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home : opinions : columns August 28, 2014

12/11/2013 6:00:00 AM
COLUMN: What have we done?
Bob Weete
Bob Weete

It has been said, "the poor will always be with us."  And that is true. But that is largely because "poor" is a relative term, and in America it does not have to be. We were created to be self-sufficient, self-reliant. We have choices that can be made, and must be made.

If we choose incorrectly, we are bound to be poor; if we choose correctly, we may not be "rich", but we certainly can be self-reliant and independent by our own hard work and determination. And that will make us rich in spirit, much more satisfying than merely having big bucks.

If our government will just leave us alone. In the past two hundred years, many people did not have the "things" that rich folks had. But you know what? We stood tall and proud because what we had was so much more than relatives and friends in other countries. Since we worked to earn what we had, we also had pride in the fact that we had what we needed to survive, certainly better than the opportunities we had in the old country.

We were taught at home not to covet what others had; we learned to be grateful and thankful, and not just at Thanksgiving time. We were quite happy, actually, until some people came along and decided that we all must be "equal". The fact is that we were always equal in opportunity, which had sustained us.

We were raised to provide for ourselves, and education was the way to accomplish that goal. Kids in America realized that because of their freedom of choice, they could find what their future would be. They knew that hard work, physically and/or mentally, would result in their attaining their dreams. Slackers could expect to have a hard life, but with no recompense.

They, in a sense, had earned their low rung on the ladder.

Now, it is pretty evident that many in our government want to expand the number of poor, rather than reduce them. They are given a place in life that they haven't earned on their own, and the basic need of mankind to have self-pride and self-worth is thwarted.

And what happens? They become dissatisfied with their situation in life. They want "more", and the government, wanting to sustain their support, "helps" them by giving them some of the "perks" that make them "equal" to others.

But, that "equality" will never happen, because those who have worked hard to earn their own plasma televisions, cell phones, medical care, etc. will have pride, where those who were "helped" can't have that important feeling. Thus, their attitudes will turn sour, as they, like anybody else, will keep wanting and expecting "more".

Then, of course, if the government leaders wish to stir the pot even more to build more resentment, more hate, more dissatisfaction, they will give them even more, and laying the bill at the doorsteps of those who have made the better choices in their lives.

As a result, the hard-working people resent the free ride given for people who chose not to earn their own. You have heard the story about "give a man a fish, and he eats for a day; teach a man how to fish, and he eats for a lifetime".

There are many people who are capable of working, but they are never required to. They chose - on their own - to ignore the education that is provided all Americans, they chose - on their own - to ignore other educational opportunities that would have given them the skills needed to get jobs that pay good wages. Instead, they can only get jobs at fast food places, and then strike because they can't feed their families.

Americans have always been generous and compassionate. They, through various charities, have willingly given to people in real need. This, we know, happens frequently in Blythe. But so often, with all the government "help", people frequently become "free-loaders", and feel that the workers somehow "owe" them something.

The result is a nation divided, a serious and crippling situation. When the government controls everything, the natural tendency of people to be creative, inventive, and desirous of having self-respect rather than being "helped", is destroyed. And problems become rampant.

As we close the history book on the year of 2013, what will be the story? We have hatred, we have focus on "me" and things, and we have financial chaos, locally as well as nationally. We have a focus on pleasure and self, we are all "victims" of some created situation that benefits the few, and rips in the tapestry of the miraculous Constitution of the United States. The Ten Commandments are vilified and ignored.

The list can go on and on, as we have allowed the selfish behavior of our leaders and heroes to be a drag on our society where people in the limelight show us how not to be, rather than demonstrators of the best our society can offer. Our children model the behavior of the adults in their lives and the people who make the news.

Of course, if we have liberal, loose media standards, our kids think that depravity is "natural". Anybody got any plans to return to the respected America of the past? Oh, I hope so.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, December 14, 2013
Article comment by: Peace Be Still

Bob, that is a bible quote. What is the parable behind it?

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: Steve Palermo

"If our government will just leave us alone. In the past two hundred years, many people did not have the "things" that rich folks had."

Yeah, not going to happen. There's this nagging problem which was put into our U.S. Constitution about 100 years ago. It's called the 16th amendment and gives the 535 the "right" to tax the citizens of this country. The Supreme Court just recently reaffirmed that the "Government has the right to tax its citizens." It all came with a smile from one of the chief justices during prime time news.

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