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Web letter by Glenn Shelburne: Values of yesteryear largely undermined today

When I was growing up, my parents were considered lower middle class. My father worked at GE and my mother took care of the household and seven rug rats. I don’t know who had it worse.

They complained about government spending then and used it as an example not to go into debt that you cannot work to get yourself out of, but they paid all their taxes. In other words, have hireable work skills so that you will be able to feed the family. Don’t buy something just because it’s the season or the neighbors have it. Sleep on all things over two days’ wages.

I hear the complaint that school vouchers are costing this or that. What about the many who paid a large sum of local taxes over the years to see it squandered on more than education like large football stadiums, etc., yet sent their children to a Catholic or Lutheran school, not because they had the money but because that school educated them with the skills to not be a burden on society.

So cry foul for the voucher. The meek (who shall inherit the earth) then should cry “taxation without representation.” We now have more entitlement programs than we have money for. The birth rate is lower so we have the baby boomers. Kids get pregnant. So we provide abortions or schooling for unwed mothers because this could be a burden on society. We are not allowed to teach morals in the classroom, but spend bucks to teach the bully. It’s no wonder we have lost individuals in our society.

The Ford Model T had a thermostat that was fitted on the vehicle and was set at 180 degrees. This may have not been the best temperature to run the engine, but Henry Ford did not like the Rockefellers who owned Standard Oil (the largest near-monopoly of the time). Corn whiskey (today’s ethanol) can be separated pure enough at 178 degrees. Yes, the Model T was the first flex-fuel vehicle. I don’t think that Ford disrupted the oil market, but he did manage to make them think about how you treat the customer.

The first sustaining union formed was in a Rockefeller company. Granted, it did go on to the auto industry.

The financial cliff is upon us because we let this happen, from the local level with our big schools and their big stadiums, big bands, etc. Yet we all loved the movie “Hoosiers” of this little high school, Milan Center, that could hardly afford to put jerseys on the team, winning state. Why? Because it was values and moral work ethic taught at the school. I am not against large schools if they put their money to good education first.

The nation should consider before the next national election just what society we are creating. We spend big bucks to get a job that is a tenth of what most CEOs in large companies take home. Not to say the president should earn more, but it is just how lopsided we are.

By the way, the best thing that happened at Christmastime when I was young was going to the GE Christmas party We watched a great show with magic, music, some moral faith-based lesson and received a big bag filled with fruit, a candy (a Bun Bar) and some other local company’s gift. The company cared about its “working family.” So complain if you will, but remember all things come at a cost, and “to whom much is given from much will be expected.”

Oops! There is some of that religion in here.

GLENN SHELBURNE

Auburn

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