America first! This proclamation has been touted significantly over the last couple of years. As an American, having an attitude of America first is wonderful. But, what exactly is America first? How do we determine what is best for us? These two questions are what I am going to try to answer.
America first involves a strong economy, military, borders, and trade deals in favor of American interest. I support these American first policies. I would be a fool if I did not. First, other countries would tear us down limb by limb until we were no better than them or worse; misery likes company. I am not one who believes in American exceptionalism as we are all created equal. America has been given this unique position as the wealthiest country in the world, we can use this to make our lives more comfortable and do our best to help our neighbors.
Every country desires a strong economy. Regardless if we like it or not. Workers are divided up by income. In America there are lower, middle, and upper classes. Generally the majority of the population is in the lower to middle class structure with the smallest percentage being the upper class. This will primarily always be the case, although in America we have great divides in wealth between the middle and upper class. The middle class is becoming closer to the lower class as corporations look to cut cost and pass the savings on to new generations who are hired at a fraction of their predecessor’s wage.
At the moment the jobless rates are at record lows. It is very easy to find a job although it is not so easy to find a middle or upper class job. Most families are made up of two incomes with one or both income earners working two jobs. Family life is cut, with providers living a life working and not much time being. In my opinion this is not America first. So what, I have a job, I have two jobs, but if I do not see my spouse or kids what does it matter? Yet to provide shelter, clothes, and food you do what you must in order to survive. Corporations understand that to squeeze as much productivity out of their employees they will work them more, and pay them less. The price of living goes up, but wages stay the same. This is not America first.
America is the wealthiest country with the most powerful military ever known to exist. A superpower as America needs a strong military in order to stay at the top; this is understandable. Possessing a strong military is placing America first. What is not placing America first is using this military for unjust causes. In my opinion there has not been a just conflict since WWII. Korea, Vietnam, both gulf wars, and Afghanistan simply were not needed to advance the country. Currently we have thousands of troops at the Mexico border as a political stunt keeping us safe from migrants. This is not placing America first.
A country needs borders not a wall and razor wire. A country such as America was founded on the premise that this land is open for those who seek a better life. This is America first. Currently foreigners are not welcome in the country, especially if you are poor. While we shake hands with Saudi murderers we spray tear gas at children. This is not America first. America first would be to stand up to outlaws such as the prince of Saudi Arabia. Kindness and compassion are the footsteps of God, and this is America first.
A Deal Maker
Currently America has a president that is supposedly an American first type of guy. He is supposedly a great deal maker. This is up to interpretation. There is no America first without putting the people first. An unregulated market and high tariffs on goods only will hurt us. Unfortunately people are too greedy not take advantage of deregulation. If you want America first you protect the people from cheats and scammers. This is not possible when you have someone who has always been a cheat and scammer running the show. Donald Trump is not America first.
Automation technology is a wonderful thing; in the hands of the right people. Fast food restaurants, grocery stores, factories, and more are replacing humans with machines. Robots are taking over and they are going to put people out of work. I think it is a wonderful thing. Most of these jobs are crap jobs that nobody wants anyway. Not many people in High School thought I want to work at Walmart for my career. People want to be painters, poets, astronauts, firemen, policemen, actors, sports players; come on, you get it. We take away talent from our nation and world by placing people in jobs that could easily be automated. This then begs the question of what about my job?
This is what I would do. I would gather the profits from the automation and divide it up among the people. I would build Universities that people could attend for free, provide the tools and skills that meet the potential of the individual. Have centers for people to go and meditate and pray all day. Grocery stores would be plentiful and you would not even have to pay for the food; grab what you need and leave. Hospitals would be filled with the sick and doctors not having to worry about money because money is not an issue. Prisons would be limited to only people who commit violent crimes and because of automation utility bills would become nonexistent. The only thing money would be good for is pleasure.
We would run the country as a place of abundance not lack. People would be paid based on their contributions to the fields they love. We would reach new heights spiritually in which money becomes almost a non-issue. Everyone would be housed, clothed, and fed. The priority of humanity would be achieving a closer relationship with divinity. We would clean the earth and venture into space. We would start a new civilization on Mars and beyond. If you can imagine it, then it is possible. No limitations will be accepted because we are limitless in ability.
As a person who is known to be a strong proponent of social justice and reform, the “little guy” getting a fair deal etc. One might be surprised that I am not against automation taking jobs from my fellows; that is only if it is done in a way which could benefit us all.
