Wednesday, September 1, 2010

RIP American Work Ethic

Judge Judy is my hero. I've watched her court show periodically since it came on the air. I'm drawn to her. She is one of a dying breed that calls people out, not only on their guilt in court proceedings, but their guilt in not contributing to the success of our country.

Our country's financial and global successes were built on an unbridled work ethic, something that has been buried along with the generation that was responsible for it. I remember my grandfather telling me how when he graduated from the University of Iowa in the late 1930's, he was unable to secure a job. At the time, our country was just starting to pull out of the Great Depression and most places still were not hiring. Unwavered, he went down to a local grocery store outside of Des Moines, Iowa and asked if they would allow him to work stocking shelves....for free. My grandfather, an intelligent man in his early 20's with a bachelor's degree in Accounting, asked the owner of this grocery store for a non-paying stockboy position, with the hopes that once the economy turned around he'd be in line for a paying position.

Fast Forward to 2010, Judge Judy listened to a civil suit where a woman in her late 20's was being sued for repayment of a loan. This woman folded under Judge Judy's questioning about her financial position, and admitted that she has never been employed. Additionally, the woman had 4 children. When Judge Judy asked if the father was in the children's lives, the woman responded "one of them is." "Explain that" quipped Judge Judy. The woman described that she has 4 young children by 3 different fathers. When asked how she supports the children financially she said "with my social security." Disgusted, Judge Judy responded "There are other things to do with your time besides making babies, GET TO WORK MADAM."

Sadly, I hear of so many of these situations. People choosing to live off the taxpaying system, rather than paying into it. It's frustrating watching my hard earned money going into a tax system that increasingly supports social irresponsibility. I saw a commercial the other day for a "free cell phone program." Apparently, our tax dollars now go into giving free cell phones and 200 minutes a month to those who meet certain financial requirements. Since when is a cell phone a basic necessity?

We have become a true Socialist system. Think about this...if you don't work, our government will potentially pay for your housing, heat, electric, food, health insurance, health insurance of your kids, college education, transportation (county funded bus token programs), cell phone service, garbage collection service, AND will give you additional money (monthly stipends) for personal spending.

With all those handouts, I can certainly see why so few people in this country have any desire to abandon the taxpaying trough. Judge Judy's verbal tirades at least force these people to hear the voice of the taxpayer, even if it doesn't force change. After all, why would they change when it pays not to change? In the words of Dire Straits, "Money for Nothin' and Chicks for Free."