I just finished watching the democratic candidates debate the issues of the day.  I am going to confine my remarks to only one part of the debate.  The candidates were asked how they would solve the problem of the epidemic use of heroin by the youth in the states of Vermont and New Hampshire.  The three candidates threw out the easy solutions and a few other solutions that we could all agree on, but to me they never addressed the real problem.  I think it would be more relevant if we recognized that drug abuse is a national problem.  It concerns everyone in the U.S.A. who care about the plight of our youth.  What do we do now?

Bernie Sanders (aka Robin Hood) was most vociferous with his attack on the wealthy.  Just take from them and give to the poor will be the answer to all of our domestic woes.

Hillary and Mike took a slightly more pragmatic view.  What I got from the candidates was that all problems could be solved with money.  Let’s have a $15 minimum wage for all ages so we can further isolate our young people from the working world.  Let’s guarantee that all our future High School graduates can go to college for free. Never mind that not all our graduates might rather go to a technical school and learn to work with their hands.  Let’s say nothing about “quality of life” and how the adult world might be able to help out.

I think that neither the Democratic nor Republican party has the answers for today’s youth.  The medicine needed is a much too dangerous brew to swallow.

So let’s dare not say anything about the fact that there are a lot of misguided messages being sent by parents to their kids that get translated by some kids as a call to make trouble for society and themselves.  I bring this issue up because I know politicians won’t, and I also don’t know where the good answer can be found.  I do know this is a grass roots issue that the citizens must tackle.

Teachers unions that protect incompetent teachers at the expense of those being taught is a gross injustice.  Disallowing our young people from having summer and after school jobs is “child abuse” caused by a one size fits all minimum wage and workers compensation laws. This further increases the distance between our youth and the work place.  Idleness will be the unintended consequence, creating a vacuum that many times gets filled with the worst kinds of mischief.

The constant “drum beat” rings to be careful, be careful, until a child starts looking for what can go wrong instead of what can go right.  I believe that risk taking should be encouraged.  Many parents will hide behind the tired old adage “you might get hurt, and more importantly, I might be labeled a bad parent.”

For me, I would rather raise a physical cripple who was hurt taking a risk than all the emotional cripples that are in their 30’s and afraid to venture out of their parents house.  We need to stop referring to the fact that each child born must always have a future brighter with more opportunity than their parents. What this is saying is it’s always up to society to provide happiness to each new generation and it’s not the responsibility of our youth to join in the process.  This doctrine is doomed to fail.

I do believe that most of the time the best things in life are free.  I hear the party faithful yelling Corny! Corny! Corny!  Any politician worth his salt knows that more money, more laws, and more regulations will always solve a problem because that’s what we the people believe.  It’s also why we always elect the same people over and over again; we do it because “we the people” don’t want to take a chance on change because it might be wrong.  Instead, we make laws about our youth that keep incumbents in office.

So, to all you young people, don’t wait for us make the quality of your life.  Your life is your responsibility.  Don’t be afraid to make changes in direction along the way.  Happy Trails to all of you, and remember:  don’t yell WHOA in a bad place.

See Ya Jack

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