The Greatest Generation, those who survived The Great Depression and World War II, are now among our dwindling number of oldest senior citizens. When the going got tough, they got tougher and beat both monumental challenges. They didnt sit on their backside and whine for a government handout. They didnt Occupy Wall Street. They worked hard and accumulated their nest egg for retirement. We need to salute their work ethics.
There was an opinion column in the November 28 issue of the Dawson Community News entitled, Occupy Wall Street protesters have a point. It was written by David Love, a writer for the Progressive Media Project, a source of liberal commentary on domestic and international issues. The article was about the wide gap in wealth between seniors and the young emerging workers.
Love calls this widening inequality in America. He says it is harder to climb the economic ladder in America than in nearly any other country in the developed world. He goes on to state, younger Americans - with high unemployment and burgeoning student loans and mortgages - have it harder than their parents.
Love references a Pew study which found the wealth gap between the young and the old is the largest ever, with the average household headed by a senior having a net worth 47 times greater than a household headed by a person under 35.
This is the typical liberal rhetoric convincing the young that they deserve everything now without ever having to work for it. I was raised on a farm and was the first member of my family to graduate from college. There were no student loans available, so I picked North Georgia College because President Hoag told me that NGC could give me a four-year education cheaper than any other college in Georgia.
The money I had saved farming and working while attending NGC enabled me to graduate and enter the Army as a Second Lieutenant free from debt. By age 35, I was the father of three with a mortgage and very little wealth. Now as seniors, my wife Anne and I have children and grandchildren who received lots of financial support to attend colleges of their choice. Our material wealth, which still isnt much, is several times what it was when I was 35.
David Love forgets that as working Americans gets older, the empty nest allows them to save more for retirement.
David overlooks that many of the very wealthy Americans got their wealth through hard work during the past 35 years, e.g. Bill Gates and Microsoft, Steve Jobs and Apple, the founders of Home Depot, Walmart, Dell, etc., etc., etc. These people did not sit around when the job market was soft complaining that the federal government owed them room and board. They saw - and continue to see - a land filled with opportunity for those willing to work, and it is their wealth that keeps the American economic engine running.
So many items mentioned in the article go against the conservative grain that I wonder why it was published in a paper where the county population is rated as one of the most conservative in the state. It is said that 76 percent of the American people believe that our economic system favors a small group of rich, and 66 percent believe the wealth should be more evenly distributed. These are the kind of percentages one would expect when the President continues to preach that the lack of economic fairness keeps this from being the land of opportunity and that the wealth of the few should be redistributed. If you read the biographies of any of the wealthy people mentioned above, you will see that they believe that we are still the land of opportunity if one is willing to work.
While workers under 35 may have it harder than their parents did, they certainly do not live in a more difficult time than did their ancestors of the late 1800s and first half of the 20th Century. If you have doubts read U.S. history from 1850 through 1950 and think about those trying to recover after the Civil War and the Great Depression.
Interviews with the college students who were part of the Occupy Crowd (you supply the name) showed that many of them could not put together two grammatically correct sentences. If they represent entrepreneurs of tomorrow, heaven help the economy and the education system they represent.
My dad use to tell me that my rights end where someone elses nose begins. I was reminded of that by Ted Oglesby (The Gainesville Times, December 6). He wrote, When occupiers block public passageways, destroy property, commit crimes, endanger public health, and disobey police, their fist is at the publics nose. One can protest income inequality, but it wont change anything so long as we are a free enterprise society where entrepreneurs risk their money to create new ideas and jobs.
Let me know what you think about the Occupy movement. I can be reached at 689 N. Chestatee Street, Dahlonega, Georgia 30533; phone 706-864 6589, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Or contact Gerald Lewy, my Communications Director, at 706-344-7788. Hell know how to get your message to me. Remember, the secret of good government is a well-informed electorate.
State Rep. Amos Amerson represents House District 9, which includes a portion of Dawson County. He can be reached at 706-864-6589 or email@example.com.