The United States of Excuses
By Mike Ramey
With the cries of: “Hike the Minimum Wage!” making the rounds of the nation’s capital, a report released late in February, 2014 by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is worthy of mention. The report concerned the ‘real’ cost of such a move.
It seems that, IF the Minimum Wage is raised–again–the economy would lose yet another 500,000 jobs. President Obama has already ‘issued’ his decision to hike the wage to $10.10 per hour as it impacts those working under federal contracts. Members of Congress, spurred on by Democrats in the Senate, are putting forth legislation to expand the hike. Since teens are the most impacted by Minimum Wage hikes, I’ll leave it to you parents who read my column. Would you advise your son/daughter to give up their part-time, Minimum Wage job ‘for the common good’?
I didn’t think so.
THE HEAT IS ON!
When it comes right down to it, many Americans ‘love’ the appearance of acting charitable in public. When the issue of charity starts to impact their children and a future shot at a job and college, it’s amazing how ‘stingy’ they become.
Let me say up front that this is going to be one of ‘those’ columns that should be shown to a teen you may know. Their future is–literally–hanging in the balance.
A few months back, I had a conversation with a friend of mine about the criminal justice system. I can remember a time when one who drew prison time was called a ‘convict’. When that person served their time, and was released, they were called an ‘ex-convict’ or an ‘ex-con’. Many of them who returned to society were humble, because they KNEW that they had done wrong in committing crime(s). They also knew and accepted the fact that they had a long way to go in order to ‘climb the mountain’ to successful employment. My how the times have changed. In the continuing social quest to ‘negate’ individual responsibility, we have seen men and women emerge from prison–unrepentant. In fact, the attitude among many ex-cons today is that ‘society’ is at fault for putting them behind bars in the first place.
Say ‘Amen’, somebody!
Furthermore, the term ‘ex-con’ has undergone urban renewal as it has been translated to ‘ex-offender’; then translated again into the ‘PC’ term ‘reclaimed citizens’. Even US Attorney General Eric Holder has been heard making comments to further ‘pacify’ the egos of those who have done prison time by urging that society quickly restore their right to vote–ahead of their ‘right’ to getting a job, paying restitution and becoming upright citizens by paying their taxes.
CAN WE TELL THE TRUTH?
A few years back I addressed this issue in several columns. I never thought that I would have to bring up this matter of individual responsibility again, but there are some who are new riders of the ‘short bus’ and have to be re-taught the basics of common sense and proper social behavior.
Can we get back to telling the truth?
It seems to be worthy of noting that there are some–repeat, ‘some’–in our society who fly to trouble, innuendo and wrong doing like a moth flies to a flame, and demand the hard-working, regular people of society to wink at, overlook and cover the damages and consequences of their antics.
‘Rebels’ fail to understand the racial implications of their abuse of other cultures. They fail to understand the sexual implications of STDs and OOW births. They fail to understand the damage to their family name by going to juvie, jail and/or prison. They fail to understand the damage to their community by living deliberately destructive lifestyles: BUT…they want to have the ‘freedom’ to ‘do their own thing’ without consequences, while active citizens of “The United States of Excuses”.
There was a time in American history when our fore parents told us–in no uncertain terms–that we needed to be a ‘credit to our race’. Those words are still true, but have lost their luster and power, thanks to our becoming a nation of card-carrying excuse makers. In short, we have backslidden to social adolescence; demanding full rights and restoration after spending years of putting our churches, families, friends and communities through a very real hell on earth.
A SIMPLE CHALLENGE TO THE EXCUSERS: Years ago, a veteran homicide detective appeared on a local radio talk show fielding a call from person who was against capital punishment. The detective, with a great sense of cool, listened to his opponent rant and rave about the ‘rights’ of the criminal. Then, the detective spoke. “Sir, if you will come with me to the scene of my crime victims, I would be more than happy to honestly listen to your point of view.” What the detective was saying–if I may put it in a nutshell–is that there are too many do-gooders who have not seen the end product of a criminal’s inhumanity to the person on the receiving end of his/her crime spree.
To those of you who are ‘anxious’ to place ex-cons back into the workforce AHEAD of those young men and women who have taken the time to live crime-free lives, I offer you a challenge. Let me see YOU do it, with your own family as the sacrifice. Tell your son or daughter who are going for that first job, or continuing their education, that they must ‘give up’ their dreams for someone who has been to jail or prison. I’ll wait for word of your sacrifice…but not for too long.
Think that my challenge is a little bit too harsh? Well, let’s take this one step further: For those who write hour after hour about the ‘need’ for companies to hire ex-cons ahead of those who don’t have criminal records, try this one: I have yet to see a study of businesses–owned/run by ex-cons–citing how many of their behind bars brothers (and sisters) they have exclusively hired.
Do you see where I’m going on our excursion?
LET’S WRAP THIS UP:It’s always easier to be ‘charitable’ with someone else’s money or livelihood. It’s hard to be as generous or magnanimous when it comes to the economic security of those who live in our own homes. If I may get personal for a moment, if more homes did THEIR jobs, the ‘excuse’ community would dry up overnight, and the prisons would close!
Want to see our country get back on the right track? Let’s start shucking the excuses. A criminal lifestyle is MEANT to have a downside, no matter how many movies and TV shows may glorify the opposite.
Remember the Bible basics: A good name is worth more than diamonds, rubies–or excuses. The rebellious must change; NOT the righteous.
MIKE RAMEY is a syndicated columnist, book reviewer and Minister who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. Emails always welcomed to firstname.lastname@example.org (C)2014 Barnstorm Communications