I am in sort of a quandary here.  I can’t seem to figure out how people got to this place at this point in time, being Americans.

Those who do not know me, might not know that the majority of my upbringing is due to my Grandfather.  He would be around 105 this year, if memory serves.  I heard his funny stories, his tales of the depression, (he never called it great.  He saw nothing great about it).

Like many Americans his job was in danger along with many of his co-workers.  Now they could have all been laid off, as workers are today.  But many companies were doing something very different.  Many workers were simply shifted to part-time work.  As many days as needed to shift the need for labor among the number of workers that were employed.

Now don’t get me wrong, Pop did not make enough in this position to maintain his house and family.  So what did he do?  Anything that came along.  He swept the floor of a bar down the street every Sunday morning to clean up the sawdust and clean the spittoons for basically a couple of beers and a sandwich.

He stocked shelves in a store another day of the week.  Basically he worked 7 days a week anywhere that would pay him doing whatever, in order to keep his small family fed.  Today, we have taxpayers to help out with that.  So is this is what has helped cause some of the problems we have today?

The employer was trying to help his employees by giving them at least some work.  A little food on the table, the chance to hold on.  This was a charity, not something the Government told anyone they had to do.  It was simply the generosity of those who still had money to help those they valued, because they were employees.  They did the work, the employer gathered the gain and were thankful for it.

And this is where my confusion lays.  Is it the Baby Boomers that have lost that loyalty to the worker or the worker that has lost the loyalty to the employer that leads to mass layoffs, instead of trying to just cut back on hours until things improve?  Is it that Boomers just have not followed the teaching of their parents and worked their life according to their earnings?  Or is it that their parents haven’t passed on the responsibility to both employer and employee, that each needs the other?  Has it become “One for all, All for one, and I’ll take two for myself?”

Where did things change?  The recent trend seems to be if you work for a company for more than 5 years, means there must be something wrong with you.  Why haven’t you looked for a better job before this?  You must be some sort of slacker since you stayed so long with so few raises.  There are many such negative thoughts about workers.  The same in a sort is true in the Military.

I was a buck sergeant in my second hitch in the Army.  But they have this program they call up or out.  If you don’t attain a certain rank by a certain time in service, you are refused re-enlistment.  I happen to like being a buck sergeant and doing patrol duty as an MP.  A promotion would take me off the road and patrol duty and sit me behind a desk in most duty assignments.  That is just me.  But some people actually like what they do as long as they are allowed to do their job and receive what they consider a fair compensation for it.  That was me in the Army.

Growing up I heard many of my elders were proud of the fact that they worked for the “Mill” for 30 years.  They were proud of the fact they worked for Philco for 25 years but were devastated that the plant was closed and only their small retirement  was left to them.  But they went on, not crying and whining begging the Government for things.

What happened to those people of YESTERDAY?


“Rebellion to Tyranny is Obedience to God”

8 Responses to “Yesterday…”

  1. capmotion Says:

    Of course, one of the problems in this debate is that the sorts of people who gravitate to this and other right-thinking blogs are not the problem; they are part of the enlightened choir. But how does one get the word out to others; how do we inculcate modern folk with the values which animated our founding fathers to evict the king and to set up a government of the people which was to celebrate liberty, [which considered economic liberty among that which is fundamental], keep power in check by specific enumerations, and which was to foster individuality based on individual worth and productivity? Things that are obvious to us [and to the Framers] seem foreign to others in our midst; what’s to do?
    It would seem to me if education was not working, then education is not being used in the manner in which it is intended. In other words the Founders Principles are not being taught. It would also seem to me that parents are far too easy on children, though honestly they are under great pressure from government and society, and make their life far too easy.

    Think I will tackle the nanny state next, which also plays a large part of allowing irresponsible people to remain viable in a society.


