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Stop Rewarding Failure

The participation trophy was a concept that seemed to pop up at some point in the early 90s and while it was something that pleased soccer moms, it was a mass of people that warned it would create a generation of sissies that wanted to be rewarded for mediocre performances or even not doing anything at all.

Up to that point, we lived in a meritocracy where the top performer was recognized and everyone was meant to strive for that level of excellence. Those that couldn’t, or wouldn’t, were left in the shadows. While it seemed cruel to those who truly tried and failed, meritocracy was something that drove civilization forward and allowed the best of the best to improve the world.

To be sure, the participation trophy mentality began to take hold, and slowly but surely, a deep-seated entitlement began to take hold in the minds of the populace. Today, work from the worker is a privilege for the business in some regards. South Park even made fun of this concept in a recent episode where mental health took so much precedence that doing the bare minimum at a job was backed by fun names like “mental health Monday” and “take-it-easy Tuesday.”

I know a man who had a mental breakdown at his job and the place he worked for gave him a paid three months off so he could re-center himself.

Don’t get me wrong. I do think looking after one’s mental health is important. Suicides are too common nowadays, especially among men. However, I can’t help but think that the culture of rewarding failure is contributing to this depression that leads to self-harm.

Moreover, rewarding failure is rotting our own society from within. Just look at how we hand out these rewards in various ways.

We Reward Criminals

In many major cities, criminals are free to steal and destroy so long as they only steal and destroy a certain amount. In Dallas, the DA John Cruezot said he refused to prosecute anyone who stole less than $750. Cruezot said that he refused to prosecute poverty, and said that while he would still go after criminals who did so to economically enrich themselves, he refused to prosecute people who steal for their survival.

But what does that distinction matter when all you have to do is say that you stole that $749.99 television because it would allow you to buy food? So long as you have an excuse, you won’t be prosecuted. That was in 2019, and sure enough, crime went up that year.

In San Francisco, businesses are closing and people are evacuating by the thousands as crime overtakes the city thanks to city leaders. Whole Foods is closing its doors in the city due to “high theft” and fears for the safety of its workers.

Would this be an issue if criminals were being treated as criminals and punished for their crimes? Of course not. But in blue cities, crime literally pays. The left has made a habit of rewarding failure to live as a law-abiding citizen, making crime a legitimate job.

We Reward Academic Stagnation

Math is racist. It’s something that a Vanderbilt University Professor claimed during a lecture and this idea was then picked up by the media.

In today’s higher education institutions, high standards are racist and harm the less privileged so it’s only fair to make it easier to make the curriculum less rigorous. This means even approaching science based on the color of someone’s skin with “antiracist scientific methods.”

If you really want to be accepted by your superiors in University, attack a speaker that goes against the grain of the radical leftism on campus.

We’re rewarding a failure to be intelligent and thoughtful. Instead of rewarding breakthroughs in science, we’re rewarding ideas on social programming, effectively making it more valuable to learn what to think vs. how to think.

We Reward Government Incompetence

Here’s an interesting fact for you: Our government runs on failure.

Did a social program not work well? Did the government-funded project not live up to expectations? Did a politician’s pet project not succeed? Well, that’s just because it wasn’t properly funded. Let’s pass a bill that not only infuses it with far more money, let’s also hire more people to put on the project…and all on the taxpayer’s dime.

Failure is a surefire way to get promoted in the government, and the more you fail the richer you become. Failing in a blue state is especially lucrative. As the Freedom Foundation wrote on Tuesday, Biden’s nomination for Secretary of Labor, Julie Su, is the picture-perfect example of failure being promoted:

Su “served” as California’s Labor Secretary from 2019 to 2021 and oversaw the state’s Department of Employment Security. As Orange County Register columnist John Phillips put it, “On her watch, 5 million Californians had benefits delayed and 1 million had benefits improperly denied.”

Amazingly, at the same time needy people were being denied their benefits, Su transferred somewhere between $30 and $40 billion in state money to undeserving criminals.

Former State Rep. and now Congressman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) called the debacle the “largest fraud of taxpayer dollars in history.

In total, at least $11 billion has been looted from California’s coffers in an unemployment fraud scheme run rampant across the state, while another $20 billion in possible losses is still being investigated.

This is who the left wants in a top spot in the federal government.

Our government loves to reward failure so long as that failure involves programs that lean their way. They know that if it fails, then that opens the door to more money and power.

Our nation is certainly on the decline and the culture of rewarding failure is a huge piece of why.

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