Get up, get out and get a job

Published 9:54 pm Saturday, December 8, 2012

Almost 50 percent of Mississippians ages 20 to 24 are not working.

Ponder that for a moment. Half are not working, which means they are not paying taxes, which means they are leeching off someone. The government? Their parents? Other nefarious means?

A Kids Count study released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation centered on “disconnected youth” who are neither in school nor employed. The study was conducted by Mississippi State University’s Social Science Research Center. The conclusion from lead researcher Linda Southward is to have a two-generation strategy to make any systematic, life-changing or generation-changing outcomes in Mississippi,” she said.

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How about this strategy: Don’t work, don’t eat.

It’s how generations of Americans before us did it. They got up early and ended the day late. The work could be hard at times. Few would strive as a life goal to end in the work position in which they started, but jobs teach responsibility and, all so importantly, helps the tax coffers. Sitting around doing nothing relying on others will advance no one’s life.

Nationally, nearly 6.5 million 16- to 24-year-olds were not in school and didn’t have jobs in 2011. Of those, about 77,000 were Mississippians.

Now consider the number of older Americans entering retirement age when Social Security benefits begin to kick in. Juxtaposed against the alarmingly high rate of those young people — who ultimately will be responsible for carrying that freight — not working, not contributing, leeching off others, and it is a recipe for disaster.

Get up. Get out. Get a job. Earn money. In turn, that will help all those “disconnected youth” learn to be connected to a society built through generations of hard work and perseverance.

America was not built on half of the young eligible workers doing little or nothing. But it certainly is leading to the nation’s financial crumbling.

Now go pick up a mop and be a productive member of society.