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home : opinions : columns February 5, 2016

8/14/2013 6:00:00 AM
COLUMN: The 'change'
Bob Weete
Bob Weete
Bob Weete

Yes, a "change" is happening - the "transformation" of America. And frankly, it is very disturbing. This country used to foster individual responsibility; it was not a good thing to rely on others for our livelihood.

A man married, and he accepted the responsibility for providing for his wife and children by the sweat of his own brow. He would rather die than take charity. Even though they may not be "well off", his pride would not allow him to lower himself and admit he could not provide his family with the necessities of life.

They did not have, in some cases, fancy clothes, or other things that rich people had, but they had one another, and they were glad to be alive.

They were grateful for what they did have. If they were searching for more, they found a way to earn more. It was a simple life.

More and more we have "transformed" into an America in which too many people are not bothered by responsibility, pride and such old-fashioned things. We have all too many people who have the attitude that they "deserve" a good life somehow. And they must be "equal" to others who have worked to provide themselves and their families with the necessities.

I watched a program, as a matter of fact, just this evening, about the humongous number of people who are getting food stamps. In New York, they were discussing how people are actually being recruited to get food stamps, rather than get off the food stamp program.

There are radio programs that produce radio dramas which portray people who have had their problems "solved" by going on welfare and getting food stamps. Now these are people who had had self-pride before, but have actually been convinced that living off the sweat of responsible people is the way to go.

Don't mistake my concerns; as a certain book that I read says, that "the poor will always be with us" and there are people who really need help. I am glad to be able to help those people. However, when the government is actually recruiting people to live off me and others, I must confess that I have a problem with that.

When I was working at Harmony Kitchen, I found any number of people who probably were at least physically able enough to hold a job and pay their own way. However, they chose to balk at their responsibility and take the "easy" way. And then they took advantage of the liberal government who has taught them they have the "right" to something even better than having the basic necessities in life. They have cell phones, they have medical services, etc.

I really do not resent their having "things" in life, but I personally feel that this country rose to its prominence because of the self-reliance of its people. It grew by the ingenuity of the people. It grew by the perseverance and dedication of its people.

This whole attitude, in my opinion, has been fostered by "spare the rod and spoil the child" thinking. And that has torn at the base of this great country.

Many kids these days are not raised with the same kind of values as in the past. School is not valued; consequently we have all too many kids who drop out of school, or graduate from high school but with such low skills learned that they can't get into any kind of school to enhance their skills.

As a result, they can get only low-income jobs. Working at McDonalds is fine for a high school job, but it cannot work well for someone with a family. Now we have McDonalds people striking for double their current salaries.

How will these kids ever learn that if you have only minimal skills that you must expect then, that your skill level will determine your income level the rest of your life? The way things are rapidly heading, we will become a socialist government and that is not the American way.

When you have no work, no profession, no pride, you will also be without incentive, imagination, creativity, and all the other things that come with success.

You will become like "The Hollow Men", a poem I remember reading in high school, by T. S. Eliot:

"We are the hollow men

We are the stuffed men

Leaning together

Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!

Our dried voices, when

We whisper together

Are quiet and meaningless

As wind in dry grass

Or rats' feet over broken glass

In our dry cellar."

And it ends with the following:

"This is the way the world ends,

This is the way the world ends,

This is the way the world ends,

Not with a bang but a whimper."

Sad to think that America began with such high aspirations, multitudes of great progress, using all the skills given us that ending with simply a whimper shows such a terrible wasteland we have become.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, August 30, 2013
Article comment by: You do not see your own arguments

The USA has one of the lowest minimum wages and has way to many on foodstamps and assistance. Why? Because we hold minimum wage down and keep all that money out of circulation that is being held by the top 1%. Raise the minimum to $12 (Austrialia is $16.88) and move more of that money away from the top 1% and back into circulation. Then watch the economy GROW! And it will! To much money is being held by to few people. Get it back out working for more people! Wake UP!!

Posted: Friday, August 30, 2013
Article comment by: Walt Sleptke

You've all let the point of this article fly right over your heads. It's all about dignity. The thing that you've all forgotten is that it doesn't matter what the pay is, or if they're giving Big Macs away, a great many people will always take the easy way out with their hands out for the freebies. Government assistance was initially established to give people TEMPORARY relief, not as a full time or generational endeavor. Many think it's insane to work one or ever two minimum wage jobs (and have it reduced further after the taxes are removed) when you can make more collecting food stamps, free medical, Section 8 housing, and the other free things the government says you need and wants you to have? Why not? Somebody else is paying for it. Right?

I agree that the minimum wage should be raised slightly, but also understand that for that to happen my cost for things will go up. So basically, I'll have less cash to buy those things that the minimum wage earners are selling. Then when their company's sales go down and their profit margin has slipped, guess who's out of a job? This is how the corporate monster wants it to be so they can control us.