I was at Wal-Mart a couple weeks ago my fiance and I were about to check out we had the same amount of stuff, while she decided to go with a human I went with the new self checkout. It was extremely easy and quick. I was waiting on her while she was still in line. With the advent of quantum computing it will not be long before most of our jobs are replaced with machines. I say that’s a great thing. Why? Because I like beaches, reading, sleeping in, and movies. If we do this right, it is a win win.
I am not saying we will not have to work, just our work will not take close to 40+ hours of our lives per week. I propose a restructuring of society into a collective which if you choose to participate you work at a job which is your passion, the job that you were born for; but only in a official capacity a few hours per week. We need time for others like you to contribute. The rest of the work, the jobs nobody wants but people only do because they need to eat will be replaced with automation. Yet this will only work if corporations get on board. Why? Because the monies generated by participants and corporations would be distributed equally so that all participants have plenty! This may seem like a fantasy but it is only a fantasy if we say it is not possible. I guarantee we can automate almost every job with little human intervention. Sound good?
Nate puts another spin of original sin placing much of the blame upon fear. Fear is one of the greatest emotions which keeps us from living out God’s will for us on this earth. So let us learn to live life without fear!
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Matthew 19:21 NIV.
Lawyers, sometimes you love them most of the time you hate them. That being said the legal profession is essential to the United States. They help balance our society, yet just as society is imperfect so are the lawyers. Many in whom seek to reach their legal tentacles into every part of everyday life. This can mean many live in poverty along with others not being able to achieve advancement because corporate America is afraid of being sued. We live in a lawsuit happy nation, with money being the motivator. Of course it doesn’t help that “we the people” play along when it is in our interest. The cycle of greed continues and I suppose we are all guilty at some point or another. This article is not one that is designed to bash lawyers; I had an amazing attorney fight for me when I needed it. This is an article that will go down many paths from felons seeking employment, individuals trying to better themselves through references, as well as illegals within the country who cannot find work because of their status.
One of the biggest problems facing HR managers today is the fear of being sued for negligent hiring. Like most rules on the books they start out with good intentions, but oh that love of money. Paul spoke to Timothy telling him “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10, NIV). It goes both ways business desire to hire the best employees to profit their company and rightfully so, yet companies are intimidated by lawyers. Lawyers who will sue a business if said employee commits and act on the job in which negligent hiring can be proven. So these bully lawyers keep people out of work and entrapped in poverty. I have known many good companies who would hire reformed felons if it wasn’t for negligent hiring lawsuits. This is not just effecting people with felonies such as myself it is also effecting those with misdemeanors. We literally have millions of disenfranchised individuals in America. A new slavery of sorts. Oh of course you could say well you break the law you do the time. Except in the United States many times the time that is served is life. We live in a country in which draconian and puritanical laws are still in existence and once you are convicted of a crime it is a sentence of a scarlet letter for life. Rehabilitation is only a copout and the desire to keep a social class of slaves is fueled by the criminal justice system. Background checks are the norm for hiring in most companies and often the major intention is the fear of a negligent hiring lawsuits. What in the world did the country do before background checks? Well if history tells us anything it was doing a lot better than it is now. I know many people including myself who have a desire to work are unable to secure gainful employment. We are constantly turned down because of a criminal background. I like the quote from one of my favorite movies “The Kingdom of Heaven” The son comes to the father and says “I have committed murder” the father responds “haven’t we all.” Jesus spoke of murder taking place in the heart of man through hateful thoughts towards one another. I am mentioning murder it is obviously a hyperbole. Most people convicted of murder are sent to prison for life and most of the time it is justified. I am speaking about individuals such as myself who have never been to prison but still have a criminal history. Yes I have done wrong, I have paid for my choices, but should it be for life? Many companies have good hearts and would give many people second chances yet because of the possibility of negligent hiring they cannot take any chances. So what do we do? We cannot find work and we are not in prison. Many of us eventually do find some sort of manual labor after a duration of years, many just get fed up and end up back committing crime. Heck if society isn’t going to give you a chance then what’s the sense right? Wrong that is not the way to go about it. I decided to go back to school and completed a Bachelor’s degree and have almost completed a Masters. I actually have a goal of continuing if accepted into doctoral studies of religion. I find that academia being fairly liberal is also very accepting.
Why can’t a person better themselves and actually get a good job? Who said we cannot be the societal changers of the world? We can be the catalyst for change in the coming years! I urge anyone who is feeling hopeless to take up the call of right living. Jesus has accepted you even when no one else will. The God who has created the universe is the same God that can open the doors and make the impossible possible. Jesus said “believe.” My brothers and sisters who have a background do not give up hope. Do not go back to crime. I know society does not understand but as our numbers grow so does our power. We serve a God who reached out to the likes of us. He didn’t come to those who are well, but to the sick.
