Culture

Hard Work Is The Engine of Industry and Opportunity

Expecting success without hard work is a bit like assuming you shall reap without sowing.  As Vince Lombardi once said, “The price of hard work is success.”

It’s been said a million times, perhaps in a million ways, but it continues to stand the test of time because it is true. Preparation and perspiration are what creates what the optimist calls “opportunity” or what the pessimist might refer to as “luck.” Plain and simple though, action and work returns benefit and result. Sloth returns little more than victimization and compound ingratitude. However, if you are willing to stay there in exchange for voting for people who will always promise you tomorrow, go ahead, be my guest. Truth of the matter is “free will” allows us to choose our own destiny no matter our circumstances.

Recent news stories regarding workers and wages has once again raised my ire. The first was a national story surrounding the controversial minimum wage and the unskilled workers who accept those jobs. Several groups and unions, in order to bring attention to their plight — if you can call it that — of a job and a paycheck, organized a “walk out” campaign to protest the $7.25 federal minimum wage and the industries that pay low entry level wages as is found in most fast food restaurants.

Another story, in Yahoo Finance, focused on three workers and their employers, comparing wages and benefits and the disparities between the three individuals. Fast food chain employees were — as you could imagine — anchored at the bottom earning only the federal minimum wage (unless their state had a higher minimum wage law.) Fast food restaurant Wendy’s was positioned at the bottom with part-time help and little or no benefits, while those at WalMart did a little better. But none could compare to the outstanding pay and benefits of Costco Warehouses, whose wages averaged over $20 an hour with full benefits.

In the first story the writer complained that so few low wage workers ever move up into upper management. Immediately upon reading this I got frustrated. Bam! Forehead meet keyboard! I analogized to myself, how unfortunate that all those who want to become President of the United States don’t have a chance, no matter how much they desire it. Is it because they lack the skill or temperament? Is it due to racism or sexism? What a shame, the lack of access to such a powerful position. There must be somebody to blame? Are we kidding ourselves? Does anyone in the liberal media employ logic and reason anymore? These kinds of ignorant statements might get a “yea!” from the uneducated, the low information voter, or the low wage earner, but they literally makes no rational sense. Of 310 million Americans, only one becomes President. And so it is with hundreds of patty flippers; there are only so many manager, supervisor and CEO positions available. Besides, doesn’t anyone think that perhaps these aren’t long term career oriented jobs?

Minimum wage jobs are stepping stones — the very first stepping stone — in an employment journey that leads to the building up of experience, responsibility, structure, productiveness, dedication, loyalty and improvement. It builds a resume of accomplishments to move upward into jobs of greater skill and greater knowledge and greater responsibility. For most, this occurs after college or trade school. Pizza delivery man is not a career.

The minimum wage is not, was not, intended and will never be a livable wage. It is an entry level wage for the least skilled among us. These jobs used to be filled by teens. Today the teens have been displaced by immigrants (many anti-America, chatting in a foreign tongue behind the counter) who believe they should be paid more, for no other reason than they cannot make ends meet.

It has been said that no one is better than the job they have, that each job is a step on the ladder of success of their own making — building to a new job and a new opportunity. As Steve Jobs famed founder of Apple Computers once said, “Opportunity looks a lot like hard work.”

Hard-Work2If you are not willing to work hard — harder than others — then you and you alone are limiting your opportunities in life. Telling people they are victims or that they are better than their status in life — that their circumstances are not of their own choosing or lack of hard work or lack of taking ownership and responsibility for decisions they’ve made — is to put the control of your life into the hands of others, or worse, the winds that shift the sand.

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade; don’t whine that you prefer the sweetness of oranges. Life is not fair. We are all created equal in the eyes of God, we are all endowed with life and liberty. We are, however, unequal in almost every other way — in our thoughts, motivations, desires, educations, wisdom, knowledge, education, abilities, choices, and treasures. The parade of life will never level that playing field. That is your job. Take care of yourself and you will be able to take care of others. Do neither and tell others they owe you and are responsible for taking care of the needy, and you become a parasite, not a person. When you fail to set the sail of your own ship and allow the wind and currents to determine your destination — you have only yourself to blame — the wind and the tides are doing their job — while you are not doing yours.

All jobs are the result of industry. All industry is the result of value. Businesses that offer a value in equal exchange for another value and survive and grow because of that positive free market experience create more jobs. Jobs, however, are a commodity that are the dominion of the owner(s) of the business who bore it, put up the money, took the risk and maintains its success. The profits are his reward and the jobs are his to give, not someone’s to claim. Jobs are a blessing, not a right. Benefits are a blessing, not a right. To blur the distinction between rights and blessings, responsibilities and obligations, can only have a detrimental effect upon the long term stability of liberty among a free people.

 

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


About the author

David Whitley

David is a deacon at his local church and a perpetual student of religion, politics and American history. Author, speaker, blogger, David lives in Southern California with his wife and their three children. You can follow him on Twitter @cogitarus or online at cogitarus.wordpress.com. He's available for speaking engagements upon request.

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