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COMPETITION: GOOD OR BAD?

The following excerpt is from the self help
psychology book, Be Your Own Therapist.


It is popular in some circles these days to bash competition. I think such bashing reveals more about the basher than anyone else. As described above, we all go through a normal growing-up stage where some competition is essential for development of healthy self-esteem. But what about adult competition? I don't think it essential psychologically, but it often provides some spice to life without necessarily harming anyone (shopping and sports are probably the most common examples). Competition can provide some relief of tension for someone with old competition-trauma-knots. While such tension relief over time may result in someone becoming addicted to competition, in comparison with many addictions a competition addiction is usually rather benign.


In the workplace, competition has received some bad press in recent years. Greed and layoffs are the two most frequently touted sins of competition. These two sins, however, can always be minimized with new rules (if the appropriate governing bodies are willing to live up to this responsibility of making such new rules) such as increased taxes on the greedy and work replacement/ training/ length-of-workweek rules for employees. We are always in need of newer updated rules for competition because of this changing society. Where there is no competition, such as on the government payrolls, there is institutionalized inefficiency. Didn't the old Communist nations convince us of the futility of governments producing efficiently? Isn't our own government's bloat impressive?


Most of us get our competitive urges satisfied by either shopping or sports (armchair or otherwise).

One key is to create rules that require companies to manage their businesses in the best long-term interests of the country as a whole, instead of the short-term interests of their stockholders. In that regard, rules and laws would be beneficial which (1)taxed companies heavily whose executives earned more than 30 times what their lowest paid employees earned, and (2)prohibited the sale by executives of their personal holdings of company stock until two years after they stopped working at that company.


Competitive systems will never be perfect, but reasonable application of new laws will keep the worst elements of competition at bay while producing the maximum of goods and services for us all. The alternative of government control soon becomes insensitive to the pocketbooks of those being governed. The belief that competition is somehow evil, while only held by a minority, is often given significant play in the media. This hurts progress, in my opinion, toward shaping the newer rules needed. I think that a healthy attitude considers competition itself to be neutral, but that competition regularly will be in need of corrections as things get unfair.


If your legislators are unwilling to create desirable rules for competition, then vote them out; or create and circulate your own petition for everyone's vote.

Next Excerpt  

Women, on average, make many life choices that contribute to their incomes being lower than those of men.

More Excerpts This Chapter
   WORK: DOING WHAT YOU LOVE
   THAT IMPOSSIBLE BOSS/ COMMITTEE
   JOB STRESS
   WOMEN'S & MEN'S WORK - WILL THEY EVER BE THE SAME?
   GENDER DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORKPLACE
   THE GLASS CEILING
   COMPETITION: WHAT WE LEARNED
   COMPETITION: GOOD OR BAD?
   JOB DO'S


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