Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Value of Work

                I was downright shocked when I read the headline “White People Need to Personally Give All Their Money to Black People.”  This crazy statement was made by none other than Lawrence Brown, an assistant professor in the Public Health Department at Morgan State University in Baltimore.  He actually teaches that “black Americans require reparations, that America is still segregated, and that black Americans continue to suffer from the historical trauma of white supremacist America.”

                My husband and I have worked hard for the money we have, and we have scrimped, sacrificed, and saved.  We pay our bills for the services and goods we receive, but there is no way on earth that we are going to transfer our funds to anyone – black, white, or brown – simply because they think we “owe” it to them.  We do not even give money to our own children and grandchildren for that reason.  We will use our money for whatever we choose to use it or to donate it to whatever organization we choose, but we will not give it to someone simply because they want it!

                America is rearing a generation – maybe more than one – of people who do not know how to work and do not want to learn how to work.  They simply want someone else to pay their way through life.

                Mike Rowe of “Somebody’s Got toDo It” fame was criticized for “harping” on the need for people to have a work ethic, and he delivered an epic response.  

                “… For the record, I don’t believe all poor people are lazy, any more than I believe all rich people are greedy.  But I can understand why so many do.
                “Every day on the news, liberal pundits and politicians portray the wealthy as greedy, while conservative pundits and politicians portray the poor as lazy.  Democrats have become so good at denouncing greed, Republicans now defend it.  And Republicans are so good at condemning laziness; Democrats are now denying it even exists.  It’s a never end dance that gets more contorted by the day.
                “A few weeks ago in Georgetown, President Obama accused Fox News of `perpetuating a false narrative’ by consistently calling poor people `lazy.’ …

                “Over the next few days, the echo chamber got very noisy.  The Left howled about the bias at Fox and condemned the one-percent, while the Right shrieked about the bias at MSNBC and bemoaned the growing entitlement state.  But through all the howling and shrieking, no one said a word about the millions of jobs that American companies are struggling to fill right now.  No one talked the fact that most of those jobs don’t require an expensive four-year degree.  And no one mentioned the 1.2 trillion dollars of outstanding student loads, or the madness of lending money we don’t have to kids who can’t pay it back, educating them for jobs that no longer exist.

                “I started mikeroweWORKS to talk about these issues, and shine a light on a few million good jobs that no one seems excited about.  But mostly, I wanted to remind people that real opportunity still exists for those individuals who are willing to work hard, learn a skill, and make a persuasive case for themselves.  Sadly, you see my efforts as `right wing propaganda.’  But why?  Are our differences really political?  Or is it something deeper?  Something philosophical?

                “You wrote that, `people want to work.’  In my travels, I’ve met a lot of hard-working individuals, and I’ve been singing their praises for the last 12 years.  But I’ve seen nothing that would lead me to agree with your generalization.  From what I’ve seen of the species, and what I know of myself, most people – given the choice – would prefer NOT to work.  In fact, on Dirty Jobs, I saw Help Wanted signs in every state, even at the height of the recession.  Is it possible you see the existence of so many unfilled jobs as a challenge to your basic understanding of what makes people tick?

                “Last week at a policy conference in Mackinac, I talked to several hiring managers from a few of the largest companies in Michigan.  They all told me the same thing – the biggest under reported challenge in finding good help (aside from the inability to `piss clean’) is an overwhelming lack of `soft skills.’  That’s a polite way of saying that many applicants don’t tuck their shirts in, or pull their pants up, or look you in the eye, or say things like `please’ and `thank you.’  This is not a Michigan problem – this is a national crisis.  We’re churning out a generation of poorly educated people with no skill, no ambition, no guidance, and no realistic expectations of what it means to go to work. …”

                I have volunteered in an employment office for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for about eighteen months and have seen many of the same things that Mike Rowe saw.  I personally spoke with people who were unwilling to take a job that paid less than their unemployment check!  Every week I print 12-15 or more pages of jobs in Alaska.  There is simply no reason why anyone in Alaska cannot have a job if they want one. 

                Companies and government offices need employees and are searching for them; however, they cannot find enough people with the skills and knowledge necessary to do the job.  The simple fact is that people can find work if they are willing to work at it.  I personally know of several people who changed jobs during the past six or so years since the “Great Depression” started.  Some of them have had to move to a different area, and some of them have gained new skills and knowledge in order to get the next job. 

                The simple fact that they did what was necessary shows that they wanted to work or at least knew they needed to work.  No one understands the value of work unless they are taught.  If parents, teachers, churches, or society refuse to teach the value of work, our nation will continue to slide down the slippery slope to destruction.

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