Carrot Or Stick? Honey or Vinegar?

In motivating people, the extremes are often called the carrot or stick appoach. With the stick, one whips the donkey with a stick to make it move. With the carrot, one dangles the carrot on the stick in front of the donkey's nose so he keeps moving in an effort to get the carrot.

Public policy making can be compared to the carrot/stick approach. In carrot theory, politicians pass laws to help people with incentives to do the right thing (or to let them do the wrong thing). In stick theory, politicians pass some laws to threaten people with a stick if they don't do the right thing.

Unfortunately for the increasing problems facing humanity, the carrot option is no long an option because there are no carrots. Monetarism has put every public agency (government, pensions and authorities) in debt so there is no more money.

The carrots of politics have been tax supports which are now increasingly worthless as deficit spending (borrowing carrots instead of growing carrots) has made carrots not only harder to find but worth less and less (inflation). Said another way, the Dollar is Dead . Thus, public policy-makers are faced with two non-carrot choices.  

  1. Do nothing which they are increasingly doing as, for example, the US Congress is constipated  on every major problem, especially during election years. Once, the US had a do-nothing Congress. Now it is a "Do less than nothing" Congress, that is, keep trying to get something from nothing.
  2. Apply the stick, that is, require people to solve their own problems
    1. E Pluribus Onus
    2. Level Rights
    3. Disaster Response
    4. Riot Stoppers
    5. Medical Realignment of Values
    6. Save No More Lives
      The alternative is chaotic Depopulation.

Because we don't have any carrots left to motivate people, the only option is the stick. Important questions must be framed within the context of who deserves to be motivated and how to wield the stick. If not done through a democratic process polling the people, the stick with not be motivational but civil war. The masses will not tolerate forever the misuse of public problem-solving power by the self-interested habitual politicians.

Carrot-Stick Examples

Habitual Politicians

Mother Nature

Obesity Tax dollars as glorification Tax based on being over-weight, % beyond 5%
Bad Parents Tax dollars as methodone Reducing basic services: Child does the crime, Parent does the time
Teenage Pregnancy Tax dollars as babysitting Parents pay higher taxes.
Education Tax dollars, bureaucracy, bigger Govt Increased community services: Learn or work. Pre-emptive work detail before rather than after sentencing.
Learning Paying students to learn. This solution addresses a symptom of how educators have destroyed the inherent joys of learning as a self-motivating force. Good teachers maintain and enlarge the fires of curiosity. They don't try to bribe students to do better so the teachers keep their jobs.
Health Paying people to exercise. What's next? Paying people to breath? To eat?


  1. Monetheism Eroding Education.
  2. Tax, direct or indirect, the offenders rather than money-subsidize to do better. tax reform.

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