Too tired to work

Had an interesting conversation at Church today. One of my friends, a Polish immigrant and self-made millionaire was discussing the immigration issue with a upper-middle class, white-bread soccer mom (let’s call her “Nice Liberal Lady”. My entrepreneur friend and I both agreed that some form of legalized immigration was needed for people with low educational skills because, sadly, too many Americans are unwilling to do jobs that demand physical labor.

But, hold on, said Nice Liberal Lady. Her son, it seemed, lived at home with his unused college degree because working in a fast-food restaurant or other similar menial job would only distract him from his career path. Not so, responded my entrepreneurial friend – “when my father died when I was young, I worked any job that I could get – even two or three jobs at a time, just to get money on the table. We Polish people know that when times are bad, you work extra hard instead of preoccupying yourself with feeling sorry for yourself (I am paraphrasing, but that was pretty much the gist).

Whoa, said Nice Liberal Lady: “I have a problem with that, especially having grown up with a workaholic father. The fact is, I am too exhausted to be constantly looking for a job or working more-than one job.” She let it be known that she really resented the implication that she should be expected to go out and work hard to earn her own financial support. The proper solution, it appeared, was that is was therefore OK to let other people exhaust themselves to pay benefits to the members of our perpetually exhausted non-working classes.

I pointed out to my friend, afterwards, “the reason that you were able to rise up and take on all these jobs is because you did not begin with the assumption that you were owed a certain standard of living.”

We really do live in two very different and irreconcilable worlds.

Ironically, a headline article in today’s Chicago Tribune focused on Polish people in Chicago returning to Poland in search of better opportunities. ’nuff said.

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Comments

  1. Mrs.Mo says

    Upon coming to this country in 1957 with a wife and 2 little children, my father found himself without the job that had been promised to him.  The man who offered him the job, had died of a heart attack the week before we came here.  With no other job available, my dad worked at whatever job he could find, that included packing gladiola bulbs and janitorial work.  It took him another 2 years before he found a job in line with his training (he is an electrical engineer).  We were poor, but we had everything we needed and the stories and pictures of that time in our family, we all look back on with happiness.   The one thing my siblings and I have tried to give our children, the second generation, is a work ethic.  When my daughter complained to me that she didn’t get the grade she wanted, I would always ask her if she worked hard.   The usual answer to my question was yes, and I would tell her, then that is enough.  Now in the work force, she is totally amazed at the lack of motivation of her peers, they think simply because they show up, they should be given a paycheck.  What has happened to this country I love?  Her people are soft and going the way of the Roman Empire!

  2. Mike Devx says

    Mrs Mo says in #1:
    …she is totally amazed at the lack of motivation of her peers, they think simply because they show up, they should be given a paycheck.  What has happened to this country I love?  Her people are soft and going the way of the Roman Empire!
     
    Thank you, Mrs Mo, and I agree.  People like your daughter’s peers have always existed.  What is dismaying about “this country that I love” is that now they are in the majority.  As you rightly concluded, this likely leads to the conclusion that we are closer than we think to the end of our civilization, the end of “this country that I love”.  Yes, Italy is still around, yet the Roman Empire is long vanished, and no one can say that merely because Italy still survives, that the civilization that was the Roman Empire endures.  The same is already true of the Victorian British Empire: The England of today has almost nothing in common with that civilization, and we are scarcely a hundred years past its zenith.
     
    In contemplating the results of the 2012 election, and the subsequent depressing joke of a “fiscal cliff resolution”, I see little to no reason for hope.  What can a minority in a representative democracy do, as they see the dying of the light, as they watch the rest of the citizenry – its majority – take the country permanently and ever-further into an inevitable collapse?  The America that emerges from that collapse (as with the “Italy” that has rolled onward following the disappearance of the Roman Empire)… what will it look like?
     
     
     

  3. Danny Lemieux says

    Mike Devx – yes, Italy is still around today. But that is well after Rome’s invaders raped, pillaged, burned and generally behaved very badly, followed by hundreds of years of lawlessness and war.
     
    I, too, am very pessimistic about the survivability of our country as we know it. What concerns me most is what will follow.

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