Being poor is no disgrace. Being poor and able to work but not working and using the old clichés about “the job offered doesn’t pay enough money or I have too much self esteem to take that job, or there are no jobs out there”, is a disgrace. A “Letter to the Editor” in the WSJ sums up my feeling. “People tell the same old story time after time, how difficult, how hard, how depressing, how underprivileged, how pressing and ugly life is in America. Balderdash!!”
The sorry lives of the “new generation”, actually not new at all, are most often caused by bad decisions, by people who lack drive, people whose parents didn’t raise them with drive, (how about at least three or four generations) people with no ambition or a sense of optimism and people who seem not able to learn it later in life.
There is probably no country on earth that offers people more chances to learn and earn. Why do so many legal and illegal Mexicans risk death to reach our country and take any job at about any wage offered them? Because it is better than the life they live in Mexico. An article in the WSJ today is titled “Once Here Illegally, the Laras (name of family) Savor Children’s Success. Mexican Family Tale Suggests Strides Made by Migrants; Hurdles for Today’s Kids.” They sometimes lived four in one room, everybody took some kind of a job and they saved until they became successful middle class Mexicans, none of who want to go back to their roots. They take jobs that some class of U.S. citizens feel are below their self-esteem and they work their way up thru the system. Many of their kids go to college and actually make use of the degree they receive. They don’t wallow in self pity
Because of our “open immigration policy”, a policy that could be remedied if some of our politicians got out of the way or show some guts, we allow many people to illegally enter our country and move freely about our country; people who should not be here and will eventually lead to much larger problems than they are already creating. But that is another subject. I’ll blog on immigration pros and cons soon.
A friend suggested a book “Nickled and Dimed” which I read but I do not recommend reading this book because the author has slanted the context in such a manner as the reader is inclined to believe we oppress people into poverty. The author is also anti-male, anti Wal-Mart, (she says people who work at Wal-Mart are so taken advantage of that they can’t afford shoes, they walk all day in flip-flops, (I spent an hour at Wal-Mart’s on University today and I didn’t see a worker in flip-flops; however, many of the customers were wearing flip-flops),I talked to managers and employees including one woman with 11 years experience, I asked people how they liked working at Wal-Mart and never got a negative answer and not one employee could tell me of an incident of harassment or mistreatment. I asked customers why they shopped there and the answer was always they were able to get more for there dollar.
The author talks about exploiting 12 year old in Honduras or some third world country. What other option does this child have? Poor or no schools? And what does an education get you if there are no opportunities to use it? No farm work because they can import foodstuffs from American subsidized farms cheaper than they can grow their own, so maybe some think prostitution, hanging out or slave labor would be a better option for these children. By the way, all eight of my brother and sisters were born on a farm and we all went to work at 9 or 10. It never killed any of us not a one of Donat or Lillie Widmer’s kids accepted welfare. Some of my sisters worked as maids in the homes of wealthy Peorians and one attended Peoria High and one Woodruff. Did we have too much self-esteem? No, our dad and mom had more common sense than most of the esteem teachers will ever have. Self-esteem was earned in our day; not bestowed.
Another letter says that “here in North Carolina, 47% of my home county’s high school students don’t graduate with their class. They are “toast” in the global economy. My kids went to the same public schools but we pushed them to pay attention in high school, and we pushed them thru college in four years. Both have been employed continuously at rising wages since graduation. Note the writer says “we” and goes on to say that many of their peers weren’t fortunate to come from intact families."
Why do people travel such hard roads? They are their own worst enemies. I see them sit in classrooms occupying desk space that is when the teacher could control them long enough to get them to sit for a few minutes. I could pick out in one day the ones that will not make it in today’s world and would bet if I could track them, I would be right 80% of the time. All this opportunity offered and all this mind set being drummed into them that it is not their fault; they are “victims” of the system. All I can say is balderdash.
I started my business with $5,000 of borrowed money as a farm boy from Congerville with hardly any connections in Peoria. I was 39 years old when I hung out my shingle with three employees. During my business career, I interviewed hundreds of people many of them absolutely unhireable. Some I recommended some to apply for a government job because they weren’t suited for the competitive world of private industry.
Of course I realize there are people with mental problems and disabilities that restrict their potential earning ability, but we are far larger welfare country than people care to believe. We have hundreds of safety nets including over 70 agencies in Peoria not including the dozen of churches and food and clothing pantries. I served on a “homelessness” committee for a couple years. Some on our committee though there were so many homeless with no place to go that we sought cooperation of all the fire stations and advertised these 24 hour open stations as a safe haven for the homeless to go to in event of emergencies. One person showed up in over a year and we scrapped the program.
I’m sorry but “Nickled and Dimed” was written by a wealthy divorcee turned “bleeding liberal” who tried to pose as a poorly educated poverty stricken person, I’ve traveled the world and never stayed in a second rate motel with conditions as bad as she described. Half of the book is fiction. She complained of the sorry plight of minorities like the Haitians and Puerto Ricans. If third world people don’t like it here, they are welcome to go back to where they came from. Same is true of all people who hate this country. As we used to say on the farm, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out. I suggest the writer is a wealthy liberal who always pictures the underdog as some victim of an evil conspiracy between the Republicans and big business.
Sorry, but I am a caring person and do contribute my services and some of my retirement dollars to worthwhile causes. But I’m getting pickier.
Today I learned from a Boys and Girls Club board member that Boys and Girls Club members are barred from using the RiverPlex because of misbehavior. Another blown opportunity by the so called “underprivileged” and another chance to blame this rejection on “someone” else. What a shame. But I’ve never understood why many of these kids are wearing $200 shoes while my $44 dollar Reeboks serve my feet quite well. But if you were never taught the value of a dollar, what should I expect.
I wrote many years ago that this country was on a slow slide to socialism. I voted for George Bush as the best choice out of two mediocre candidates. George seems to have not been able to stop or slow down this slide. Unfortunately, even though Laura was a school teacher, neither George of Laura has grasped the transformation encompassing our public school system. Neither the Democrats, dominated by self serving unions or the so called conservative Republicans have a good grip as to what is transpiring. As an American with free speech rights I have the right to respectively disagree and criticize any elected official. You have the right to criticize me. That doesn’t mean we do not respect this nation and its leadership.
The next presidential election is not that far away. Maybe we will be lucky and have a strong candidate from each part. Forget a third party: no way, Perot proved the closest to make a presidential run and no one close to him is even on the horizon. (Later events showed that Perot would not have made a good president). We will remain a two party system and the closer the Democrats and Republicans come to emulate each other the worse off the voter will be.