SAN DIEGO, November 2, 2011— “I do not know anyone who has gotten to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but it will get you pretty near.” — Margaret Thatcher
Historically, the United States has outlasted competing nations with her embrace of diligence, innovation, and competition.
Americans were held to a higher standard whilst ascending society’s ranks and reaching their highest potential. Given the endless opportunities, boundless freedoms, and innumerable resources available, individuals put their minds to work in order to create products and services that would add to the nation’s indomitable spirit.
Americans and naturalized citizens alike knew that hard work and self-reliance wrought “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Without these ideals, the Empire State Building, Golden Gate Bridge, and Hoover Dam, to name a few, would not be here today. Additionally, major companies and similar industries would not have come to fruition.
As of late, many young people have abandoned these tenets of hard work and self-reliance in exchange for handouts and instant gratification.
The following should be asked: Do young people still value hard work and self-reliance, as set forth by their predecessors?
Mostly pointedly, the rise of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement has emboldened disillusioned college students and graduates to demand unusual solutions to debt repayment and a poor job market.
While big governmental policies and crony capitalism wrought under both Democrats and Republicans are largely to blame for these economic failures, many young people are quick to blame capitalism.
Instead of associating with Marxists, socialists, anti-Semites, leftist college professors, sex offenders, hippies, and similar bad influences at these “Occupy Wall Street” events, these disaffected individuals should look elsewhere for solutions.
It is undeniable that this movement harbors sentiments that discourage, rather than encourage, young people from becoming productive members of society.
Three of the thirteen proposed demands confirm that.
Demands one, three, and four are enumerated below:
Demand one: Restoration of the living wage. This demand can only be met by ending “Freetrade” by re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods entering the American market to level the playing field for domestic family farming and domestic manufacturing as most nations that are dumping cheap products onto the American market have radical wage and environmental regulation advantages. Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr.
Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.
Demand four: Free college education.
With respect to the living wage: If these demands were implemented, employed and unemployed individuals would be paid twenty dollars per hour. This policy would teach young people to expect a wage because they demand it, not because they deserve it. In order to be paid, one must work hard enough and fulfill duties required of them in order to earn a higher wage. Simply demanding one and getting it would legitimize laziness.
What employer would reward someone who does not work or someone who underperforms?
With respect to free college education: Given that many states are broke and tuition costs have risen to exorbitant heights, granting free college education to all is impractical and equally unsustainable. Many college students, myself included, worked hard to get into renowned universities.
We labored over tests like the SAT, ACT, and Advanced Placement (AP) exams. Moreover, those of us that went to more prestigious schools had to distinguish ourselves from competitors with resumes marked by good grades, extracurricular activities, and awards.
Why should an underperforming student get the same access to college as someone who worked hard to get there?
The reality behind the “Occupy Wall Street” movement is grim. If the movement got its way, socialism would be implemented tomorrow given its thirteen demands.
Our capitalist society ensures equality of opportunity for all, not equality of outcome for all. Not everyone will go to college. Not everyone will make millions of dollars. Not everyone will become the President of the United States.
Yet, that does not mean one cannot be successful.
There are many trades, industries, companies, and similar outlets that equip Americans with tools for success. One can be a chef, plumber, entrepreneur, designer, political pundit, writer, nurse, small businessowner, et cetera. Under capitalism, the possibilities are endless!
Young Americans can realize their individual potential by placing confidence in capitalism and self-reliance, not socialism and government handouts. Until they start paying taxes and move out of their parents’ homes, they will be caught in a lie and hopeless in their pursuits.
Gabriella Hoffman is a senior at UC-San Diego who balances life as a student with life as a conservative activist. She’s majoring in Political Science and minoring in History. She serves as the Executive Assistant on The Rick Amato Show, and produces the “Top Young Con of the Week” segment each Monday.
Gabriella maintains her own blog at www.thegabriellahoffman.com. She is a regular contributor and staff member of UC-San Diego’s conservative paper, The California Review. She also serves as the Director of College outreach for Eagle Forum of San Diego.
You can read Gabriella’s Communities column at “Being Young, Conservative and Spicy.”
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