Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Minimum Rage

Make no mistake, I'm no fan of the current crop of Republican Presidential candidates. In fact, I find it hard to believe that the party of the wealthy, the successful, and one would assume, the intelligent, have such a hard time fielding someone worthy of the office.

The least of the evils, Jon Huntsman can barely crack 1% in the polls.  I suspect that number would be halved if more people were aware his inclination towards magic underwear.

Nevertheless, unlike many of my more liberal friends, I try to remain open-minded to the ideas placed on the table. Last week, Newt Gingrich put a discussion-worthy idea on that table. He brought up the topic of child labor laws and noted, quite correctly I might add, the lack of a work ethic among many of today's kids.

Oh Rich, you're not going to dip your toe in that scolding, politically-charged water are you?
No, I'm going to jump in, curled up like a 211 lbs. cannonball.

You see, I happen to believe in the power of work.

When I was 14 years old I got a paper route. When the money from one paper route couldn't support my yearning for ding dongs and ho-ho's, I went out and got a second paper route. When I was 16, I got a job working at the Spring Valley Jack in the Box. When I was 18, I went away to college, and when I wasn't attending classes (most the time) I was working, at dining halls, bars, restaurants, anyone willing to cut me a check.

It's been that way ever since. I literally can't remember a time when I wasn't working. Although some would argue that writing silly TV commercials and advertising is hardly work at all. Of course those same people have never sat in an ad agency status meeting. Or listened to a self important British Planner drone on about paradigm-changing brand core dynamics and their lasting impact on social media landscape architects.

Newt suggests we hire teens to unplug their iPods, lift up their saggy pants, and clean up our public schools. I'm not sure where the objection to this notion could possibly come from. Last year, my daughter attended Culver City High School and while there for a parent/teacher night I noticed the filthy conditions of the facility. Litter everywhere, broken lockers and a men's room that made the Port Authority in NY look like the Four Seasons.

After the schools get gussied up, there's plenty more work to be done at our parks, our beaches and our graffiti-stained highways.

Let's get these slackers into the labor pool, end the generational sense of entitlement, establish good work habits and increase the size of our tax base.

I could go on and on but I have to show my daughters how to use the hydraulic jack on my Lexus so they can get underneath the car and change the oil.

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