SO WHAT ONCE WAS IS NOW THIS?
Think back to your grandparents time, your parents, your youth, even a few years ago. What did people want to support their families? They wanted a job.
We see the sad pictures from the great depression of our grandparents. “I need a job” was a familiar sign they held. We see the movies, hear the stories, they would do anything. Any job would do, “I just want a chance to work” was the refrain.
You remember your own beginnings. You wanted a chance to prove yourself. You knew your ability, your drive and pride would assure that you would be successful and move up in any endeavor. Just the chance to start is what you wanted.
You remember how proud you were to get that paycheck. You stood tall, you earned it and now can begin planning for the future. You had dreams of homes you wanted to own, vacations to take, things to try. It was all possible because you had a job. You had a chance.
That was, after all, the American dream. You started at the bottom, worked hard, proved your value and moved up in the organization. Why some even rose to lead the company, but all had pride. This was America and the promise of this land. In America you become anything, the streets were paved in gold they said.
How did we end up where we are today? People don’t want a job. Companies can’t fill their openings to the point they have to offer incentives.
Now to be sure there have been times in the past where there was a shortage of workers and companies had to offer incentives and opportunity to people. That was because the economy was booming and the job market was full. How many nations ever produce that opportunity? In America it was possible.
That’s not the case today. Unemployment is high but the active participation of adults in the workforce is low. We are paying as many people unemployment benefits as we have job openings. The difference is that today people don’t want the job. Don’t want the job? They are getting paid by our government not to work so well, they are no longer seeking opportunity. They are not worried about getting a job later either. Why? They believe the government will take care of them. Thus, jobs go so unfulfilled that companies are offering incentives and perks to “please come to work.”
Is this the America you want? I don’t. Our greatness is in the ingenuity of our people. Our greatness is individuals making things happen. Our greatness was in people working for hat they want and appreciating what they had. A socialist state produces a lack of incentive, a capitalist state produces individual drive. I would prefer to see our nation turned over to future generations still driven by individual opportunity.
Now many of the people running our government today don’t see it that way. They see some who have too much and many who have nothing. They want those earning to pay a “fair share” they say. I guess to pay those who don’t want to do a fair share anymore. Today they’re talking of taking more from the producers and providing more to those “in need.” In need is fine, but not having the initiative to earn does not create a need.
As we prepare to honor those who never had the chance to live their lives because they supported the values of our nation, let’s get back to those values. They, who paid that ultimate price for the generations alive today, never had the chance to live, to raise a family, seek opportunity in the workplace. They risked their tomorrow’s because they wanted future generations to have the chance to live the American dream. If they had decided to stay home, where would we be today?
Last night I joined others in laying flags on the gravesite of these brave warriors as a form of remembrance and gratitude. The least we can all do is preserve the heritage for which they gave that full measure.
That’s my thoughts. I’m interested in yours.