The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

You want money? Get a job, kid.

As some of you may know, this is an election year. And we are going through the agony of political primaries. We all want that "white knight" to come galloping along that we can all rally around but I'm too skeptical to think it will ever happen. And, if one did, I would be skeptical about him/her too.

But this isn't about politics, it's about something that has come up during the seemingly endless debates and soundbytes. At some point, one of the candidates offered that teens in general have a high unemployment rate and that minority teens at in the worst position. He suggested that they be given menial jobs, such as janitorial, so they can gain some skills that would be useful when they start looking for a career. I am paraphrasing, of course. It was vilified as insensitive and demeaning.

Then I started thinking about it and looked back into my own employment past.

I was a paperboy, an usher, handyman, a bellboy, a busboy, and did more than a few odd jobs in between these. All before I turned 19 and enlisted in the Navy. In the Navy, I did a lot of janitorial work... it was part of the overall duties of any sailor's (non-officer) life. We cleaned, scrubbed, swabbed, scraped, chipped, sanded, painted, and just did whatever we were told to do. That was in addition to our normally assigned duties for whatever rating we had (I was a Sonarman).

I don't recall ever thinking any of it was demeaning. I thought it was how you got spending money. In my house, you worked for just about everything you got except Christmas or birthday presents. Our allowances (when we got them) were in return for doing assigned chores. Shirk the chores and you got no allowance.

Maybe I was used to it. When I was 5 years old, my father owned a bicycle shop. Great for a kid, right? My first bike was an old rusted frame that I had to sand and paint. Yes, at age 5. My father put on the parts needed; bottom bracket, crank and pedals, axles, coaster brake, wheels, ties, seat, tires, handlebars, etc. I don't recall now if it had fenders. All I recall was that it was green (I was partial to green) and never had training wheels... my father didn't believe in them though he would happily sell them to anyone who asked. By the time I was 9, I could (and did more than once) build a bicycle from (used) parts. Still can.

My father felt people didn't appreciate anything they didn't work for.

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