Count me among those who felt chastised at NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof's Sunday morning oped in which, liberal that he is, he made sure all of us knew that there's some truth beneath Romney's misguided statements about the 47 percent. Kristof documented an Appalachian horror: parents who deliberately keep their children from reading classes in order to hold on to government checks doled out to moms and dads who have children with intellectual disabilities.
I'm sure dependency creates stagnation--and even crime. I don't doubt that some people are determinedly lazy. I'm guessing there are such beings as welfare queens.
On the other hand, I know people who work 18 hours of every day and barely, if ever, sleep. I know lots of people who just plain love to work.
I'm a Calvinist, for pete's sake. We invented industry. Our stock in trade is hard work. It's half sinful for us to kick back. We take Alaskan cruises only when our knees go. If you believe Weber's famous thesis, we're the ones who bestowed capitalism to an indolent world. On top of that, I'm Dutch--good night, we made a hobby out of turning back the sea. Talk about hard work.
Still, I have some trouble measuring the truth in blanket generalizations about slackers and "gifts" and a culture of dependency. The town I lived in for most of the last forty years is now one-third Hispanic; when we came, there were none. A full 84% of Sioux County, most of them incredibly hard workers, voted Republican in the last election, even though no one I know has ever met, in this county, a lazy illegal immigrant.
No matter. Politics aside. This morning I'm thrilled. My son, who's been a graduate student for a long time, just nailed down a job in the area he's been studying. He's never been lazy, but he's been part-time for a lot of years. No more.
Don't count me among those who believe work is salvation, but then I am among those who would say you can't live well without a good job. But this morning I couldn't be happier for him and with him. He's got a job, a good one, a major league blessing.
That's reason enough for a week's worth of thanksgiving.