Greedy Americans hurt our nation, honest Americans lift it up
By Joe Olvera ©, 2011
“…I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the youth, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it – and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. And so, my fellow American: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”
ANALYSIS: These immortal words by one of our greatest presidents – John Fitzgerald Kennedy – rang loud, clear, and true on that cold day, January 20, 1961 – when he was inaugurated as our 35th President; a young man, a visionary, who saw America as the cradle of a future civilization that would welcome all people from around the world, a people who would make this nation even greater. But, have Kennedy’s words resonated truly? Have we forgotten his immortal words – words that tried to spur all Americans into becoming a nation of doers, a nation of accomplished people who would become the envy of the entire world? Well, yes and no.
Perhaps we have become a nation of whiners, a nation of people who want Uncle Sam to foot the bill for our survival, instead of the people working to insure Uncle Sam’s survival. And, are we truly deserving of such largesse? Are we deserving of such generosity, when people in other parts of the world do not have the resources America does? That’s what JFK meant when he said that he didn’t believe that any of us would change places with any other people or any other generation. Political parties, of course, differ on just how generous our government should be. The Democrats want for people to have more food stamps, more welfare, more health care. The Republicans, on the other hand, say no! Enough is enough, they say. Make people work for it, they insist. Many believe that the government should not be saddled with providing everything for everyone. And so, that’s where the political parties differ. That’s where they separate and where they think differently.
To put things in perspective, however, we’ve all heard the horror stories about how some Americans abuse the system, how some Americans – of all ethnicities, of all economic levels, of all ages – cheat on their income taxes. We’ve all heard about welfare mothers who have baby after baby – yes, because they love them, but also because it means a larger check from the government at the beginning of the month. We hear stories about how some dishonest people who receive food stamps, for example, prefer that amenity to working, how some sell their food stamps to buy booze, or cigarettes, or any number of items not covered by the stamps that are only good for buying food.
We’ve all read and may even know some politicians who sell themselves and their votes to the highest bidder, because, don’t you know, they just aren’t paid enough by the government for whatever it is that they do. These scofflaws want more, more, and everlasting more. When they get caught, with their hand in the cookie jar, they cry foul because they got caught. Even in our city of El Paso, we have those dishonest ones who paint a tainted cloud over the honest ones, and, yes, there are honest politicos. It’s amazing, but, some El Pasoans running for office can never be elected because they are too honest, or so the mantra goes.
And, this doesn’t apply only to politicians or to poor people, or to everyday Americans – it applies to the rich too, who earn millions, but don’t want to be taxed because it is their millions that help to provide jobs, or so they believe. There are those who become exceedingly rich with their Ponzi schemes – where one billion dollars might not be enough, they want more. And, yet, how much is enough? What do they need all that money for? Are they going to build hospitals, clinics, and are they going to provide for those who don’t have? No, they want to keep it for themselves and their future generations. What about doctors who mooch off the government by using Medicare and other health systems as piggy banks by providing irrelevant expensive, and unnecessary care simply to provide bills for more…more…more?
Yes, of course, there are honest Americans – those who are truly deserving of assistance from our government; there are the unemployed who receive justly deserved money because they lost a job. But, what about those who milk that system for all it’s worth. The honest ones look for legitimate work and fall off the unemployment rolls when, finally, they land a job. But, what about those who are only too happy to abuse that privilege – those who take two-year sabbaticals of sorts, who take nice, long vacations, as long as the checks keep coming in?
Is it any wonder that people from all over the world take huge risks to come to America? They’ve heard about the nation’s generosity. They want in on what’s available. America the beautiful? Yes, then, now, and always. Fortunately, the scofflaws, the dishonest ones are eventually caught and punished for their greed. Greedy Americans? Yes, some. But, thank God that those are in the minority, otherwise our nation could not survive. Be honest, whoever you are. It behooves all of us to do our part. Let’s work hard to keep our America the greatest nation on earth – bar none.