Every few months a seemingly homeless man shows up at my office with a bucket, a sponge, a squeegee and some rags. He asks if he can clean the windows. Unless the windows were just recently cleaned, he and I customarily come to a work agreement.
Cleaning all the windows usually takes him several hours, but the windows generally sparkle after he’s completed his task. I pay him an agreed upon sum ($50) and he goes on his merry way only to return a few months later.
Now compare that experience to that of a panhandler sitting with a sign on the freeway off ramp. "I’m homeless and hungry" the sign says, so we are shamed into giving them some unearned money.
As it so happens, my last two weekends have been spent helping an elderly blind women move from her 3-bedroom house to a 1-bedroom senior-living apartment. Knowing that the task was overwhelming for one person, I tried unsuccessfully to hire one of several of the freeway ramp denizens to help with the moving. No takers...just give me some money so I can feed my addiction...I’m not interested in earning it was the typical response...
At what point in time did America go from the "Land of Opportunity" to the "Land of Entitlement"? Hard work seems to be punished (by taxes and regulations) while no work seems to be rewarded.
The mid-term elections are this upcoming Tuesday. Based on the ads that we are bombarded with on a daily basis, the biggest focus seems to be on which candidate can create high paying jobs in a clean industry.
When I see or hear one of these ads, I typically ponder several thoughts:
Does anyone in the government really create any private sector jobs?
- Is any part of industrial manufacturing really "clean" and isn’t "high-paying" determined by the type of work being performed?
- If its the politicians aim is really to create jobs...why do they do everything in their power to destroy industry with taxes and regulations?
It’s the politician’s job to get elected, I suppose, so they tell us the things that we want to hear. They promise, "elect me, and I’ll take care of you". ..but shouldn’t it be..."elect me, and I’ll do what is best"?
Politics is about power...and power is about money and control...this is not a new phenomenon...this has been going on for centuries!
Getting elected takes money (in California, the candidates for governor will spend an estimated $200M in the 2010 campaign). This money comes from special interests who hope that their contributions and bloc of voters will help to elect their candidate who will in turn repay their patronage with money collected from the taxpayers.
The City of San Diego is a classic example of "politics as usual". The public employees unions banded together several years ago to elect a city counsel extremely friendly to the public sector. That city counsel subsequently lavished high salaries, lucrative pensions and lifetime benefits to their city employed supporters. In order to pay for these salaries and benefits, the city now must raise taxes for homeowners and consumers or suffer the possibility of bankruptcy.
I can’t imagine any legitimate company in the private sector asking customers to give them money for a product or service because they might go bankrupt without it. Capitalism works because it rewards those companies and individuals who work hard at creating something of value to sell to someone who wants it.
Government (public sector) has become the homeless person sitting on the freeway on-ramp begging for money...whereas the private sector is the homeless man willing to work to feed themselves.
Don’t give handouts...give someone a hand to earn it...
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