The Signal of Protest
By Bryan Caplan
If you were an employer, would you want to hire an Occupy Wall Street protester? Probably not. In fact, it’s hard to imagine an employer seeing a protester on TV, then thinking, “I’ve got to hire him!” Protesters are arguably showing off some traits that employers value, like IQ, initiative, teamwork, and determination. But they are also showing off many traits that employers avoid: A can’t-do attitude, eagerness to blame others, non-conformity, and defiance.
These observations would presumably annoy, even outrage, the typical protester. They might complain that employers’ stereotypes about protesters are unfair. But I suspect that protesters are more likely to concede the facts, then attack employers’ preferences: “How dare employers expect deference! Who do they think they are?”
Two question for protesters:
1. If you were an employer, would you hire someone like you?