No, I’m not about to burst into ABBA, albeit tempting…

My friend and I had an interesting conversation today about the “millenium generation.”  There was a young person we were working with who was being paid to work, but when actually given tasks to do, was pretty put out about having to actually work.  He apparently thought he was being paid to sit and talk to people, or to work when he chose to do so.  Not only did he get upset about the task given to him, he insinuated that he would probably quit if he wasn’t treated better.

The sad thing is, this isn’t really that rare.  People are getting used to things being handed to them.  I don’t want to label or generalize, because I don’t think this mentality is restricted to the millenium generation.

I heard someone on the radio this morning complaining about the accusation that Americans today are living beyond their means.  He said that the problem isn’t that Americans are living beyond their means but that they aren’t given the means to live the way they want.

Seriously?

People are saying we’re entering the next “Great Depression.”  Tell me that when you don’t see twelve year-old with iPods in their ears or everyone carrying around laptops.  Most of us live pretty privileged lives in America, and while gas prices are high and the price of milk is soaring, I don’t think we’re entering the next Great Depression.  If we are, we could probably avoid it by selling off our Bluetooth or canceling our satellite or DirectTV first.

We live in a very privileged country that is raising children to think they can be handed everything without struggle or suffering.  I don’t want to point fingers, because I certainly didn’t grow up earning everything by the sweat of my brow.  But I did have an allowance and chores and limited access to the internet, television, etc.  I was taught that if I wanted anything in life, I was going to have work for it and deserve it.

When faced with two plans — one that gives everything to everyone except those mean rich people and one that rewards those who work and struggle… which one is America going to choose?  Why the heck would we vote for someone who doesn’t just give us things, like free healthcare?  Why not write checks to us regardless of if we even pay taxes?

I’m not saying that there’s a perfect plan out there right now.  Nor am I saying that everyone on welfare is lazy and refuses to work.  There are poor people out there who need our help.  But is the help they need just welfare checks?  I don’t think so.  Nor do I think everyone receiving welfare checks need help.  I have lived in a community where the majority of people on welfare were using those checks to buy drugs and alcohol, and the people who truly needed help were getting nothing.

It is interesting to think… in this “gimme generation,” the rhetoric that gives, gives, gives sounds awfully tempting.

But where does the money that we’re giving, giving, giving come from?  I heard that a plumber asked Senator Obama why he should be taxed heavily just because his business is successful.  Senator Obama said he just wanted to spread the wealth around.  Sure, spread the wealth.  At the expense of someone who has worked hard to establish a business?  A local plumber?  Isn’t local business what keeps America growing?  Now we’ll punish successful small businesses by taking away what they’ve made and giving it to someone else?

Is this really fair?

Or is it socialism?

What happened to the American Dream?

(Update: I didn’t watch much of the debate, partly because I’m sick of it all and partly because I get too agitated now!  But I heard that this above-mentioned plumber got some air time!  Nice!)

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