Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What Happened to Hard Work?

Hard work was the backbone of our American society and the reason why we led the way into the industrial revolution. It was why America was the most innovative country in the world and won two world wars. Well, hardworking Americans is becoming an oxymoron. Hard working Americans is a dying breed and it is one of the reasons we are falling behind other economic powers in the 21st century. Why is this happening?

For one thing our culture has changed. We have become a nation that is not only dependent on federal government entitlements, but expect the government to bail us out. Our personalities have become more narcissistic over the years that we fail to see the big picture and only see how legislation, laws, and events affect ourselves. In other words, we only care about how external events affect us and not how they affect others. We are the generation of me, myself, and I. If anyone needs any evidence of this behavior look no further than internet social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter where people talk about their every movement. Our grandparents would have never become this dependent on the federal government nor were they so egotistical.

Part of the reason for this evolving personality flaw is due to both poor parenting and education. Parents and schools reward all students equally. If you finish last in a contest or event, you are rewarded with a prize. This does not create an environment where kids are forced to work hard to get better and to excel at a trait or skill set. Our education system has taken music, art, physical education, recess, trade schools, wood shop, home economics, and other classes out of their curriculum. This not only fails to develop skills, it also fails to develop the right side of the brain. A fully developed right side of the brain is critical for reasoning and problem solving skills. This explains why well over half of all engineers in our country, who are leading the innovative technical digital revolution, are foreign born. Over 80% of present day high school and college graduates live at home. It is not uncommon for children to live at home into their thirties or forties. In the age of “helicopter parenting”, where parents hover over their children’s every move, it is no wonder that kids live at home for so long. Parents are simply not giving their children any responsibility and are not holding them accountable for their behavior.

Instead of working hard to get better, it has become much more convenient to cheat, lie, and be deceitful to earn promotions and accolades. For instance, sports athletes have turned to steroids or human growth hormones to get an unfair advantage over their competition. It has become so bad that just about every baseball hitting record needs an asterisk next to it. Mark McGuire’s single season record of 73 home runs and Barry Bonds career record of 755 home runs have all be aided by drugs. Olympic athletes and elite cyclist are routinely disqualified for using enhancement drugs. This attitude is not limited to sports, but this type of destructive behavior exists in the corporate world. Instead of fair play and working hard to earn promotions, employees routinely resort to brownnosing, backstabbing, and other forms of ethical violations to get ahead.

It is beneath most Americans to work hard labor jobs. Americans are afraid to roll up their sleeves and do hard work. They would much rather live off the wealth of others whether it is their parents or the taxpayers funding government handouts. It is one of the reasons why there are so many illegal aliens in the United States. Hard working Hispanics are willing to do a job that most Americans think is beneath their skill set. Over half of all millionaires in the United States did not earn this achievement, they inherited it.

The bottom line is that we are becoming a narcissistic, lazy, and quite frankly ignorant nation. And the result is that we are no longer the leading world economy. Yes, the mighty United States is in a downward spiral towards mediocrity.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)


  1. Hey there Patrick

    Do you suppose there’s any connection between the liberalization of this country and our decline as a nation?

    It’s is an unfortunate irony that it seems people must experience things like poverty, hunger and hopelessness in order to appreciate being able to escape these things thru hard work, ingenuity and perseverance. Parents who work hard and achieve success are usually thankful that their children will be spared some of the hardships they endured, only to find that without the hardships the child has no appreciation for the gift he’s been given. I think America, as a nation, is in a similar situation.

    1. The answer to your question is absolutely!

      I have a tough childhood but that motivated me more to get out of that kind of life. Not sure why there is no more of that and people are just willing to sign up for welfare and social security disability and live in poverty. I don't get it. I totally agree.