Lastly, look around. What high paying jobs are there in Blythe? In Riverside County? In Southern California? Do you have the education to get them? If not why? What can you do to get yourself educated to qualify for those jobs and then go where those jobs are. If Blythe is all you've known you'll be surprised to find that the few square miles of this town does NOT represent what the real world is all about. It's all about DIGNITY - what YOU put into yourself and think about yourself that determines whether you'll be earning your own living on remaining of government assistance (that someone else is paying for).

Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

Now who say's Mr. Weete is wrong. Just Google it. Read and Weep People, this is Change.

"Evangelical Christians Labeled as 'Extremists' by Pentagon."

This is Obama's Military now.

Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

@. @ EL PICA BUYAS Conservitive Joe. Yes I have seen the Video, and have also read the article. Did you also read who were also present there? A bunch of Liberal Politicians and Civil Rights so call leaders, with a mix of of Immigration reform people.

What a joke. If they ever get that raise, there will be a ripple affect. Other people in other jobs will also want a raise, Maybe then you will see the price of that raise, when your dollar's buying power will be worth only 35 cents from now. Because all prices will go up.

You know I wish there was a way for these people to get paid more. Just like me I wish that, I could get more from my pension than I get every year, that will never happen. But in the end if they get it, there will be a price to pay. Checks and Balances Rules.

Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Article comment by: @ EL PICA BUYAS Conservitive Joe

It appears you two have not sense of reality. Federal minimum wage is historically way to low and should be at least $10 an hour. There are to many people relying on service jobs today and we need to change things so they can at least live.
We have relied way to long on illegals, which has kept the minimum wage artificially low. Employers who hire illegals should be fined and face criminal sanctions. This need to end so our country can move forward.
See NBC News:
"Fast food strikes to hit cities across the country"

Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Article comment by: John the Deere

Herb upon the MOUNTAIN TOP... healing of the nation MARIJUANA!!!

Posted: Monday, August 26, 2013
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

At the other @conservitive joe #2. Fast food jobs are entry level positions so kids can get working experience. That was the thinking back then. If they pay people that much, prices will go up, and some people will also lose their jobs.

Fast food are mega bucks, because even the poor can afford to go eat there. Once you jack up the prices, they would lose a lot of the people that go there for a cheap, and affordable meal.

Posted: Monday, August 26, 2013
Article comment by: @ Conservitive Joe

Stop thinking of yourself. WOW you may have to pay maybe 15-20 cents more for a Big Mac. Big deal, just think of all those people that can now maybe get a little closer to making a living!

Posted: Monday, August 26, 2013
Article comment by: @ Conservitive Joe

Just think how many more people would be off food stamps and could actually afford to buy a Big Mac.

Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2013
Article comment by: Conservitive Joe

Yes my friends, we have to diversify, have gay weddings, make pot legal, embrace the Muslim religion no matter what the cost. The USA is so broke it can't pay enough fire fighters but has the funds to give 7 BILLION to Africa. Makes sense to me.
Getting back to minimum wage, if anyone doesn't think a Big mac will cost you more when wages are $15.00 must be a liberal.
Stay classy little town.

Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2013
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

Will the Government make the Churches marry gay couples? Now that gay marriage is legal?

Now that is what I call change in American Culture.

Can't wait to see the first lawsuit.

Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2013
Article comment by: To @ to @To@ needs .......

Sorry but Blythe does not reflect anything normal let alone anything that is happening in California. I no longer live in Blythe and can assure you that it is totally different then your perception.
You need to get out in the world and live a little. See what reality is.

Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013
Article comment by: raymond rodriguez

our labor force is overseas folks, and that happened a long time ago, so we expected Americans to be more educated and have a prosperous country. that's what's happening now, and our government is trying to compensate for it with food stamps. I respect Mr. Weete, but he wasn't a very good teacher and obviously a republican.

Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013
Article comment by: @ to @To@ needs .......

If you want to take a short term snapshot of the economy you can but I look at the long term trend and I look at what the private sector growth is and you are wrong. Private businesses other than tech companies, that pay well above minimum wage, have been fleeing this state for many years now. Just take a look over the last twenty years at Blythe and that gives you a micro picture of what has been happening up and down the state. Yes there have been areas with growth but most have not. Why do you think you see all these cities filing or talking about bankruptcy? It is because tax revenues have been down for many years now. Just for the record between college and high school I took 5 different economics classes so I think I will pass on taking another one.

Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013
Article comment by: To @ to @ need to be educated

If you wish to paid sub wages why are you not in Arizona.
USA Today 2012 Article Top states with the fastest growing economies:
"While the national economy grew, some of the country's largest state economies, including California and Texas, increased at an even faster rate."
Not sure where you get your information from but MONEY is to be made by Business in California and Businesses are coming! Get real, this is one of the largest state economies in the USA why would you not do business here?
You need to take an economics course and see how wages really affect prices. Enough said!

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