Papa may have, but God bless the child that’s got his own, that’s got his own. Haunting lyrics from the 1950 bluesy, jazz hit immortalized by the fabulous Billie Holiday. The fact that it has become harder and harder for the child to get his or her own in two thousand and ten America reveals a deeper relevance within the old tune. Simply stated, opportunity is dwindling, ambition is tempered and goals have been proportionately lowered.
The message from commencement speakers this Spring is hang in there, don’t give up, keep looking and trying rather than the former incantations to grab the brass ring, go for the gold and take hold of the leadership reins. When you see the auditorium at Every College USA with hundreds of new teachers who know full well that every school district is reducing staff and cutting their budgets, you have to wonder “Where are these bright minds going to end up?”
It is not just teachers in oversupply. It is also carpenters, engineers, clerks, managers, welders, paramedics, administrators and laborers. The hard times have hit every economic sector. Employers at all levels have cut their operations to the bone in the hope that things will turn around. Well, things will not turn around unless there is a strong enough catalyst to make them to turn around. At the present time that catalyst is nowhere in sight.
Instead of asking just “What went wrong?” perhaps we should think about “What could have been?” To the extent that American people have internalized the ideals of our founders and conducted themselves accordingly, we have achieved the greatest advancement for the largest number of people in human history. As we have strayed from those principles and succumbed to the lures of egocentrism, pleasure, luxury and security we have degenerated towards the former oppressive tyranny.
There could be and should be virtually unlimited opportunity for young and old, rich and poor, workers and entrepreneurs if only we could remember, freedom. Your personal liberty, opportunity, pursuit of happiness and even your very freedom are all tied to the money that you legitimately earn.
You have more money, you can do more things. You have less money you must do fewer things. When government chokes your earnings or imposes excessive tax burdens upon you, you become less free and more like a servant, an indentured servant of the State. You suffer, your neighbors suffer, your employer suffers, your countrymen suffer.
We once had this crazy notion that government should serve the people but over time the State has implemented policies which in reality decided that it is better for the people to serve the superior ambitions of government. Federalism and Separation of Powers were designed to restrain the intrusion of government. But in adopting the modern management strategy of collaboration and eliminating the old outdated idea of competition we experience the situation that all bodies of government are now ganging up on their common enemy, namely the people.
Now the people must let government at all levels know that the game is up. We cannot tolerate unresponsive representation to survive another election cycle. We can enact term limits on our own beginning in November. A good rule of thumb, if an office holder is not a recognized champion of liberty, vote for somebody else. Keep voting for somebody else until they get the message.
Column written by Thomas McGinley