Perverse Incentives

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
June 24 2010 3:49 PM

Perverse Incentives


Hanna , perhaps by unfortunate coincidence Al Gore has an op-ed today in the Wall Street Journal on "Sustainable Capitalism." In it he and his business partner David Blood-yes, Blood & Gore are partners-write that people often do their best, most dedicated work not for the money but because of the rewards of a sense of purpose. They observe: "Nonfinancial motivators are more effective at building long-term employee engagement." When you read the police report of a masseuse's encounter with Gore, "employee engagement" takes on a different cast. I agree this is an astounding document, and that either the masseuse is completely crazy and has made it up, or Gore-while not able to absorb his former boss’ easy charisma-did pick up some pointers from Bill Clinton on forcing yourself on unwilling women. (One of the more amusing asides in the report is when the masseuse says she mentions the Clintons to Gore and finds, "I really stepped in it because talk about Bill and Hillary is like a sore point with this guy.") In this portrait, Gore alternates between a crude frat boy ("[H]e wrapped me in an inescapable embrace") and entitled sadist. ("He laughed, clearly enjoying himself at the expense of my discomfort, refusal and fear.") One of the best lines turns out to be unwitting political commentary. The masseuse says Gore had an "extremely dictatorial commanding attitude besides his Mr. Smiley Global Warming concern persona." But Gore critics would say that’s no contradiction!


Photograph of Al Gore and Bill Clinton by Stephen Jaffe/AFP.

Emily Yoffe is a regular Slate contributor. She writes the Dear Prudence column. 



The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?


Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories on the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 11:40 AM The U.S. Has Spent $7 Billion Fighting the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. It Hasn’t Worked. 
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 1:12 PM George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Right of Free Speech
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
Oct. 21 2014 12:05 PM Same-Sex Couples at Home With Themselves in 1980s America
Future Tense
Oct. 21 2014 4:14 PM Planet Money Uncovers One Surprising Reason the Internet Is Sexist
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.