The Most Popular Burger Flipper in America

I have a friend (yes, some people actually like me) who was having problems with his teen aged son.  My friend was called to school one day and the Principal told him “Joe” would most likely fail 8th grade.  He could go to summer school, but his chances of passing were still grim.  Joe is not a very motivated kid and also has minor learning disabilities that made school a frustrating, boring experience for him.  My friend said that his son should be held back a grade if he wasn’t passing his classes.  So did Joe’s mother.  The principal refused on the grounds that being held back might lessen Joe’s self-esteem.  My friend responded “Oh, goody!  My kid will be the most popular burger flipper in America!” Needless to say, Joe dropped out of high school and received his GED a few years later.  He has had several minimum wage jobs, but they never seem to last very long.

“Among hourly-paid workers age 16 and over, about 11 percent of those who had less than a high school diploma earned the Federal minimum wage or less, compared with about 5 percent of those who had a high school diploma (with no college) and about 2 percent of college graduates.” (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011)

I am surprised that any children try hard in school anymore.  I want to believe that most still do.  But why bother?  Chances are that they will never be Valedictorians because that might hurt someone’s feelings.

I know that not all of those who are unemployed are Millennials, but a good amount are.  When you go through life never having to try, never having to face adversity, can you imagine what a shock working in the real world must be?  If you lose your job, why bother looking for another one right away?  Who wants to face that hassle?  “The number of unemployed youth in July 2013 was 3.8 million, compared with 4.0 million a year ago. The youth unemployment rate was 16.3 percent in July 2013. Among the major demographic groups, unemployment rates were lower than a year earlier in July for young women (14.8 percent) and whites (13.9 percent), while jobless rates changed little for young men (17.6 percent), blacks (28.2 percent), Asians (15.0 percent), and Hispanics (18.1 percent).” (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013)

But, our revered Prevaricator in Chief does not think that a fair percentage of those on Unemployment will take advantage of it and sit on the couch playing video games and smoking weed.  NO!  Who would do THAT!?!?  Uhm, perhaps the now grown-ups who always won in school because everyone gets a trophy?  Maybe the Millennials who passed every test and quiz because it would be detrimental to their egos if they saw anything lower than a B on their papers?  Or maybe the former kids who received their grades in purple ink because red was just too mean?

“Voting for extending unemployment insurance helps people and creates jobs,” Obama said. “Voting against it doesn’t.” (Barack Obama, 2014)  If extending it hasn’t created jobs or helped people by now, it sure isn’t going to cure the jobs crisis anytime soon!

My point is that maybe we have taught our children that even if they don’t try, they win!  SNAP, Unemployment, Medicaid (unless they are young enough to be on their parents’ insurance), LEAP, etc., etc. will be their saving grace.

No, an Education system filled with teachers and administrators that worry more about teaching children the skills they need to face real life and less about what the Unions can do for them is what our kids need.  (I know those teachers are out there and they work their hearts out every day, but they are fighting the machine that is the federal government). Kids need to learn that you don’t always win, that red ink is just a color and, yes, there will be people in life who are better at some things than you are.  I just feel as though our kids are being sold short because schools no longer teach them to push the limits of their abilities.  They are not taught to use their minds to solve problems – the solutions are given to them without an explanation as to how it was done.  Self-esteem is important, no doubt.  But do you really have a healthy grasp on your self-esteem if you are being coddled throughout your school years?  The government needs to stop creating programs that force teachers to teach to the test.  The government needs to leave decisions about education to the residents of the individual states and keep their damned noses out of it.

Minimum wage jobs are not what you aspire to, they are what you rise from.  Unemployment is an emergency back-up in case you find yourself in a horrible bind.  It is something that will keep you fed and clothed while you look for your next job.

Even healthy middle-aged people take advantage of all of the government programs that are now available to them.  Some look at unemployment as a mini paid vacation.  However, it is going to end some day and those who took advantage are going to find it harder to get a decent job because they have been out of the loop for so long.  They might end up applying for the same jobs as Joe.

I never thought I would say any nice things about Bill Clinton, but I am beginning to miss him – just a little.  When he extended unemployment, it was a temporary extension that got people through a rough economic time.  He also put programs in place, along with Congress, to help the economy recover.  The states fought to get companies to open in their back yards and give job opportunities to their residents.  It worked.  Minimal federal intervention and strong state actions brought us back.

I don’t think Obama wants us to succeed.  He wants us to feed at the government trough and become dependent upon Washington to wipe our butts.

