April 24, 2014

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America offers opportunity to the earnest PDF Print E-mail
Local Columnists - Bill Beard

I borrow this from a Wisconsin colleague, Byron McNutt, who believes people make the difference in America, which still offers the greatest opportunity for all.
It is interesting to note that today’s high school and college graduates may have, or may change jobs, fifteen times during their working careers. How times have changed in the last few generations when workers would stay with one employer for forty years.
It is good to know that being useful is the best job security you’ll ever have. It is also important to be flexible and be able to ad’world. There is honor in all work, no matter what kind of work it is. We all have God-given talents and we need to discover them. We need to be exposed to a variety of opportunities in order to find our calling.
About twelve years ago, English historian and author Paul Johnson said there are “10 Reasons for Identifying with America.” When young people go to him for advice, he always says to them, “If you’re ambitious, make your life in the USA.” Johnson offers his 10 reasons:
1. America is the freest country in the world. If you wish to unleash your individual energies and personality whether in business, the professions or the creative arts, the United States is where the fewest barriers are raised, by law or custom, to your success.
2. This freedom under the law is supported by a democratic system that has been working for more than 230 years. What the American people want, they eventually get. If you like people, if you believe in them, then America is the place for you.
3. Because democracy works, Americans believe in the laws they enact. The United States is a country in which respect for the law is deeply rooted and is closely related to moral feelings. This is particularly important for aspiring entrepreneurs. Americans may think regulations are bad but they are stifling in most European countries. Success in business is still compatible with a strict observance of the law and a profound morality.
4. The majority of successful entrepreneurs in the U.S. still return their riches to the society that made them possible. They take seriously Andrew Carnegie’s precept that it is morally acceptable to become rich, but: “The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced.” They devote their wealth to creating charities, endorsing universities and supporting the arts and public institutions of every description.
5. This leads to, and reflects, a general spirit of giving in America. To become an American is to join the most generous community on Earth. The giving is expressed both in public projects and in private charities. Americans are known for being generous. Its vast wealth-creating capacity and huge drive for enrichment is balanced by an equally determined will to share the fruits.
6. The American passion for making money is, if anything, exceeded by the passion for education. The U.S. education system is a work-in-progress. It is constantly being changed to fit the times. What impresses me is the sheer scale and variety, and its infinite capacity for change and improvement. There are no fewer than 3,600 colleges and universities in the U.S., of every conceivable description, so that the range of choice open to parents and their children is unrivaled anywhere else in the world.
7. In much of America, this education system is underpinned by a vigorous churchgoing tradition that is still alive and working. Most people, in my observation, feel more comfortable in a society in which God is acknowledged and worshiped by the majority. America is both modern and traditional when it comes to tolerance. This combination of old and new is unique and infinitely valuable.
8. The U.S. Constitution provides effective protection against the religious-minded imposing their views on others. Sometimes the courts, in interpreting such provisions, go too far. But in general, the system works to the satisfaction of a public that wants to consider itself part of a God-fearing society without suffering the dangers of fanatical fundamentalism.
9. America still embraces large numbers of people who seek citizenship for all the above reasons. These new arrivals keep the United States young, vigorous, inventive and different. They help to explain why the American economy remains so dynamic, leaving behind such short-lived miracle economies as the German and Japanese versions. America is a continuing miracle, reflecting the ambitions of all the world.
10. The U.S. welcomes immigrants who come to work hard and respect its laws, but it will not deal lightly with those whose intentions are hostile. A final reason for coming to the United States is security. America has the will and possesses the means to maintain the world’s most powerful and sophisticated armed forces, to protect itself internally and externally. It will use its power sparingly and in full compliance with United Nations resolutions and its own humanitarian traditions.
Now is an excellent time for the young of ability and promise to throw in their lot with this great bastion of civilization. The economy is strong. The national morale is good.
Johnson concludes: “To stay the leader, it needs to recruit the best and the bravest from all over the world, and they have good reason to come.”