really not have much way of escaping the corporate grind, unless we wanted to become alpha jerkboys, which is not really a path that's suited to everyone.

The white-collar corporate world, outside of the senior positions and some sales- or computer-related jobs, isn't really suitable for men anyway[edit | edit source]

Men are risk-takers and more likely to openly engage in deviant talk and behaviors. Therefore, they're more likely to get fired for saying or doing something HR finds offensive, or to have criminal records, etc.

At the last company I worked at, I think I was one of only two men who worked there, who was at the level I was as at. The other guy was an accounts receivable guy who came on board not long before I left.

All the other men were sales guys, or computer guys, or senior-level staff.

I feel like HR really has become an oppressive presence in modern corporations, with all their political correctness. Of course, the general counsel tends to be just as bad. I'm glad I don't have to deal with them anymore.

Our culture is set up to make the uneducated feel inferior to the educated, and to make the educated feel like losers if they don't become white-collar workers[edit | edit source]

In Scarface, there's a scene where Tony Montana says, "I come from the gutter. I know that. I got no education."

I've noticed that a lot of people without college educations are kinda sensitive about it. They are quick to say that they want to give their kids opportunities that they didn't have. Then they tell their kids about the importance of education and buy them an education that, in many if not most cases, they don't end up making much use of (especially these days, when the job market is pretty unforgiving toward any kind of mistake made in one's career).

Why are there so many stories of people rising from nothing, to the middle class or even higher? It's because they spent their youths doing more productive stuff than sitting in a classroom. They knew they weren't going to have the opportunity to go to college, so they didn't lazily rely on that as their ticket to a cushy life. They grabbed opportunities to learn by doing, they sought to distinguish themselves by the quality and quantity of their output (rather than by earning high grades), and they made connections wherever possible.

Yet because of their past, they'll always feel a little vulnerable and insecure, as though they have something to prove that they'll never be able to satisfactorily. Meanwhile, the college graduate feel disgruntled if everything isn't handed to him on a silver platter, because he "paid his dues" sitting in a classroom being bored out of his mind and toiling away at a desk solving fictitious problems for his homework assignments. All along, he humblebragged about getting nothing more than "a piece of paper" for all this time and money invested, yet he's fully expecting to wow the hiring managers with his high GPA. When he's not in class, he's probably wasting his time partying or playing video games rather than working, because society tells him it's okay to do that, as long as he's a full-time student.

When he finds that he gets paid less starting out than the apprentice plumbers and electricians who will become journeymen after only a couple years of vocational schooling, and that he has learned no skills that would be useful around the house, he's going to be resentful. But what if he doesn't even succeed in his white-collar career? Then he's going to feel like a waste of invested resources. People without degrees will tell him that if they'd had the opportunities he'd had, they could've done a lot more.

If asked what I think of this bourgeois life, I'd have to respond in Sick Boy's words, "No, it's not bad, but it's not great either, is it? And in your heart you kind of know that although it sounds all right, it's actually just shite."

Possible reasons why society offers you assistance[edit | edit source]

Let's suppose you're jobless and society is paying you to live. There are three possible reasons why they would do that. (1) You're stronger and able to force them to. (2) There's some kind of benefit they get from doing that, that outweighs the costs. (3) They have compassion for you.

What is worthless and in the way, humans usually do not hesitate to get rid of when they can. At the very least, they do not go out of their way to contribute resources to it, unless they have to. So what does it mean, if they work to support you?

Your strength[edit | edit source]

Every species, every society, and even every family, ultimately relies to some degree on the idea of "might makes right." The strong rule, and rank has its privileges. The downtrodden get forgotten.

Does anyone weep over the Congolese who were killed or enslaved by Leopold II? Nah. What about the Bengalis who died under famine under Winston Churchill? Nah. They were just weak people, destroyed to make way for the stronger.

It's the same way with the weak animals and plants that are killed and eaten by humans. Their inferiority is manifest in the fact that they were not able to fend us off.

So, what about the mosquito that continues to feast on humans' blood? We may look at it contemptuously as an example of a useless animal, but it is superior to us in that in many cases, it is more mobile, cunning, etc. and able to defeat our defenses, despite our higher IQ. It has resisted our attempts to eradicate it, because all it needs is a host and a little bit of standing water. It is more adaptable in many ways. It doesn't even need to kept warm and fed throughout the winter; it can just leave eggs behind for the spring.

