Work is a wonderful thing

What would Mark Twain think of a society that devalues work?
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The second book of three projected volumes of Mark Twain’s autobiography was published October 5, 2013. In his characteristic blend of humor and reprove, Twain wrote, “Any man who is satisfied to be fed by another man rather than by the honest sweat of his own brow should be shot.” Twain recollects, without exception, those he helped did not appreciate his help, never paid back money loaned, and did not change their debased behavior.

If Mark Twain were alive today, he’d be horror-struck to learn the experiences he held in contempt have become a condoned way of life in America called the Entitlement Mentality. It is a dangerous addictive mindset, in which people think they are owed a living from people who actually work to feed their family, just because they exist. People who won’t spend an ounce of initiative to take care of themselves, will exert hours of effort and creativity to get the most out of the system for doing the least.

The epitome of today’s entitlement culture is exemplified by Rachel Canning, an 18 year old New Jersey teen, who left home because ‘she didn’t want to abide by reasonable house rules, such as being respectful, keeping a curfew, and doing some chores,’ said her father. She then sued her parents to force them to pay her private high school tuition, future college costs, and financial support of $654.00 per week. This is just one example of what the entitlement mentality encourages and seeks to weaken: the integrity of traditional family structure in America.

Is work worth it?

What would Mark Twain think of a society that devalues work?

Mark Twain, detail from a photo by Mathew Brady, February 7, 1871. From the Library of Congress.

Policies of this administration have made work not worth it. Obamacare subsidies, cost assistance available only through government exchanges that lower monthly premiums or reduce out-of-pocket cost for things like copays and deductibles, are disincentives to work because if one earns more income, they lose their subsidy, increasing their cost of healthcare. Vice-President Biden says working women can quit their jobs and stay home thanks to Obamacare: “How many of you are single women with children in a dead-end job? You’re there because of your health insurance. You rather have the opportunity to spend the next couple of years with your child. . . .” That means other people who are working and away from their families are working so other people who are not working have the luxury to stay home with their families. This is an altered reality, i.e., an idealized fictional image sold as reforming deficiencies of our existing society to simultaneously trample fundamental individual liberties.

Obama and Progressives are masters at manipulating people for their own political gain. They are expert propagandists: If you don’t have something, it’s because a rich person somewhere has what you should have. Now at Obama’s direction, government is stepping in to “level the playing field.”

Things are never what they seem. Progressives camouflage entitlements as benevolence. They cloak themselves as freedom. In reality, Progressives have created a massive welfare state through which secure an eternal voter block to gain and retain power and control.

Redefining the American Dream

Obama and Democrats have redefined the American Dream. They see it as a collective enterprise, where all people are one, and government is sovereign. White House spokesman, Jay Carney said, “the health care law will allow people to choose to work less . . . . Americans would no longer be trapped in a job just to provide coverage . . . and would have opportunity to pursue their dreams.” Entitlements are harmful repugnant enticements that kill the ladder of opportunity and run counter our nation’s values of work, family and opportunity. When people live off earnings of others, it destroys a person’s will to work and sense of self-worth. They become satisfied with scrapes from the government. And it robs others of their hard-earned money. We need work, the family unit, and opportunity to lead happy productive lives.

If we could bring back Mark Twain, he’d have something to say to those who think government, aka the American taxpayer, should take care of them. There was a time when what you had meant less than how you got it. One may drive a 20 year old car, have a flip phone, and shop at a thrift stores, but it’s paid for. And if one genuinely came on hard times, charity was sought for help, not government. A time when everything was right about working for what you had. And when those that could work, did.

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