Growing up I was rather fortunate, my parents were able to pay for my education, I was one of the first generations in my family to be able to attend a tieray educational institution and study a discipline which I could choose and not have the government dictate where I should apply my time and resources.
As one of those who were able to “enjoy” the optionality that came with a “free” South Africa, we were always told to get an education, or you’ll have to do some manual labour job. Manual labour jobs or blue-collar jobs are often disregarded as a meaningless pursuit due to the cap on compensation, even though they are the industries that keep a modern society functioning.
The pitch to this generation was office jobs were the pinnacle of success; once you have the right academic qualification, you can head off into the corporate world and build a career for yourself. Then reality sets in you’ll eventually hit a ceiling in terms of learning, growing, and the fact that there are only so many high-paying jobs in the world, not everyone will be able to work their way into without a little nepotism and ass-kissing.
You’ll find your meetings, emails, excel sheets, and Jira ticket job mashing away at a keyboard starts to become mundane, but the salary at the end of the month makes it all worth it, right? At least you’re not cleaning toilets and can reward yourself with all the decadent spoils that society has to offer.
The salary hampster wheel
Getting your first pay cheque is an awesome feeling; it’s money you earned, all yours, do with as you please. There is a certain sense of independence that washes over you once those wages are handed over to you, but that feeling is rather short-lived.
Once you take “ownership” of those funds, it becomes a race against time; you have three options, hold it to have it wasted away by inflation, take the second job of investing it into a certain asset class or consume it. Letting inflation erode your purchasing power is hardly an attractive proposition, and learning to invest or finding the right investment for the capital you have is easier said than done. The lower your income, which is the case when starting a career, the higher the barrier to entry for prime investment vehicles.
So that leaves you with one rational choice, to get the most out of that money representing your labour, you have to consume it.
If you’re not consuming, you’re not seeing the value of your work. If you’re not going out to dinner, taking that “Instagram-able” holiday, buying the new iPhone, leveraging yourself to high hell on a home or car, then you’re simply not going to be able to enjoy the full result of your labour.
If you’re always consuming, you’re never building equity, you never have spare capacity, so you’re always reliant on the next paycheque. You have no choice; you have no options; all you have is 22 working days a month to trade for fiat money.
Quiet quitting continues to rise
Hanging out with your peers for drinks after work or on the weekend, a large portion of the conversion is often dedicated to moaning and bitching about your job, team members and boss. These raging sessions are often a sign of quiet quitting.
Quiet quitting is just the latest LinkedIn workplace buzzword for being fed up with work. While it sounds like it refers to someone resigning from their position, it describes a rebellion against the fiat hustle culture of going above and beyond what a job requires and trying to get that ever elusive pay rise that outpaces inflation. Instead, workers realise they’re running faster but falling behind, and there is no incentive to work hard but instead, receive what you do get in remuneration while doing the bare minimum to get the job done.
I’ve often referred to it as service job “shrinkflation”, the same way companies charge you the same price for a tube of toothpaste but skim off a few grams, so too are workers driving shrinkflation. They are working slower. They are taking longer breaks. They aren’t as motivated to get tasks done, which all affects productivity and the quality of the product or service.
Quiet quitting is simply another form of inflation manifesting in the dilution of product and service quality.
Fiat jobs are proof of stake
Remember me mentioning the after-work bitching sessions? A popular critique of workplaces is often the proof of stake aspect of climbing the corporate ladder. Either people are placed in positions of power due to their relationships with decision makers or their ability to cosy up to these decision-makers rather than their merits.
Once they’re in a management position, it’s pretty hard to get these people out; they no longer do work but oversee the performance of those with actual talent, so having teams who work hard and do well, makes you look good. Your performance is by proxy and not by what you bring to the table, and you can continue to suck up a larger portion of the wage pool without offering increased value in productivity.
How many team members have you worked with where the manager resigns, goes on maternity leave or moves to a different apartment and operations work smoothly and oftentimes improve because of the removal of the overbearing nature of these proof of stake managers who want to validate their existence with more unproductive meetings and admin tasks.
This should be an indication of the redundancy of the role, but in corporate structures, having these redundant roles are a great way to reward certain people for doing nothing.
If you see this unjust corporate structure, your option is to leave and start your own business, but in the fiat system where capital accrues to certain areas if you’re not connected in the funding circles, or you’re on the right side of interest rate apartheid, it’s going to be pretty hard to bootstrap a startup, so the easier less risky option is to remain in the corporate world.
So instead, you sit around performing tasks you know aren’t worth your time, but you need to check boxes, and while you focus on your quarterly targets and KPIs, your mental health suffers because the work isn’t fulfilling and surely not properly compensated.
