Final Word from Thursday, June 6, 2013

People want something for nothing, and the more they get for free or for cheap, the more they want. Call it the law of the moocher class. People have become so conditioned to sales, discounts, special deals, incentives, blockbuster savings and other such gimmicks, whether real or imaginary, that selling them something for a straightforward price, without any trick involved, becomes a Herculean task. When T-Mobile started offering Kč 1 phones to flood victims, even those on the hill started to think about how to qualify. Into this gimme-gimme atmosphere comes the second pillar of the pension system, which requires people to fork over 2% of their monthly income right now. Compare the miserable uptake rate for the second pillar with the phenomenal participation rate for the construction-savings plans. One big difference was the state subsidy. When people got something for nothing, they came running. For the second pillar to be a success, the state needed to give an incentive, such as a 0.5% bonus. Or at least a free telephone.[Czech Republic building society building & loan 2013]

Glossary of difficult words

gimme - a contraction of "give me"; often considered impolite or substandard speech;

to mooch - to get or try to get something without paying;

blockbuster - a thing of great power or size;

gimmick - a trick or device used to attract attention, publicity or business;

Herculean - requiring great strength or effort;

to fork over/out/up - to pay money for something, esp. reluctantly;

uptake - the action of taking up or making use of something that is available.

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