John Edwards, the highly-polished Democratic vice presidential nominee, is making the rounds through Midwestern states with his message of "two Americas." This campaign theme has come from the Kerry-Edwards camp since the primary election battles. And the message is gaining traction as voters begin to examine their own lives compared with others. All in all, it's a snappy theme and a message that voters can understand.
But I'd like to add a bit of baggage to the "two Americas" theme that I believe is missing. Edwards says that America is divided between the rich and those working poor who strive to improve their lives but simply tread water given their wages and the ever-increasing cost of living. In some pockets of this country, his message is on-target.
But I believe there is a "third America" and that third leg of the economic stool is the one the Democrats especially chooses to ignore. The "third America" is made up of people who don't work, who have no plans to work and who receive virtually all of their housing, food, utilities, etc. furnished by members of the first two Americas. These parasites do not to work because it is so much easier to sit back and receive government assistance. No responsibilities, no obligations and absolutely no future.
I recognize that there are far too many hard-working Americans who simply can't make sufficient financial progress to step one rung up on the ladder. We should provide whatever resources needed to help lift these citizens closer to financial security. But unfortunately we spend billions upon billions on a segment of society that does not embrace work. Their lives are not governed by a lack of employment. Their lives are governed by a conscious decision to accept assistance in lieu of work.
Neither political party wants to address this segment of society. They don't want to address the health care costs of a mother with six kids and no prenatal care. They don't want to address the cost to education when the kids come to school woefully ill-prepared for learning. They don't want to address the law enforcement costs for a segment of society who has far too much time on their hands because they don't work. The list is endless.
John Edwards' message is nearly accurate. But Edwards like all others fails to address the segment of society and the culture that breeds this complacency. Politicians won't and don't know how to address healthy adults who choose not to work and instead soak the working poor and the rich for every tax dollar possible.
Wouldn't it be refreshing if a politician of either party started talking about the lack of productivity among some of our fellow Americans? And then how refreshing a solution would be!