Friday, September 18, 2020

Employment Resistant Personalities

According to one longevity calculator, for a 60 year-old, non-smoking male differences in attitude can account for 16 years difference in life expectancy

Adam Perkins, author of The Welfare Trait: How State Benefits Affect Personality claims that individuals with aggressive, rule-breaking and anti-social tendencies are over-represented among long-term welfare recipients. He calls this an "employment–resistant personality profile"

Poverty is one of the best predictors of life expectancy. People who exhibit employment-resistant personalities tend to be over-represented in the <$30k/ year category. Go figure.

What if poverty and life-expectancy are linked by those traits: Aggressiveness, Rule-breaking and Anti-social tendencies? That is, Poverty does not cause reduced Life-expectanies but rather they share the same, underlying causes?

A short list of anti-social tendencies include:

  • Violence and abusive behaviors
  • Substance abuse
  • Absenteeism/truancy/missing appointments
  • Suicide
  • Impulse control issues
  • Oppositional-defiant behaviors 
  • Sexual assault/deviant behaviors/multiple partners

 Let's see...violence...substance abuse...missing doctor and dentist appointments...suicide...rushing into dangerous situations...doing the OPPOSITE of what medical professionals advise...willing exposure to unsafe sex.

Yeah, I can see how that might make a difference in how long somebody might live.


  1. You are also describing independent business owners. Not 100% but a lot of overlap.

    1. Perhaps there is a difference in degree or direction.

      The independent business owner uses his aggressiveness to motivate himself, not pummel others. He/she is hungry and pursues small markets in the hope they are like icebergs, that there is more there than meets the eye.

      The employment resistant personality lashes out at others rather than sublimating the drive into something positive.

      Business owners may lean into the guard rail, they may push and bend the rule but generally, it is less expensive to comply, or at least make a show of complying.

      The big difference is in the anti-social dimension. How long would an independent business owner stay in business if he was late for, or blew off 20% of his appointments? Or showed up drunk? Or sexually assaulted his women employees. I think not very long.

  2. Certainly the epitome of a successful small business owner is an individual that keeps their word. I have written insurance on hundreds over the years and they can be grumpy, bullies and aggressive. Certainly they obey the rules that are convenient because it is the least expensive route. But they would not hesitate to bust a rule flat if it had no moral basis and was in the way of taking care of a customer. You are right about missing appointments. You have to know which ones will put up with you pushing them off on your underlings. Also, you are dust if it is a missed appointment with customer. You get fired. And sometimes you do. Same with the drunk or assault. In my younger days I also found you could lose an account by not being willing to "assault". It is a crazy world. My only point is some, not all, of the behaviors you point to show up lots of places.

  3. Today is my LUCKY DAY ! I bought a new car and on my way home heard on the radio that Ruth Buzzi Ginzburg died ! The news said Today America is mourning the loss of RBG. I laughed me a hearty laugh then a rebel yell, then I sang "Ding dong the witch is dead". My better half cracked up. Then I said a small prayer and thanked God. A VERY GOOD day !

  4. P.S.- The new car is good too. Honda Pilot all wheel drive with V-6 and no turbo. 3 rows of seats for 8 passengers. Lotsa room for long trips and camping. 26 mpg highway/19 city. We don't do any city driving, being 20 miles from nearest small town. 7 year / 100,000 powertrain warranty. And the dealer made my first payment for me.


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