Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You

Not a fan of the Kennedy family in the least, but I can’t help thinking the late JFK would be considered a moderate Republican by modern standards.

This infamous quote comes to mind as I think about the refusal of Americans to go back to work without outrageous salary demands for entry level jobs with nary the thought of working hard to prove their ability. Whatever happened to meritocracy?

This isn’t how capitalism works people and I take a page from the military playbook. No stars without accomplishment!

I know of what I speak. When I started my entry level job in retail, I was literally considered poor as a church mouse. That was okay because I had no luxurious demands at that age and I was just thrilled at the opportunities I knew awaited me.

Two years later, due to my own acumen and my 60-70 hours/weekly of hard work, I was making six figures annually and could afford to live without three roommates.

This is how the capitalist story always plays out and I belligerently ask “What the hell do you people not understand?”

34 thoughts on “Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You

  1. Not a fan of the scion of the Kennedy family, myself, Liz. I do admire JFK’s approach to life as service, in that iconic speech, and JFK Jr.’s commitment to service – and honesty, no matter where the chips fell. I think the ‘lack of understanding’ you so rightly decry is a *choice*, a decision not to understand. Understanding would require that they “…bear any burden…”, as JFK’s speech further said. (I like your description of JFK as a “moderate Republican”, btw.)

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    1. It’s remarkable how the younger brothers were so different! Generational change of the times, me thinks and the Kennedys would do anything to win even by the standards of a narcissistic political world!

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        1. Well… Nobody’s perfect but RFK did have his affairs as well including sharing Marilyn Monroe with his brother. By Clinton standards, that hardly computes I suppose. His image benefitted greatly by the fact his father was no longer calling the shots.

          I will say he worked very hard as AG to go after the Mafia and take on the corrupt J. Edgar Hoover. It would have been interesting to see what he could have accomplished if he’d lived.

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        2. I think we tend to expect more of our civic leaders, but are keen to unearth their imperfections – in a “eat our cake, and have it, too, sort of way”. Norma Jean was willing to engage, was she not? ‘Nuff said about that by me. I think RFK might not have had the patience to merely “execute” policy where he saw need/greed; he was too passionate about it not to be actively involved; maybe the Presidency would’ve been too limiting? He was starting to wake up – in a good way.

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  2. My mother disliked both. I thought that the Kennedy bro’s were amazing until they were linked with Marilyn Monroe’s death. They were politicians who were just like most politicians in American History, with one exception. They did love America more than they loved power, and it showed.

    It saddens me to see so much of the USA becoming just like most politicians.

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  3. JFK was not only influenced by a completely amoral father, but due to Addison’s disease, he was shot full of steroids on a daily basis. That was a disaster waiting to happen!

    He wasn’t ready for the job of POTUS; often absent for voting as a senator and it showed with the Bay of Pigs and his embarrassing relationship with Khrushchev who I would hardly consider an intellect!

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  4. Not a hill I want to die on, Liz; but I certainly concur with your disdain of today’s milieu of malevolent ‘cluelessness’, and would also say that Joseph P. was his father’s first choice for the job; when a plane crash intervened, the mantle fell to JFK’s reluctant shoulders, iirc.

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    1. Who’s to say JPK Jr. would have differed from his obviously defective cultural upbringing?

      I just despise that family especially the mother who refused to challenge her husband on his aberrant behavior and attend her own daughter’s funeral.

      Unacceptable and even deviant behavior in my honest opinion.

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  5. My first real job was grounds keeping on a municipal golf course: $1.25 per hour and I was grateful. Played in a foursome with my boss and two brothers in Tallahassee 100 years later. OMG the stories!!!

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  6. By the way, maybe we should dissect this sometime: Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You?

    Seems a bit, *you know, Fascist.

    *Another of mine completely adopted by the L1s as their own.

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    1. I read it as “Don’t always be asking for gimmes.”

      Or as Ben Franklin declared, “Its a republic if you can keep it.” This infers that it is no easy task to protect one’s rights and never assume that they will always exist.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ok, I am going to play devil’s advocate 🙂 Some of those currently unemployed-way too many-have been forced out by vaccine mandates. Also, many women who stopped working because of covid have decided to continue not working and to focus on their kids instead-that is a good thing, in my opinion. According to the article linked to below, the labor force participation rate before covid was 63.4%; the labor force participation rate now has gone down to 61.6%. That is 5 million people. Between those forced out because of mandates, and the women who have simply decided to stay home with their kids, how many others are just being lazy, or too demanding? A couple of million? In a country of over 300 million, that’s actually not too bad. Given that people are being paid not to work, I was surprised that labor force participation has only gone down by 5 million. I was expecting the number to be much larger.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/11/12/are-americans-starting-embrace-one-earner-households-again/

