Weinstein: Target employees demonstrate demise of America - East Valley Tribune: Columnists

Weinstein: Target employees demonstrate demise of America

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Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 4:15 pm | Updated: 3:15 pm, Thu Nov 17, 2011.

The debate rages on in America over the damage that entitlement programs are having on our nation. Let's face it: Our vast and expensive entitlement programs breed laziness, complacency and an entitlement mentality that will prove to be the demise of this great country.

Why should people work if the federal government is going to pay them not to? Why should they spend time away from their children in order to earn a living, like so many of us do, when their government feels sorry for them and not only pays them, but encourages them to stay home? Our nation is adopting the attitude of, "Why work hard if I can get paid not to?"

America was founded on the idea that its citizens could have sole control over their destiny. They could make as much money as they want to. They could achieve any dream for themselves and their families that they could imagine. Unfortunately, many Americans have lost sight of these principles. Again, it's because we have adopted the entitlement mentality. People are left with a misguided concept of what their rights truly are, what they are truly entitled to as an American.

I was recently reminded of this when I learned about the petition that more than 40,000 Target employees signed. Apparently, they are upset that the powers that be for Target believe in the principles that America was founded upon.

They are upset that their employer intends to open stores on Thanksgiving Day. Many of their employees will have to show up to work at 11 p.m. in preparation for Black Friday. They are upset because their holiday will be inconvenienced by the opportunity to earn a living.

The petition, which was launched by Anthony Hardwick of Omaha, Neb., is an attempt to protest Target's decision to open its doors a few hours early.

"All Americans should be able to break bread with loved ones on Thanksgiving," said Hardwick. "With the midnight opening, employees like myself will have to leave for work right in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner. We don't mind hard work, but cutting into our holidays is a step too far."

Mr. Hardwick, I've got news for you. Your job is a privilege, not a right. Your employer is not required by law to employ you. They have given you the opportunity to provide for your family, so stop complaining.

Also, the majority of Target's employees are being asked to report to work at 11 p.m., far later than when most people are "breaking bread" with their loved ones. In truth, your protest is against what America stands for ... freedom to earn a living.

I understand that it is a bummer to have to work on a holiday. I spent many years working in the food service and retail industries and had many holidays inconvenienced by the demands of my employers. I even complained a bit, but I never asserted that my employer was greedy or unfair in deciding to make a profit. Profits are the American way. It's what makes our nation viable. Higher profits ensure job security.

What Mr. Hardwick is really asserting is that Target should be denied its rights in order for his "fictional" rights to be honored.

I guess that's what happens when you live in a country whose citizens walk around dazed and confused by a crippling entitlement mentality. But, who can fault them? This is the culture the federal government has created.

You are entitled to be paid without having to work. If this weren't so, 39,999 of Mr. Hardwick's fellow employees wouldn't have followed suit in signing this ridiculous and anti-American petition.

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