Monday, November 10, 2008

When your "Rich Uncle" Sam offers you a job...

In addition to raising the minimum wage (which in the long run only raises the cost of doing business and thereby makes products more expensive, defeating the purpose), President-elect Obama is taking a page from FDR's book and calling for taxpayer funded public works programs to create government jobs for the unemployed:

Based on his personal experience as such, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote on being a long-term government employee.

Here he is expressing his concern for the person who becomes dependent on the government for gainful employment(emphasis mine):

"Why should he toil and moil, and be at so much trouble to pick himself up out of the mud, when, in a little while hence, the strong arm of his Uncle will raise and support him? Why should he work for his living here, or go to dig gold in California, when he is so soon to be made happy, at monthly intervals, with a little pile of glittering coin out of his Uncle's pocket? It is sadly curious to observe how slight a taste of office suffices to infect a poor fellow with this singular disease. Uncle Sam's gold--meaning no disrespect to the worthy old gentleman--has, in this respect, a quality of enchantment like that of the devil's wages. Whoever touches it should look well to himself, or he may find the bargain to go hard against him, involving, if not his soul, yet many of its better attributes; its sturdy force, its courage and constancy, its truth, its self-reliance, and all that gives the emphasis to manly character."

from "The Custom House"

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