The Greatest Entitlement

Americans, for the most part, do not like the idea of someone getting something for nothing. You want something, you pay for it. We conservatives especially cringe at the idea of entitlements.

Except for citizenship. For most Americans, the best citizenship is free citizenship. Sure, we are happy to let a few selected customers pay for a second-class version of it, but for the vast majority, it is something that neither has to be earned nor purchased.

Those few who pay for it also have to prove they deserve it. They have to spend a lot of money and go through a complicated process just to prove they should be allowed to even get the chance to earn it. Once that hurdle it overcome, they have to contribute to the economy for a specified period of time during which they can be thrown out of the country at the caprice of a judge or a legislature. They have to pass an exam to show that they know enough to become a real American. They have to pay another considerable amount of money to the Government, in addition to anything they pay to a lawyer to help them find their way through the maze of naturalization.

Wouldn’t it be the real American way to make everyone pay for it? Why not make the right to vote contingent on passing an exam and paying a $680 fee? Why should people get this for nothing just because they happened to be born in the US or have parents who happened to be born American? After all, many of these people have not contributed anything to the economy and for some even their parents have contributed nothing.

If we are going to deny millions of willing, working people the opportunity to even pay their way to citizenship then it only seems right that those who are not assets to the country should not be deciding its future as an entitlement of the accident of birth.

Capitalism at Work

I’m an unrepentant capitalist. I think the spirit of capitalism is exhibited in Jeff Ferris and Dan Hilliard.

Hilliard owns and Ferris manages a restaurant in Owen Sound, Ontario. I’ve been to Owen Sound and it’s a lovely place. The restaurant is called Nathaniel’s. I’m not sure why it’s called Nathaniel’s since neither of them is named Nathaniel, but perhaps they thought it sounded more posh and sophisticated than “Jeff and Dan’s”. But they can call it what they like: that’s capitalism.

Jeff and Dan have standards. They want their waiting staff to look a certain way. Male employees cannot wear earrings. Female employees can’t shave their heads. Standards are standards. Customers have certain expectations.

If a female employee comes in with a shaved head, they lay her off and send her home for three months. That’s what they did to Stacey Fearnall. She shaved off her long red hair to raise money for a cancer charity. After all, her father died of cancer, her cousin has cancer, as does her best friend’s husband. She raised CN$2,700 for the shave.

When Stacey was told to leave Nathaniel’s, the press found out. Freedom of the press is a good thing. The local paper wrote it up. Then the big Toronto papers picked it up, as did the CBC. So did the Daily Telegraph here. And of course it hit the blogosphere. Now everyone knows that Jeff and Dan have standards.

And the great thing about capitalism is that just like Jeff and Dan have standards, so does the public. The dining out public. And captialism being what it is, the public has lots of choices of where to eat in Owen Sound. And they are not choosing Nathaniel’s.

Jeff and Dan are in for a long dry summer. That’s the great thing about capitalism.

Textbook Agenda

I’m not suggesting that textbooks in this country are biased and driven by a political agenda, but I’m looking for another satisfactory explanation for the following definitions in a textbook I’ve been given to teach history.

Socialism: movement to make the country fully democratic, with equal rights for everyone

Left-wing: believing that society should be made more equal

Right-wing: believing that the country should be strong and that ordinary people should have little or no power

Why, how could I think that somebody (like author Andrew Boxer) has a “Left-wing good/Right-wing bad” or “Socialism good/Capitalism bad” message they are trying to get across to 14- to 16-year-olds? Of course he never comes out directly and says it. He doesn’t need to, really.