Whatever Happened to...

Faye Harris
Guest Columnist

Back in the 1970’s when I was teaching third grade one of my students, Terry Johnson, showed surprising maturity. Finances were in an inflationary time. Some of the larger cities were going broke. Terry said he had the solution. “If everyone, every business, everything would take a 20 percent cut...and hold it there, we could survive.”

Bread at that time cost 25 cents a loaf. Gas cost 29 cents a gallon (I know because I was driving back and forth to night classes to get my Master degree.)

People back then worked for a lot less. I worked summers babysitting for $10 a week. Back then there was pride in earning one’s own way.

Today politicians are wanting hamburger joints to pay a minimum wage of $15 an hour...for a job designed for a person with minimum skills...many of them teen agers. When I asked one of them if they were saving for college I was told, “If my parents won’t pay for college...I’m not going.” Whatever happened to pride in paying one’s own way?

How times have changed. Most politicians don’t have to live on what the ordinary citizen makes. In fact, it appears to me many are buying votes (with the average working person’s own tax dollars) by increasing an inflationary minimum wage.

If a person flipping burgers gets a salary increase so they are making $31,200 a year...why are people who enter the service for our country only getting $20,000 a year Are kids who are still going to school but working at a burger place worth more than one who is willing to take a bullet in our country’s defense?

America is going bankrupt by our government’s giving away so much money. Every day both TV and news outlets are advertising for people to go to work, yet many people are living a life of leisure...when they’re healthy enough to take one of the many jobs advertised.

There is a lady in our church who is severely handicapped yet she’s worked for years. Whatever happened to the work ethic that made America the great country it is? Many of us have had to work at jobs that were less than what we wanted...until we’ve learned the skill that we needed for the job we desired.

It really doesn’t matter which party one is affiliated with. We are privileged to be are living in a country that people have died to enter...yet many of us take our opportunities for granted.

It seems that many people today are expecting the government to see that they have everything that the working man has...while living a life with no financial obligations. If the shoe was on the other foot (to quote an old saying) would these same people agree to pay many who could work but who choose not to?

It is my suggestion that those we’ve elected DO THE JOB FOR WHICH THEY’VE BEEN HIRED. WE are their employers. Let them earn their living by expecting the citizens of our country to earn their living.

Just because (as the song says) “we are the home of the free...” doesn’t mean that that freedom comes without a price. If America doesn’t ‘tighten its belt’ we are selling our freedom to other countries from which we purchase all our goods. The choice is being made by those we elect to run this great country.

So...the freedom we have, the freedom we save, may be no further away...than our local ballot box. Let us let our elected officials know that....while we all like to have money given to us...that it has to be worth more...than the paper it’s printed on. The choice is, in the end...up to each of us...the average working American.

Be sure to follow Devils Lake Journal on our twitter page, @devilslakenews, and like us on Facebook!