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I suppose the USA is doing much better than the European Union. I just don’t understand them. Barring France and Germany, all others have killed their industrial base. They have become consumer states. Whatever was left has been sorted out by COVID. Is there any debate on the future of Europe in America? It’s worrisome.🤷‍♂️

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      1. To be frank, Sando, most Americans couldn’t tell you the name of England’s PM, but we should be using Europe as an example of what can go wrong. Unfortunately, our current administration is aiming for those very same results. ):

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      2. Hi Sandomina 🙂 Liz is correct: the Biden administration wants America to go down the same road as Europe. Leftists in general want America to follow Europe’s example. Conservative Americans vehemently don’t want to go down the same road as Europe-that has a lot to do with Trump’s success.

        My late husband was born and raised in Scotland, and worked and owned businesses there until he was almost 40. He always told me that he came to America because he wanted to be a citizen, not a subject. He was totally against the EU, and he totally supported Brexit. He was also in favor of Scottish Independence, although he was never a member of the SNP, and actually kicked them out of his home once. The SNP is totally a socialist party. Robin wanted Scottish Independence, but he was totally against socialism. They came around one day looking for his support, he let them in and they got to talking. He explained to them that he very much wanted Scottish independence, but was opposed to the socialism that their party was promoting. The guy kept telling Robin “You have to support us.” Finally, Robin said “I don’t have to do anything. Get out of my house.”

        Needless to say, Robin was fiercely independent. He was also very well read and self educated. Most people, myself included, aren’t. That is true in both Europe and America, but I have far more hope for America. The main difference, from what I can tell, between Scotland and America, is that lower class people in Scotland-and possibly in all of Europe?-are far more intimidated by those who are better educated than they are. Too often, normal people in Europe just seem to go along with any crazy idea the pointy headed professors come up with. The American lower classes seem far more willing to tell the better educated to pound sand.

        Also, in Scotland, there is a real thing against talking about religion or politics. Those who try to bring up those subjects are shunned. But when people can’t talk about something, they won’t think as much about it either. I actually met an intelligent Scottish gentleman in his late 40’s who had never in his life heard an argument in favor of the right to bear arms. Every man, woman, and child in America has heard both sides of the gun debate. Most people in Scotland have not, and the few who know the arguments would be totally shunned by everyone for talking about politics at all.

        So, for lots of reasons, I think America is in a far better place than Europe. It is true that most Americans don’t know who the Prime Minister of Great Britain is, but they sure as hell know what their rights are. 🙂

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    2. “Given that people are being paid not to work …”

      And that’s where you lose me, my friend. Not only should the govt refuse to do this, but what kind of Americans take Biden up on this offer? It’s shameful and certainly not representative of our founding principles.

      The working market is open now; businesses are begging for workers to no avail apparently.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hear you, Liz, but the number of people accepting this money is a tiny fraction of the overall population. The vast majority of Americans are working.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. 5 million people cost a lot of taxpayer money, Jac ! I’m totally supportive of families but if you can’t afford them with one of even two incomes, then who is left paying the tab?

          You and I.

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        2. Not only should we not be paying the tab, by doing so we have created a culture of entitlement that riots peacefully when it feels the opportunity is ripe.

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  8. Also not a fan of the Kennedy tribe, but JFK did stand firm with the Red’s in Cuba. What would Biden do in the same situation? Anyway, today’s youth do not understand that entry level jobs were not made to support a family. Never were. Changing the minimum wage will not change the caste system in this country: Poor will always be poor, until the individual makes an effort to improve their lot in life.

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  9. @tes: You inspired another post but I will simply say that there should be equal opportunity for all but beyond that, “equality” simply doesn’t exist. I’d like to play in the WNBA but I simply don’t have the talent or the physique.

    Why is meritocracy accepted in sports but not in any other aspects of life?

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  10. “Why is meritocracy accepted in sports but not in any other aspects of life?”

    What is, because blacks are over represented in the most popular professional sports?

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    1. Certainly in the NBA Simon, but notice that Canadians and Russians dominate hockey and Hispanics are overrepresented in baseball. Golf and skating are white people’s sports and so was tennis before the Williams sisters. And tri-racial Tiger was certainly an exception as well.

      I’d like to delve into this someday because I honestly believe it has a lot to do with cultural influences. My father played hockey for the Wolverines but grew up across the street from a large pond in Michigan. Coincidence or culture?

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  11. “Coincidence or culture?”

    Yes + nature, nurture and accident of birth. In other words my darlings and d’Ettes, we are neither all exactly alike nor interchangeable.

    I will retire to my bunker now to don my helmet and flak jacket yet again.

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