Fiat jobs are dilutive
Instead of paying people more and driving up company tax bills, the incentive of fiat jobs is to give you ancillary benefits. You can get free meals, you can get access to recreational facilities, you can get access to health and spa treatments, head to the on-site gym, and instead of you footing the bill for things directly, the company brings those expenses in-house.
Instead of paying you what you’re worth, to get what you’re worth, you need to take advantage of these company “perks” instead. We’ve seen this gross expansion of workplace culture, where companies have turned into glorified daycare centres instead of places to work.
Again this is not without its trade-offs; when staff spend their time on these benefits, they’re either eating up working time which makes them far less productive or, after hours, spending more time at work because of these benefits. You are now obligated to stay around longer because they’ve tethered your extra compensation to these immovable products or services.
While companies call these benefits, I see this as dilutive, this purchasing power could have gone directly into my pocket, and I could then choose how it is deployed into the economy or how I choose to save it. Still, the company now makes that decision for me, as if I’m some child.
Fiat jobs constituting meetings, emails and spreadsheets continue to infantilise its staff in the hope that they do not question their compensation in needless consumption.
The need for uncorrupted compensation
I was definitely in that boat; I felt that my efforts weren’t producing increased returns; I had hit the ceiling. How am I meant to progress when my salary isn’t outpacing inflation, when my investments are being diluted when my dry powder in cash to pick the right investments is getting stripped from me? How do I balance focusing on my work, producing value and still keeping mental capacity available to manage my money and track the markets?
The truth for me was, I couldn’t!
I realised I could only work so hard, I could only generate so much capital each month, so something else had to give, I was overworked, and I was continuing to be under-compensated. Remember, for every year, I held cash and underperforming assets. I was losing a large amount of earned capital; my retained earnings aren’t what they were 1, 2 or 5 years ago.
The clock was ticking, and I needed something that would work for me. I needed something simple to do that I could save in at any amount, that I could take custody of, and that wouldn’t be eroded by inflation and still have some upside potential.
Fiat mining operators are the real OGs
My search led me outside my work, and eventually, I ended up with bitcoin as my solution, and boy, everything changed. I no longer complain, I no longer see work as tedious and laborious, and I no longer need little trinkets and fake milestones to get me through the working week.
All I need is satoshis and to keep my fiat mining operation going for as long as I can produce value in the marketplace. Since I found bitcoin, I have been happy to go in and do work for clients. I am keen to ensure they get a good service. The incentive for me is to ensure that I produce quality work during my work week and build a reputation of reliability that turns into cash flow.
Using bitcoin, I know that what I earn, I can retain and having that backing makes me feel confident that my future will be a lot better as I have the capital to take advantage of opportunities that come my way. My job prospects and career opportunities now have a scoreboard attached to them. One that cannot be rugged, one that cannot be cheated and one that is opt-in; I can leave anytime I want should the game no longer be fair, but it is, and I choose to participate.
Am I wealthy? Have I bagged the lambo? No, I live frugally, I put away purchasing power for my future, and it’s up to the marketplace to tempt that purchasing power out of me. Maybe this is not appealing to you; maybe you still want to get rich quick, and by all means, go ahead and try your luck at the casino.
But for me, I prefer slow and steady growth through my fiat mining operation. I can rely on a known monetary policy and my ability to increase my ownership of that network without fear of dilution apart from spending those funds.
Restructuring the pursuit of value
In fiat, the goal is clearly to do as little work as possible to try and earn the highest reward; everyone is looking for something with the highest margin business. These could be tech jobs, venture capital, government jobs, adult entertainment, social media influencer, gambling and trading to name a few. All pretty soulless pursuits, in my opinion, but I understand the incentives behind them.
Fiat drives you to try and work less, earn more and consume immediately, and while these individuals might be “winning” when compared to the average person, they are still slaves to the incentives; they are still providing no real economic value, in fact, I see a lot of it as capital destruction and misallocation.
The fiat working world is a method of value transfer that doesn’t sit right with me, so I’ve chosen a different path instead. Bitcoin, with its NGU technology and no ability to acquire it without proof of work, drives an incentive to work hard. If I don’t have enough equity to put up capital for a mining operation, if I don’t have the skills and liquidity to run a routing node, then my only other option to get bitcoin is to work for someone who has it or work to acquire fiat and then buy bitcoin.
You have to prove your worth.
You have to find a need in the market, satisfy it and then still spend less than you make so you can go out and acquire some bitcoin to hold long term. The incentive in bitcoin is to save, is to work hard, is to provide value. Bitcoin is a merit-based system, and those that are willing to get by on the sweat of their own brow naturally gravitate to it.
There is no free lunch in bitcoin, and that’s why I call it Get A Job Technology.
Are you using GAJ (Get A Job) theory?
Has bitcoin inspired you to go out and earn your way towards financial stability? How has it changed the way you see work and how you provide value to society?