In the beginning, Americans were hard working individuals who knew deep down in their very souls that their success was limited only by their willingness to accept responsibility for their actions. If a person started a business it was solely through his own hard work and dedication that the business would succeed. The proprietor could not assign blame on anyone if the business went down the drain. He could only look at himself and inquire of himself as to how much effort he wished to put into that business. That work ethic not only permeated shopkeepers but anyone who worked for a living: doctors, saloon keepers, farmers and ranchers all knew that to eat they had to work.
But things are different in the 21st century.
People do not want to bear the responsibility for their own predicaments. This writer has frequently stated openly that poverty is a choice and that statement is absolutely 100% true. Now before all the thumb-sucking crybabies begin harping on their soapboxes about how there are people who can’t help living in poverty, consider this: this writer has NEVER condemned anyone who was unable to provide for himself. In fact, this writer believes that it is necessary that those who cannot work for themselves be allowed some assistance and would even concede that they deserve a lower middle-class existence. These would be those who physically cannot work or are in some way mentally retarded and cannot function within what are considered normal parameters of life.
Where this writer gets angry and lashes out is at those who are mentally and/or physically capable of holding down even a mere clerical job and refuse to get a job. These are the kind of people who are told they cannot do certain kinds of jobs and they take that to mean they have been given carte blanche to stay home and collect welfare. These are the kinds of lazy, worthless, pieces of garbage to whom this writer’s rants are directed. This writer has no sympathy for those people and never will. If you are able to work, then you should work. I am very well acquainted with an individual who has had several back surgeries and yet he works as a firefighter and makes a very good living doing that job. He could stay home and collect welfare but he chooses to work and be a responsible citizen in his community. Looking at him you would never know that he has a bad back. He is also the exception.
Typically, in today’s America people who are living in poverty are there because they do not choose to make the decision to get out of it. They have been convinced by so-called community leaders that they are oppressed and do not have the chance to get out of their situation. Consider Christopher Gardner, the San Francisco salesman whose autobiography The Pursuit of Happyness was the inspiration for the movie of the same name. What the movie did not show but the book does, was that Gardner grew up living in less than desirable situations – even with a step-father who routinely shouted, “I ain’t your … daddy!” He got out of his situation to become successful even owning his own business. Gardner did not listen to those who told him he wouldn’t amount to anything. He made up his own mind that he was going to succeed and he did it.
So why do so many perfectly capable people live in poverty? Because they choose to do so. They could get out of their situation, but they choose to stay right where they are and the primary reason is fear. They are afraid of what the ethereal committee of “they” will say. Gardner did not listen to “they” – he listened to himself. Those who will spew anger and vitriol at this article saying that this writer is insensitive, wrong and that poverty is not a choice are guilty of keeping those who could get out of poverty in it. You who would deny anyone a chance of being successful are a kind of evil. You coddle those in poverty patting them on the head saying, “there, there, it’s okay. That big mean writer isn’t going to hurt you. I’ll protect you from the big, mean guy” and then you hand them another government welfare check so they’ll listen to you and go back to sleep in their poverty. You would deny those in poverty a chance to become successful so that you can maintain your attitude of superiority over them. This writer would willingly bend over backward to give anyone a chance to get out of poverty so long as it involved that person getting off his butt and going out and actually working.
And don’t tell me there are no jobs to be had out there. Did you ever notice that when the economy is in a valley like it is now, is when Americans are at their best? You will find a way to get what you want regardless of what the present situation happens to be if you want it badly enough. Chris Gardner did not allow his present situation to dictate his future. If you think for one minute that you cannot find work then you are not trying hard enough.
In this writer’s opinion, when people begin taking responsibility for themselves instead of blaming everyone else under the sun for their own problems, then the economy will grow and America will return to the highly-respected nation it once was. Socialism and blaming others will never make America great; it will only continue the downward death spiral.