Secretaries Are Partners Too

from the equal-rights dept

Oh no, even secretaries are going to be richer than us! That?s probably the first reaction that most of us would have (even though we?d deny it) after finding out that office staff could be $1 million dollars richer after a few years working in a Venture Capital firm. After the initial shock, we all have to realise that as believers in free markets these office staff are only earning what they?re worth, a hell of a lot of money to VC?s (as they help run day to day operations in these firms). Any one else want to be a secretary, or is it just me?

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Comments on “Secretaries Are Partners Too”

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Ed Postmodern says:

Oh, No!

The disturbing part of seeing other people get rich overnight (other than that I’m not one of them, of course), is that it destroys what’s left of the myth that we live in a meritocracy.

Be a sysadmin at for a few years and walk away with millions. Do the same exact job at Old Economy & Sons, Inc., and collect a mediocre paycheck. We can pretend that it’s better than the old days when there was a pervasive class system (even though there still is — networking is the most important factor when finding a job), but is a system that rewards people on luck more than skill something that will be beneficial in the long run?

Is there a cool academic term for a system where the privileged get there by being in the right place at the right time? Lottocracy?

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Oh, No!

Heh. I like the term Lottocracy. However, I do wonder about the long term effects of this system as well. One thing I’ve noticed is that among a noticeable percentage (though certainly not all) of the folks I know who have gotten very very very wealthy through this economy is that very few of them chalk it up to luck. Though, it does seem to depend on the people and the circumstances, but I’ve met enough people who have felt that (1) they deserved to be rich and (2) that they got their solely because of their own brilliance. Those people tend to be fairly obnoxious, and also seem to then go on to produce massive failures. My favorite quote from someone who got to a certain position due to luck (and those of you who know where this came from don’t say who said it) and then proceeded to lead a company down the drain: “Everybody thinks I’m crazy, but the fact is I’m two steps ahead of everyone. We can’t fail, because I never fail.” Now that inspires confidence.

mhh5 says:

Re: Oh, No!

I like Lottocracy! I think lottocracy is “fair” if everyone is given an equal or somehow proportionate chance, right? Obviously that’s usually not the case, but aren’t we all the product of gene configurations such that our capacities are given to us somewhat at random? Are our mental and physical capacities _deserved_? You can’t choose your parents or your parents’ genes. You can make the most of what you’ve been given, but is it fair that some are born with more than others? Should everyone be a clone so that “all (men) are created equal” and have no unfair advantages over each other? Maybe then humans would find lottocracy is a fair system. Or not. I’ll stop rambling now….

Ryan says:

Re: Re: Oh, No!

It’s funny how so many people go through schooling and come out with this feeling that everything should be totally equal. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your perspective) its not! Academia isn’t really a fair indication of who will make it and who won’t. Everyone reading this column has at one point or another had an unfair advantage over others and taken advantage of it, get use to it folks lifes unfair!

Don’t get me wrong though, I think those who truly strive and consistantly make intelligent decisions will eventually be rewarded (but they’ll always be someone who got lucky and now think they’re invincible, those idots eventually get fucked out of their own stupidity).

mhh5 says:

Re: Re: Re: Oh, No!

I’m not sure if you (Ryan) were referring to my post, but we agree again! I totally agree that it’s ridiculous to expect everything be “fair”, so true meritocracies don’t really exist. To some extent, life is based on luck. God *does* play with dice! That’s why I like lottocracy. Lottocracy is not really about being “fair” but about accepting your odds.

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