Recently I reflected on my life and the promise of my youth. I remembered the eagerness with which I set out to find my place, my love and, yes, even my fortune. I deeply believed it was my great fortune to have been born in the “Land of the Free” into a caring and loving family. I was born in the United States of America!
My mother and father were devoted to their kids. By the time I was school age they had convinced me that, given enough work and effort on my part, no goal was unreasonable. They told me, as I gained education and experience and applied these learnings to my life, I would find opportunities for which I was qualified. By diligently preparing and using the life skills to compete, one would progress toward the goal of their dreams. Honesty, integrity, life-long learning and the protections of America would lead to satisfaction in life. Happiness, the true goal of life!
America, they stressed, was the best place on earth to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However, I was admonished, slackers were also free to fail. This freedom, they said, was the “American Dream.”
Reflecting on the America I see outside my window, I fear Mom and Dad wouldn’t recognize it today. Schools produce students, many that are functionally illiterates. Scholarships are generally granted based on “need” rather than on accomplishment or excellence. The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores are fudged by adding points to bring average scores to equivalence with results of forty years ago. But, most importantly, my sense is that the young don’t believe in excellence, honesty, integrity and life long learning to the extent once commonly found.
Today those that excel are punished. Their ideas, inventions and achievements, which benefit all with worthwhile fuels, drugs, products and services are threatened with so-called “excess profits taxes.” Meanwhile, we all expect to receive “wages” for the work we do, mostly for those that excel.
We are leaning, more and more, toward the concept that the geniuses and business owners which employ us deserve nothing for risking their ideas and treasure to create and maintain our jobs. Whereas, we praise a government, which taxes them, and us, to create failed and mismanaged programs to serve the rapidly expanding sector of government-dependent voters. A group that can assure its survival, at a minimal level, voting for politicians that “give” them their sustenance.
Under the emerging “American Scheme” the concepts of “right and wrong” being a God defined absolute is rapidly being replaced with a compromise which results in an indecisive “gray.” Where once we believed that being a criminal, any kind of criminal, was bad, now we assert that some degree of criminality or cheating is acceptable. “Gray” or “middle of the road” is the byword.
Think of this, no matter how we tinker with words, truth is always true, right is always right and any degree of wrong is, and always will be wrong. If we penalize our most creative, capable people and convince our young not to strive for knowledge and excellence they will stop creating. Our way of life, our economy, our very jobs will be destroyed by our rapidly emerging “middle of the road” socialistic, “American Scheme.”