OK...pet peeve time.
I keep hearing people talking about "the carrot and the stick". They say that the object can either acquire the carrot, or be beaten by the stick.
THAT IS NOT WHAT THE ANALOGY IS ABOUT!
The stick isn't for beating anyone. It is just what the carrot is attached to. It was strapped on to the donkey to make it continually strive for the carrot, with no hope of ever acquiring it.