  2. Salvatore Says:

    I just dont know what happened,
    people want everything handed to them with out working for it,
    thats the problem,
    Cap got it right, there is far more “gimmie” than “let me”
    because the American worker got lazy,
    not all of them, but enough of them,
    I work hard, because no one will run my business like myself,
    but when I worked for other people, I worked hard so my employer could make more, so he could pay me more,
    but I didnt have to ask for more.
    Sal, it’s people like you that keep this thing running as well as it does. Too bad the Government is so intent on taking yours to give it to someone else.


  3. capmotion Says:

    Our system would still work to protect against voter invasion of our pocketbooks if the supreme court restored its review over economic liberty interests. When they concocted a distinction between economic and “fundamental” liberties to make Roosevelt’s predatory practices “lawful,” they set the stage for that majoritarian invasion of our wallets. Of course, the Framers recognized no distinction between economic liberties and others, because one’s property is the fruit of his essence the same as are his thoughts, soul, speech, etc., and is as deserving of protection against majoritarian tyranny as is anything else associated with the person. But until people devote themselves to study of what we are supposed to be about, we never will become such.
    Jefferson couldn’t have explained it better.


  4. capmotion Says:

    Your insights are, as always, second to none. There is a dangerous degeneration in our work ethic in this country; we are no longer of the fiber which enabled us the evict the King and to establish an economic powerhouse that eclipsed the world. There is far more “gimme” than “let me,” and it could be our undoing.
    I forget who, but it was said that a system such as ours only works until the voter figures out that they can vote for what’s in OUR wallet. They have figured it out.


  5. Gini Says:

    Chas…The government may not be the best “model” to use, I think? They fail at everything they do, most generally, hum? Depending on who is “in charge”, the “government” has been known to send our soldiers into battle WITHOUT BULLETS, after all…so their success at anything, is wanting, for sure!!!
    A great piece Chas, as always.
    I didn’t say they were the best model to use, but they do try and present themselves as such.

    Actually since the have a strangle hold on the Unions, which I don’t like Unions, but they have deprived them of any contract power. So all employees are at the mercy of the Congress, as far as pay and benefits.


  6. Gini Says:

    I think the ethic was handed on to the children. It was the companies that dropped the ball, so to speak. Around the table, hubby says, “Bill” got pink slipped today, after thirty years, can you believe it? There was a small conversation, and comments of sympathy, and the children took it all in, as they sat there and ate their dinner. When they got old enough to enter the work force, their loyalty was not to a company that could and probably would, do the exact same thing to them, so it became the ethic of, I will come and do the work. You pay me for that work, and then I am outahere! You don’t get my life’s blood, because I already know for a fact, you will “pink slip” me without notice or concern…I understand, so you do not have my loyalty. You may purchase my talent and my time…my loyalty I reserve for someone or thing, more worthy, hum? Corp America has wanted to move to the contract worker for as long as I can remember…and they are going that way very very fast…no overhead, no compensation, no retirement…NO LOYALTY.
    They are following the lead of the Government, who is pushing out the blue collar people as fast as they can. The downside to the contractor is, at least where I work, they don’t send them home when they don’t have work for them, which is part of what supposedly saves the Government money.


  7. Liz K Says:

    Chas, this is some of your best writing. You have successfully used personal experience to pinpoint a major shift in thinking in our country. This change has developed so gradually, that it has been overlooked and just accepted instead. We have gone from measuring success by a job well done to using money, fame, or titles. As an optimist, I would love to believe that our American spirit and desire for liberty will halt this run-away train.
    I am sure Jefferson would agree with you. I do not, however, have his optimistic outlook on the human condition. I find that humans tend to be lazy by and large. And once it becomes easy, the hard work will be passed off.


  8. Sterling Says:

    Good questions, chas. I fear that we have been lulled by our government into thinking that our government is our provider. If we succeed, we pay the government. If we fail, the government will be there to help us. It is my humble opinion that this mentality is the demise of our freedom.
    We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.
    Thomas Jefferson
    Perhaps it is only the majority of participants that are so inclined? Maybe the majority are too self-involved and don’t think they matter?


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