This is the open letter I'm responding to.
While I'm not the person being addressed, I wanted to talk about the liberal viewpoint and their perception of what is proper work ethic.
Let's start this conversation by stating this fact: I live in a planet that has 2 of 3 Americans overweight (including the OWS protestors that are "poor") and in a world that has people dying every 3.6 seconds due to starvation -- and most of these folks that die hungry are under the age of 5.
Now with that framework, let's continue reading.
Do you really want the bar set this high?
Why not? Compared to the world that has kids dying every few seconds, we should feel lucky that we have the opportunities here in this wonderful country to set any bar "high".
Do you really want to live in a society where just getting by requires a person to hold down two jobs and work 60 to 70 hours a week?
This is a country where there's tons of opportunities to move up in class. College education for high school grads are deeply discounted for those that have good grades. Hospitals and desperate medical facilities will pay for your tuition and license fees if you graduate as a nurse. I know many people that work hard in low paying jobs only to find higher paying jobs by getting an education that the market needs. What is wrong with this?
Is that your idea of the American Dream?
My American dream is that you work hard, get work experience or an education that the market needs, you land a decent job, then you can pay for your expenses and take care of your family. The majority of the world does not have this. I'm lucky enough to understand this concept because I lived poor from another country. From my point of view, the protestors look extremely spoiled. Given mostly free education up to high school, significant amount of employment (91% have jobs), and a college system that gives deep discounts on tuitions or scholarships for folks with high grades. If your state doesn't have that, move. Plus a federal govt that actually pays for education if you join part time reserves in the Coast Guard or other branches that's not directly involved in armed conflict?
The opportunities here are enormous. Wake up to what you have and appreciate it.
Do you really want to spend the rest of your life working two jobs and 60 to 70 hours a week? Do you think you can? Because, let me tell you, kid, that’s not going to be as easy when you’re 50 as it was when you were 20.
The rest of the world does, and I actually love work. Surprise. I don't think I'll stop working -- ever. It's not about the money, it's the love for work. But America has opportunities, there's tons of positions in health care that continues to be left unfilled. It doesn't matter what age either -- you can find work if you really want to. You can get an education if you really want to.
And what happens if you get sick? You say you don’t have health insurance, but since you’re a veteran I assume you have some government-provided health care through the VA system. I know my father, a Vietnam-era veteran of the Air Force, still gets most of his medical needs met through the VA, but I don’t know what your situation is. But even if you have access to health care, it doesn’t mean disease or injury might not interfere with your ability to put in those 60- to 70-hour work weeks.
Doesn't the American govt and taxpayers provide more than enough? If you are poor, Medicaid. If you are a senior, Medicare. If you are disabled? Social Security. But are we forgetting responsibility of our family members as well?
Most illnesses that is not caused by lifestyle or personal choices (nearly 2 of 3 Americans are overweight), are the common cold and bacterial infection. If it's bacterial, antibiotics are mainly provided for free by most pharmacies and deeply discounted in retail chains like WalMart.
Let's get educated on health care, let's understand what causes the problems (bad diet/no exercise/smoking), and if we want to talk about specific points or illnesses, let's look at it and how much of that is a personal responsibility and how much of that is an issue that the rest of America has to pay for. (Example: Instead of a $3,000 operation that a US medical facility might charge you due to overhead expenses in labor/minimum wage laws and malpractice insurance, could you take an $800 flight and $300 bill in a professional facility in another country to get it done?)
Do you plan to get married, have kids? Do you think your wife is going to be happy with you working those long hours year after year without a vacation? Is it going to be fair to her? Is it going to be fair to your kids? Is it going to be fair to you?
Lots of subjectivity here and lack of respect for contentment. Travel outside of the world and you will realize what real hunger is. Do you put food on the table? Do your kids have a better chance than you because they went through school? Can your wife work or take up classes in college after the kids have grown? Improve your family status if you want to, and stop comparing yourselves to others -- because if you do, compare down as well as up. You'll realize you are extremely lucky to have not been born elsewhere and instead in America.
But by the time we got through the Great Depression and WWII, we’d all learned some valuable lessons about working together and sharing the prosperity, and the 8-hour workday became the norm.
Are we forgetting the other story?
And then the unions became more selfish and killed every industry it touched (auto/GM/Ford/airlines/etc). Companies who have investors (70% of American households invest in retirement accounts that invest in corporations) had to move their business to other states or countries to make a profit.
Other Asian companies saw this mockery of work, innovated and built cars and have even built factories in America just to show how it's done.
Let's not totally forget that side of the story -- that the legacy costs of union demands have almost wiped out our once golden industries. Thank goodness for the foreigners that built factories here, learned from GM/Ford/etc, and reminded us of the original American work ethic, innovation, and quality. We are just now catching up to our competitors.
There needs to be workers rights - sure - but not to the extent where companies go belly up and can't compete. Unions are no longer about fair treatment but how much they squeeze out of a corporation.
Anyway, do you understand what I’m trying to say?
Yes, you want more stuff for less work. Your level of comfort is what the "dream" is about. One statistic tells it all. 2 of 3 Americans are overweight, while in the rest of the world, every 3.6 seconds one person dies of starvation. Usually it is a child under the age of 5. (Source: UNICEF)
The point? Stop being spoiled, appreciate what you have, and work.