Rats, too, have managed to not only survive but stow away on ships and thereby follow us and establish populations all around the globe. If we are so superior, and they such a pest, why were we not able to get rid of them? Everything we can point to as a disadvantage on their part, such as their smaller brains, is also an advantage, since they're able to conceal themselves in ways that we couldn't.

What about pickpockets, swindlers, etc.? The successful ones show they have some superiority over those they steal from. They were more clever and crafty, if they escaped detection and capture.

The kings, the politicians, the bureaucrats, and so on, who do nothing but feed themselves using our tax dollars, likewise have managed to overpower or outfox others. If we're so superior to them, why do we keep them around, rather than overthrowing them? Why don't we use our superior intellect to outwit, outmaneuver, or do whatever we need to do to get rid of them?

If tyranny is better organized than liberty, then maybe liberty (or the liberty movement, or self-organizing civil society) as we know it today is inferior, because social organization is part of what makes man the most advanced species on earth. It is by social organization that we are able to build factories that produce guns by which we can take down the most powerful beasts of the jungle, if we want to.

In this sense, maybe we do get the government we deserve.

There's some kind of benefit they get from keeping you around[edit | edit source]

Why does society keep even people like Dylann Roof around, after they've been condemned to death? It's because they believe he could still have some value. At the highest levels of government, a conclusion has been reached that we should spend massive amounts of money imprisoning people for life rather than killing them.

Everyone starts out as, provisionally, a loser. When you're born, you have not yet proven that you're capable of anything noteworthy. It's one of the reasons kids are treated with such disrespect by bureaucracies (although it's also in the nature of bureaucracies to treat everyone, especially the powerless, with disrespect).

One might argue, "There are some constituencies that fight against the death penalty. Many of them are religious. But religion is a mind virus." Well, you weren't able to counter that mind virus, were you? It spreads better than your ideas do. You were not able to create an effective antibody to that virus, any more than the animals and peoples that had to be displaced in order for our civilization to come about were able to defend themselves against us.

Those pro-life religions have found some value in keeping alive the Dylann Roofs of the world, and society has found some value in keeping those religions around, and letting their members run society. Society has been willing to say, "One man, one vote! Even if your opinion is retarded."

If religion allies itself with losers and tells them, "Redemption is possible," then those losers may ally themselves with religion. Religion provides a useful service to society to the extent that these losers are in fact able to be rehabilitated. If a few losers can't be rehabilitated, that's just the price society pays for a pro-life policy that overall is beneficial.

If a few genuine losers who can't be rehabilitated are able to take advantage of, and subvert, the system, that shows that they have strength, and by "conquest" they have demonstrated their worthiness.

They have compassion for you[edit | edit source]

From what we've seen thus far, there's not a lot of compassion in our universe that doesn't have some kind of self-interest or self-love as its motivating force. Therefore, if the strong have compassion and keep you around, you're either useful to them, or you're similar to them in some way, which is why they love you. Often, it's a combination of both.

But if you're able to subvert and outwit the powerful, and get them to have compassion when they shouldn't, then you have demonstrated superiority over them. This gives you as much of a claim to exist as any claim they have, because everything they have, they too took from the weak.

The forces of evolution and natural selection are not altruistic. Compassion only comes about out of self-interest. If it did not serve self-interest, it would have been selected against as maladaptive. It must have served a useful purpose, and therefore the person who receives the benefit of the compassion must either also serve a useful purpose, or be

But what if you don't serve a useful purpose, but receive compassion anyway? Then that's weakness on the part of the person giving you the compassion, and why not take advantage of it? Might makes right!

Suppose there's a very fragile person who feels great pain from the slightest injury. Most people will say, "This person is too sensitive to be useful" and look on the person with contempt rather than wanting to accommodate them. Accommodations are only for the useful. Oversensitivity is viewed as a flaw that makes a person inferior and therefore suitable to be conquered or discarded.

Note[edit | edit source]

Maybe I should've called this "My Loser Manifesto" rather than "The Loser Manifesto" since it seems there are several of them:

External links[edit | edit source]