America is sick, and the illness is unemployment

Published 11:16pm Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It’s a cliché that all of us have heard many, many times. “If you’ve got your health, you’ve got everything.” I’m not so sure.
Don’t go thinking I am diminishing the value of good health. I have experienced good health in my life and it has taken only a small dose of questionable health to make me appreciate that blessing even more.
Still, even if you have your health, you need a job.
In medical circles, hypertension is known as the silent killer.
As America struggles in so many ways, the killer might be that we are not creating enough good jobs for our population. Call me melodramatic, but America is sick, possibly dying. The killer is unemployment.
As a pastor, I can preach the good news of God and I can believe it with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I do, but there is one thing that is needed that I cannot do. That is give people a job and, despite the superiority of the good news message of God, people need jobs.
I was sitting in a doctor’s office in Tallahassee last week talking to a nice couple from Monticello. They were a little older and successfully retired. Yet, their main worry was not that they would out-live their pensions, but their grandsons, both graduates from a university, could not find jobs.
The next day I was in the grocery store for a loaf of bread. A nice young man was ahead of me and was having to juggle his grocery basket and put some things back. The EBT card that he was using could not absorb all the items he had chosen.
I may be wrong, but the young man was attractive, healthy-looking, but not happy-looking. I wondered why such a fine looking man needed an EBT card. Then it hit me. He had no job and it showed in his demeanor.
There was a time when jobs were plentiful. We had mills of all kinds and tens of thousands of factories making all sorts of products. Those businesses created millions of jobs, in and of themselves, while creating millions of other jobs in supporting industries and service businesses.
We made our uniforms and grew our food and transported them all on our growing networks of paved roads. We supported our schools and hospitals and restaurants with all the money that we made in our jobs. We had a good and healthy economy and nation. Now we’re sick and dying and the illness of unemployment is sapping our strength.
There is plenty of lip service that is given to the need for more jobs, but actions speak louder than words.
I think it is time for us to be clear with our governmental leaders. We want jobs and if you want to work towards that end, good. If you don’t, you can join the ranks of the unemployed back home.
America is still blessed from sea to shining sea with more resources and better, more fertile land than most other countries.
If there is any work ethic left in this country, let’s see it and let that work ethic start in Washington. Stop arguing and start fixing.

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