My second issue with the negligent hiring lawsuits is that companies are even afraid of giving out a professional reference to a perspective employers. I have recently dealt with this in my own life as well. I find it very disturbing that lawyers are even going after companies who give professional references. They will sue companies that provide a reference if he or she turns out to be a “negligent hire.” So now everyone is scared to speak to each other because of lawsuits. While lawyers many times help people receive freedom it is the blood sucking brood of vipers who plague us with their lawsuits who are destroying the fabric of society. The EEOC says that a previous employer must give dates of hire, and must tell the perspective employer if they would hire again. I guess that is something, but the EEOC has much more work to do. Congress has much more work to do. Yet I don’t know if they work? Hmm. Legislation must be passed to end negligent hiring lawsuits. The end of negligent hiring and background checks for most jobs must take place. I understand that there are careers that because of my poor choices I cannot do. I accept that but I will not accept being a slave. Such legislation if passed would literally put an end to most disenfranchisement of felons, and help the advancement of citizens in the workforce.
My third issue is not one that has much to do with negligent hiring but with illegals trying to find work. Yes I am liberal on this issue. We cry and complain that illegals are sucking the social services dry, yet we will not let them work. We say that they are taking “our” jobs but they do the jobs nobody else wants for very low pay. So who are the true criminals? Well if we let them work they would be paying taxes and would not need social services. Easy answer to a big problem, yet in all honestly the three situations that I am addressing money is the major factor; just don’t love it. If people can take pride in what they do and earn a living wage business would boom. Buying and selling would go through the roof. The so called American dream could still be had. Yet the lawyers and bankers have been getting in the way so long by stuffing their pockets most people do not even know what the American dream is anymore.
The early church prior to the 3rd century had it together. The book of Acts gives a small window into what life was like. People gave to each other holding nothing as their own. They lived in community and the Christ consciousness was alive in them. I believe that we are in a time of awakening on the earth, and also within the body of Christ. Jesus loves his church and desires his church to be one. The elimination of denominations and divisions that keep us from being united are being torn down and a free range church is rising. There will be those left in the walls of buildings and institutions clinging to human fundamentalism instead of the way of the Spirit. Most of the modern Protestant doctrines were created by men in the last couple hundred years who at the time seemed radical. Yet many of us perceive them as biblical fact. John Darby Nelson who gave us dispensationalism basically a hypothesis that cannot be proven nor disproven. Dispensationalism and eschatology go hand in hand Darby divides time into periods both past and future based on biblical text. A cool idea but not necessarily true, and was a radical idea at the time. Also the rapture, also an idea based on biblical text whom many attribute to Cotton Mather. While the orthodox and catholic church dismiss the rapture it is popular in my breed of Christianity. I am not trying to knock these theories, I am saying they were radical during the early 1800’s. They are now common place and often taken as fact by some. Now we have new ideas that are alive in the church. I believe it is because of the global consciousness that is leading the world into Christ consciousness. Part of this is being Jesus to each other, living out the scriptures in our lives, not out of fear of damnation but out of love. Being a Jesus follower and living life as Jesus lived his.
I know that I have gotten off track. Yet I think that it all comes together when we live in community as Christians. I have been wanting to address the evils of negligent hiring practices along with the idea that change while scary can be a good thing. I believe that everything is spiritual in some way, everything is divine. It is okay to mix social issues with our faith.
We can try to keep people out, people who are created in the image of God. People who just didn’t have the moral luck that maybe some of you had. You may be wishing to advance yourself in the country and find yourself unable to because of the evils of the love of money. This sin which has bound and chained our country. From my article “No Borders in Paradise” you will know that I don’t believe in borders or illegal immigrants because we are all people of the earth united under Christ. All people should be given a chance to be a part of society despite their mistakes, legal status, and social class. We should all have the ability through hard work to advance ourselves in this world. Yet for this to be possible I think a complete restructuring of society is what is needed. I do not really know what this looks like, but I am working on it.
Finally I want you to be positive. No that Jesus loves you. He is with you. His will is only in your best interest. Life is tough, it really wasn’t meant to be easy. We need to take the path of least resistance and follow the Spirit of God and not the spirit of humanism. The Spirit that says that all things are possible. The Spirit that cries out that there is no limits, no ceiling. That even when we have barriers in society they can be removed. Rules can be broken, don’t break the law but rules always have exceptions. Whether you’re a person like me with a past, someone trying to advance their career or here illegally and desiring to cut out a life for yourself. It is possible like our master said “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 NIV). Blessings!