It has to be said out loud Staff 12/30/2006 The following are some thoughts regarding the failings of a system and a culture. Please note that it accurately describes the mood of many Americans and do

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 30, 2006

The following are some thoughts regarding the failings of a system and a culture. Please note that it accurately describes the mood of many Americans and does so without prejudice. Face it; there are too many poor and uneducated citizens in this country…that often leads to a life of drugs and a wide variety of crimes. And it is costing the rest of the nation billions. It is either the weakness of our educational system, too liberal parents and government, modern youth’s negative culture, or just the fault of the poor and uneducated. There are exceptions of course, many are financially distressed because of disease or disabilities and need our help. But what about those who did not think an education were worthy of their time?

I’d view things differently if there were no opportunity anywhere in this modern country to be educated. OK, we always need better schools, smarter teachers, harder courses, books with smaller pictures and bigger words. But did those folks at the lower end of the scale do their part and accept the responsibility to prepare for and adult life? Would it have helped them if we had built a few less aircraft carriers and bought some tough schools to force education, would it have moved more into the economic mainstream? I’d say it would have been worth the risk if it put more people into the tax base.

The current “custodial” state is outrageous and terribly expensive. It would be nice if all citizens, black and white, were to study and learn to compete. Will it ever happen? No one likes seeing the poor as miserable as they are. Those “project” places are ugly, dens of iniquity. It’s no fun watching perfectly good kids turn into gangsters and semiliterate dope dealers who barely speak English. But what are we supposed to do about it? I went to school, I paid attention, and I did my homework. At some point people have to do the right things for themselves.

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Perhaps the uneducated poor are too accustomed to getting what they want by just demanding it. Hell, it has worked for over half a century, the Great Cash Spigot turns on and consequently nothing changes for the better. Folks who have done for themselves honorably are not going to buy it forever. Most recognize that is has become a shakedown game. Too few people feel responsible for their failings and inadequacies. So far Political Correctness keeps the lid on…but how much longer?

Every day we hear about both petty and serious crimes committed by those who frittered away years of opportunities to become productive citizens. So serious is it that the need for our police forces, security forces, jails and prisons expand exponentially. Most schools across the nation no longer permit old-fashioned discipline in the classrooms. Teachers by the thousands get out of the educational system by either promotion within or leaving the profession. Parents and civil authorities allow improper dress codes and do nothing more than cluck their tongues.

Newspapers print stories about how citizens are complaining about what is going on in the entire country that appears to be heading toward a godless state. Lamentations fill the air yet no one is willing to step forward to tell it like it is and make changes. It won’t happen even at the highest levels of government…too many improper acts taking place there. And certainly corporate America will never take the necessary steps to correct anything as long as they believe the stockholders don’t care how the dividends are achieved. A task force will eventually toss in the towel unless they find a way to attack the root cause.

Most people my age and somewhat younger have seen it coming for years as everything is made easier, hurdles are set lower, goals are weakened, and parents are too busy to give a damn. You may as well get used to it and try to find a way to get though life without it affecting you. Yet I remember when I was proud of America.

Robert Pocklington lives in Suffolk and is a regular News-Herald columnist. He can be reached at