Weekly Posting of the Conservative Cow Doctor


The Choice is Yours

Poor people are such because they are lazy, foolish, or timid; a truth held in secret by ruling class politicians. Liberal activists would have you believe people are trapped in poverty because others are rich and empowering government to make the rich un-rich will magically improve your lot in life. They are wrong. Wealth can be passed through the bloodlines from one generation to the next and it is easy to think of families enjoying a lavish lifestyle due to the efforts of an ancestor who was smart, industrious and a risk taker. Poverty, however, is not heritable and just because you descend from a long line of economic disasters is not a reason to fail. This week’s strike by McDonald’s workers demanding a higher minimum wage prompted this ticklish poverty column. Because I am a veterinarian and not a politician, it is my obligation to let this cat out of the bag, but caution, your self-esteem is the least of my concerns. Government mandates or programs such as the minimum wage and food stamps do not help people out of poverty; instead it is designed to keep them there. Awakening to this reality will sting.

My first minimum wage, non-ranch job was in June of 1980. It was the summer after my freshman year of vet school and the trophy wife and I stayed in Colorado so she could garner in-state residency for the upcoming school year. She marketed fries at McDonald’s while I shoveled dirt for Lang-Murphy Concrete; both entry level positions. Jobs were scarce along the Front Range and I landed a spot on the Lang-Murphy payroll by tagging along with a vet school classmate who had worked there the previous summer. After spending my winter lifting nothing heavier than a scalpel, adjusting to a shovel, jack-hammer, and compactor was physically challenging. The first week nearly killed me. Earning a whopping $5.50 per hour did not put much food on the table and using the conventional wisdom of community organizers in 2013, I could have sponsored a demonstration demanding a living wage plus benefits. Instead, I was thankful to be employed and gave it my all knowing this was just my beginning; just another rung on my climb up the ladder.

Thirty-three years later, I own the family ranch, a two-doctor veterinary practice, I have raised three children who have given me ten grandchildren with two on the way and I serve in the Montana House of Representatives. Because your path to success is rarely a straight line, this last week I shoveled concrete, ran a jackhammer, and a compactor. On the surface, it appears I am back where I started and this brings me to my point. No one decides your rung on life’s ladder more than you and God and I am certain He does not want you spending your afternoons on the sofa watching Oprah. In spite of the left’s best efforts to destroy our republic, America still is the land of opportunity to those willing to work, learn, and risk. This is an absolute truth. If you are not making it where you are, do something about it. Move, change careers, take a risk, or start a business, but never think you will become rich by letting the ruling class toss you bigger crumbs.

Last week, I was utilizing skills I acquired way back in 1980 due to poor planning on my part, as my family has outgrown the smaller house I built ten years ago. For me to seat my children, their spouses, all my grandchildren, my parents and in-laws at a single table for Christmas dinner requires 24 place settings. My idiosyncratic beliefs in faith, family and freedom dictate we all break bread together. No “A” table and “B” table. I hold no job beneath my pay grade so wrestling a jackhammer, shovel or compactor is just something which needs done. If you are not the smartest or most talented man on the job you better be willing or even eager to worker harder than everyone else. To do anything less will keep you stuck on the bottom rung of the ladder. The choice is yours.

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