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Incentive is a form of external or internal motivation that encourages and compels one to accomplish a specific goal or achieve a certain level of proficiency in order to receive a benefit, payoff, advantage or some other specific perk. Incentives, when placed properly, can energize individuals or work groups to complete tasks and objectives that would otherwise be considered, either, too difficult, too long, or beyond the normal scope of one’s duties and usual compensation. What is a good incentive for you? Do you use incentives to motivate yourself? Do you need an incentive to do what is best for you? How about when you do things for others? For you, which type of incentive is the strongest, external ones like money, or internal types, like pride and the need to do good things? Do you find that the incentives that previously motivated you are presently insufficient? What has changed? What incentive do you need to change your life for the better … perhaps by joining The Universal Body of Observations and utilizing the Encyclopedia of Observations?
Related to last week’s blog discussing “Guilt” and the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases, the federal government has decided to provide an incentive to law enforcement agencies in the form of $75 million to cover half the cost of 50,000 officer-mounted cameras. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, there are approximately “630,000 police officers in the United States,” so “municipalities will have to bear most of the funding burden.” However, the up-side is that officer-mounted cameras, which are always recording, are figured to reduce civilian and police misbehavior. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette claims, “At least one study of body camera use showed that complaints about police conduct dropped along with the use of force on civilians.” We can only hope that utilizing this technology will cause all concerned to think about things before acting badly and hurting others.

Our next story concerns Ebola and “commercial incentive” for pharmaceutical companies. According to Reuters, “paying for vaccines is a challenge because the worst affected countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea are some of the world’s poorest, providing little commercial incentive for manufacturers.” Of course, this is just a more polite way of saying that big-drug companies care about the money, not the suffering poor or the possibility of the disease spreading. Yet, some people, such as those at GAVI (The Global Vaccines Alliance), have cobbled together a pledge of $300 million that will buy approximately 12 million doses of vaccine from pharmaceutical companies, as soon as a vaccine becomes approved for use.

Now, admittedly, “commercial incentive” in business is not a bad or evil thing in of itself. Most intelligent people understand that pharmaceutical companies, with all the money that they spend on developing each drug in their arsenal, it must be expected that their drugs/medicine will be expensive so that the drug companies can recoup their investment. However, Ebola, and other deadly diseases like it that could annihilate humans by the thousands or millions, would seem to be game changer. For goodness sake, you think that big pharmaceutical would reduce the price of their vaccines for deadly diseases because they have an incentive to keep people alive so that they can sell them other drugs for more minor conditions! After all, a breathing customer is a possible return customer . . . .

Seriously, the main incentive should be to help those that need it the most, not the profit. Drug companies rank as some of the wealthiest corporations in the world, so absorbing some of the cost of the vaccines would be easy to offset in a world that loves to provide corporations with tax-break and subsidy incentives. Yes, corporations are similar to individual people, in that, no one minds being rewarded for doing what is ethical. On the other hand, some care little for doing the right thing, but the accumulation of wealth, power, or advantage is all the incentive that they need.
We hope that you all enjoy reading this blog, and that you will continue to visit us. We would like to invite you to visit http://www.obes.me and http://www.tuboo.me because they are companion sites to The Encyclopedia of Observations, the source for the word excerpts that we discuss every week. In doing this, you will discover additional tools that can assist you toward understanding and enlightenment in your life. Be well, and thank you.