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Reader comment on Barry Schwartz's passage ...

Incentives Are Not Enough


On Jun 2, 2009 Frank wrote:

What a poorly-focussed and weakly-reasoned piece. But I need to be brief.

You clearly mean FINANCIAL incentives but fail to make that clear. Our whole human endeavour is based in incentivisation of one sort or another, but it's not always financial. The 'right thing' is a cultural-specific construct but maybe your message is only targetted to the developed-world and the current economic failures and problems.

Your view of a bank manager's responsibility makes it sound like we always need a parent to look after us.

Referencing 'moral heroes' - Bottom Line, People want to identify with and emulate those who achieve big, almost spectacular feats. Those big achievers are the people we should be pointing to and getting moral leadership from. We all know a moral hero and admire what they do and the effort they expend but that does not necessarily encourage us to follow their example. This is an area where we should be encouraging, shaming, incentivising(?) economically successful entrepreneurs to accept the responsibility for setting a moral, as well as economic, authority.

Sorry, but you need clearer thought and expression here.



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