Through the Eyes of a Dreamer – The Speech President Obama Needs to Give

I don’t believe that the greatest dangers to the America we love lie in the big things.  Syria, Egypt, Iran, Russia, China – yes, there are major ramifications both militarily and fiscally if things cannot be dealt with, and soon.  Obamacare is another biggie.  So is the constant printing of more and more money to juice up confidence in the economy.  The NSA, IRS, Benghazi and Fast & Furious (“phony”) scandals are extremely important and creepy on a level that most conspiracy theorists have yet to fathom.  However, we would not have gotten to this point with the larger issues if we had been taking care of the smaller ones all along.

We need to mend from the inside out before we stop caring about our freedoms and allow the government to systematically take them away because we are apathetic.  We need to end our acceptance of responsibility for all of the faults we are constantly being told Americans possess.   We need to stop listening to the government and wake up the inner voice that made us the greatest nation on the planet for generations.  Furthermore, we need to call the POTUS on his avoidance tactics and hold him to working with us to solve the issues that have exacerbated this mess since he took office.

If Barry sincerely cared about his duties as President, he would restrain himself from making divisive remarks about cases that are best settled within the affected States.  He would surround himself with people to whom he owes nothing politically or personally – individuals with the strength of character to say “No” or to make suggestions that may not necessarily be popular with the West Wing crowd.  Maybe one of those people could honestly assess the tone of American citizens and the issues that are important to us would become important to Barry and Congress both.

So, with that being said, the speech Obama needs to give is this…

My fellow Americans, as President I have been to many states in this amazing country and spoken with people from all walks of life.  I know that I have not been as attentive to the small issues that affect our communities on a daily basis, and I could use many things as an excuse for this, but today is not the time for excuses.  Today is a time for working together toward becoming a whole nation once again.

Too many of our young people are dying from acts of violence, be they gang related or otherwise.  We must ask ourselves why these “children” are turning to outside influences such as gangs, television shows, video games and, on occasion, adults with bad intentions, instead of their families, teachers or members of the clergy.  Is it that these people are no longer available to them?  Is it that the constant use of race as a reason for violent acts on the part of people from all races gives the sense of justification to otherwise senseless acts?  Does it create hatred which spawns retaliation, which in turn creates more violence?  I believe all of these factors have contributed to the problem.  

Since most violent crimes involve illegal firearms, I am proposing today that all states, as well as Congress, review the laws concerning sentencing for those who commit violent crimes while in possession of an illegal fire arm.  I believe these laws need to be far stricter than they are and the length of the sentences should be increased with parole no longer being an option.  Sentences for those involved in the sale of these weapons, and those possessing such guns should be strengthened, as well.  Where the federal government has no jurisdiction, and as relates to non-federal trials in the individual states, I believe that the Department of Justice should not involve itself in those cases nor should we, the government, second guess the decisions made by the citizenry of any state.

When it comes to the private life of the President, my staff works diligently to allow my wife and children their private time, without the intrusion of the media, public or even the government.  It has become clear to me that every law abiding citizen deserves the same respect.  How can you have faith in me or the government employees you pay to protect us if you feel as though you are being treated as the enemy?  Common sense will tell you that America does need some sort of system in place to stop acts of terrorism before they occur, however, stricter controls should be in place to ensure that only those found to be – either through personal observation or electronic surveillance – potentially dangerous to the citizenry need be surveyed via high tech means.  Congress has already begun to re-write certain aspects of the Patriot Act that will be available for public inspection two weeks prior to a vote, giving you time to comment to your Senator or Representative about these proposed revisions.

Lastly, the condition of the education system is far from desirable.  In the beginning of my first term I ended the voucher program due to budgetary concerns.  After several years, I have come to realize this program is necessary if we want those who would otherwise not have a chance at a good education to get one.  It is especially important in those areas of the country that are suffering from bad economic times or are located a long distance from the more successful institutions available to other students.  Parents should have the right to choose the best possible education for their children.  That being said, the governors of all 50 states are being asked to create legislation to submit to their respective Congresspersons that provides for voucher programs.  I am confident that we will have a 100% success rate and vouchers will be available in all 50 states by the next calendar year.

There are many more issues that affect the personal lives of all of us.  I have touched on only a few today.  My pledge to you is that I will address more issues each month and give a reporting to the nation of the status of those solutions already being worked on.  No longer will I be the President who avoids the day-to-day issues of my fellow citizens.  I hope to be the President who jumped in with both feet and helped to heal our nation from the inside out.

Show of hands if you think this would ever happen…yeah, me either.