Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th of July

Another birthday for America, and we keep moving onward, just not upward anymore. Unfortunately my own patriotism and love for this country may have peaked. I would hate to think that I was a fair weather friend or a good time charly here because I am not. Times supposedly had been good and I made some lifestyle gains, but by no means did I get a big slice of American pie in the last little boom years around here.

Yeah, I worked every day and had my business get exposure and experience, so that was great. But all around me I saw my industry get destroyed by a wave of illegal aliens that our government thought were more important to our economy than home grown, grass roots, American workers moving up and starting their own businesses. I feel that the Government wanted to go gangbusters and generate capital for the War (which I feel did need to be fought and won) and created an uneven playing field benefitting the players who were willing to cheat and lie. The Construction Industry has been completely destroyed and now entry level kids without college degrees cannot raise a family on the wages available to less skilled workers. Home building used to be a craft where skill and dedication and pride in a job well done were all rewarded with a decent living. Now we have mud spreaders, nail pounders, dirt rakers and ditch diggers, instead of true craftsmen. There was a housing boom that got fed by outpacing the demand with more product, and the very workers that were flooding our area became part of the need for even more housing. The house of cards got stacked so high and the greed of those making all the money so great that before anyone could say whoa! it all crashed down. Will all the illegal aliens go back south? Or back to the agriculture industry where the need was not even being met? When they all moved into the more lucrative field of construction, and lower skilled services. Now that the labor markets are tightening up and American kids are having to step off their high horse of easy work and easy pay, will the pressure be to keep all these illegal aliens where they are, or move them up the food chain and create an incentive for even more entry level workers/immigrants with disposable backs?

I think I know which way our new President will go on this one, and neither Barack Obama or John McCain will protect me and my little business from the sharks out there. And their desire to pander to this 'new' voting block that will eventually outbreed US right into a 3rd world country like the ones they(migrant workers) are all trying to escape. I can even agree with Barack and Michelle Obama on the part about the bar getting raised when a person achieves a certain level. Because I worked hard and earned a contractors license and then the government did nothing to protect our borders and now my license is worthless because I am unwilling to hire illegal workers in order to compete with all the contractors out there who do just that. No longer can I keep up and do work for half the rate that it takes to run a business above board and pay all the taxes, fees and insurances necessary to avoid being put out of business anyway. Now I must go back and become someones employee and punch a clock? Or cheat and Lie? I hope our politicians see what they have done. I know it would be different to the politicians and the news reporters and the talk show hosts if their livelihoods were being destroyed the way that mine has.
I guess it is just time to move on?

On top of all that our elected "rulers" can do nothing about the energy issues that will cripple this country and drive even more people into poverty. We have enough resources to affect world markets and at the very least retain some wealth within our own country. But politicians beholden to special interests, like environmentalists with a socialist agenda they both covet, will try to manipulate the people into whichever industry is paying them off. I hope the American people think it all over when they vote in November about who is really trying to move US forward and who is trying to move US where they want US to go.

Well, I still love this country, but I feel there are forces out there that will eventually strip US of all that we once held to be why we really did love our country. The rule of Law and Order is arbitrary, when making a buck is more important than doing the right thing, we will reap what we have sown, and pay a higher price than anyone could ever imagine. I am so thoroughly disappointed in where our Country is headed I would think of leaving, but we are still the last best hope of true freedom in the world.

So where does that leave US? And where does that leave me?


gregcalac said...


I don't want to sound like I'm condemning you for your opinions, because I'm not. But, your outlook is rather doom and gloom, don't you think?

I believe one of the worst things any of us can do is push responsibility for our situation off on someone else. While I will agree with you that illegals are part of the problem we have in construction, they are by no means the biggest problem. Our own ability to tough-it-out during tough times, and still add value for our customers is our greatest challenge.

When I started my plastering business in 1979 I had a choice to either go fast (because I was 25 and had not yet torn-up my body) or go quality. You know which way I chose, but it was the most difficult path to take since the pay was very low while trying to maintain my ideal.

I struggled to make my house payment. My wife didn't have a regular check that she could count on for years. I nearly gave up so many times I quit counting. But I didn't give up and I don't think you should either.

There is nothing in this world that compares with success to make you feel great! But, that isn't always a good indicator that you're doing the "right" thing, either.

Stick with what is right and you will find that most people will come to appreciate your efforts.

Stick with what is right and YOU will appreciate your efforts.

Once a while back Dan and I were frustrated about something to do with an ungrateful customer and Dan posed the rhetorical question: "why can't we just do what the 'hacks' do"? He meant, why can't we cut all the corners and do the things that seem to make our job easier rather than take the time to do the job right. My immediate answer was , "because we know the difference"!

You also know the difference between good work and OK work. Anyone can do OK work, but it takes good resolve, good training, personal motivation, and mental toughness to keep from selling yourself out to the quick buck.

We all want success, both personal and financial, but it does not come at an easy price.

You know the difference between good work and OK work as well, and I would hope you can keep your nose down and never give up on what you know is right.

There's no guarantee that you'll be financially successful even if you follow this path, but it will mean you can step back and tell yourself you did your best every day!

Anonymous said...

America has/is being whored out to the world, and what a shame it is. Every political hack ought to be tar and feathered and run out of the country on the back of the next p.o.s. headed south.

gregcalac said...

Anonymous, Will you please repeat that in English!

JohnnyT. said...

Hi Greg thanks for the encouragement, it was a down day, in a down week, in a down month, so I let it get the best of me. You are right and I know that even as I rail against the world, trying to vent a little. Other troubles in my life have soured me and I know there really is no choice but to keep moving onward and do the very best that I can do. Sometimes the frustration becomes too much and venting here helps me see reality. Sometimes i look back and think, wow, I really thought that way? Sometimes it seems quite brilliant and other times woefully ignorant. Thanks for reading! I will try to pick up the level of writing knowing my readership has doubled, jk. I appreciate the advice. I guess I know that and I just have to make it happen. Nothing good is easy, right?