Website owner: James Miller
A couple days ago I was talking to to a fellow who used to work as a roofer. He related a shocking little story. He said when the men were up working on the roof of a townhouse the foreman would walk over onto the roof of an adjacent townhouse and drive his screwdriver down through the shingles into the roof. He would say, "They have money. They can afford it." He told me the name of the roofing company and pointed out that this was an old, reputable company with a very good reputation that did a lot of business. He indicated that things like this caused him to find another occupation. A little while ago my wife was telling me about how restaurant workers would often spit in people's food (for whatever malicious reason they might have). It seems it is a pretty common practice. She was telling me about how members of some of our minority groups would spit in the food of white people. An itinerant Hispanic worker, who worked in restaurants, had once told her brother that he often did it. She said she had read or heard about the practice at different times. According to her a prominent Black of our society once stated that he used to do it in his younger days. I have heard that there are many gays working in the restaurant business. I can just imagine gays with AIDS, out of malice, spitting in people's food. Programs on television such as 20/20 and 60 Minutes have done reports on businesses like auto repair and appliance repair. They use hidden cameras that show what the worker did and can prove fraud. The percentages on the number of honest versus dishonest businesses never come up sounding very good. There was an article in the Reader's Digest some years ago about a fellow driving a car across the country checking out auto repair places. The car was in perfect condition and he would pull a wire off a spark plug then go to a repair place asking then to find the problem. The number of honest places versus the number that tried to rip him off was not high. When you take your vehicle in for repair or get an appliance fixed you may suspect you have been ripped off, but the problem is you don't know for sure and can't prove it. Usually these things are done in such a way that they are impossible to prove. My wife has a lot of gold fillings. Two different dentists have told her that the work was terrible and that the fillings all needed to be redone. She is not gullible on such things and didn't go back to either of those dentists. She might have had some doubt about the fillings if other dentists had not praised the work as really excellent. I personally don't trust dentists at all. I have one now that I trust but I went through a whole lot of dentists before finding him. A few years ago there was an article in the Reader's Digest that confirmed my feelings on dentists. A person with perfectly good teeth went to dentists across the country requesting a checkup. The percentage of honest dentists wasn't very high and he had dentists wanting to do $12,000 worth of work on him. You go to a dermatologist to have a basal cell carcinoma removed. He is a very pleasant, likable fellow of around 60. He tells you he spent the weekend fishing. He talks. He is very friendly and agreeable. He even writes down a recipe for you - the recipe for his favorite Thanksgiving dinner dish. He removes the basal cell carcinoma with a little tool and a quick flick of the wrist. The operation takes a fraction of a second. He puts a bandaid on it and you are ready to go. A month later you get a statement from your insurance company. The charge is $665, $450 of that for surgery, $90 for the office visit, and the rest for miscellaneous. The insurance company pays the bill but you or your employer really pay it because the insurance company simply raises its rates to cover it. You have a pinhole leak in a water pipe and call a plumber. The plumber comes and without even looking at the problem he announces it will be a 2 1/2 hour job. He spends a lot of time cutting a hole in the wall with a tiny hand saw. After locating the location of the leak he brings out a tiny four inch hacksaw and proceeds to start cutting the copper pipe. It takes forever. You ask if there is not a power tool he could cut it with. He says, "Yes, but I don't have one on my truck". It takes him 20 or 30 minutes to make the cut. He still has to make a second cut. Knowing that he is working by the hour and all this time spent is costing you money you bring your power jigsaw and suggest he use that to make the second cut. He uses it and the second cut takes a few seconds. He then solders in a replacement section of pipe. You noted the time he arrived. He finishes just several minutes past an hour later. He charges you for an hour and a half. Total charge: $260. A large percentage of small businesses cheat on their income tax. They use various tricks to underreport the amount of money they make. I know this to be the case for enough specific cases to make me believe it is very widespread. I wouldn't be surprised if 90% of small businesses did it. And from some of the corporate scandals that we have heard about in the last couple of years it appears that there are large corporations that do it, too. Welfare types staying awake at night figuring out ways to rip off the system. Employees testing the limits to see how far they can go. Everyone playing games. Everybody going as far as they can go. Honesty in this world? It is scarce. There might be one man in ten who is honest. Perhaps. That might be an optimistic estimate. There are a lot of people out for quick and easy money and have no scruples on how they get it. You really have to watch out for yourself in this world. It is just full of predatory wolves out to eat anyone who comes along. What is the point I am trying to make? Well --- the point is that this is the world we live in. This is reality in modern America. We are all surrounded by deceit, trickery, dishonesty, lack of principle, predatory behavior. It is everywhere. This is modern America. And if so many individuals are corrupt and rotten, what does that mean? Individuals are the building blocks for organizations and institutions. The millions of individuals that make up America constitute the fabric of America. If such a high percentage of individuals are rotten, what does that imply about the fabric of America? What is the solution? More laws? Would more laws help? The answer to that is, "No". More police? No, that wouldn't help any either. To find a solution you must understand the cause. What is the cause? The problem is the moral and spiritual vacuum of America. Can one really expect anything else from a society that makes a big point of keeping God and religion out of schools and all public institutions? Belief in God, faith in God, is basic to morality. And morality is of fundamental importance to a society. Perhaps we should question a political ideology that bars God and religion from public institutions and replaces it with another religion: the atheistic religion of moral relativism and secular humanism. How did America get to this point? Can you give one single underlying cause? Yes. That set of outlooks and attitudes that goes under the name of liberalism, progressivism. That is what lies at the bottom. That is the culprit. And that same evil force is working not just in America but in the whole world. Having said all this I must say something more. If things are bad in America, if there is a lot of corruption here, it does seem like they are a whole lot worse everywhere else in the world. I think of the corruption of Latin American countries, of the countries of Africa, of most of the third world countries. It is really bad. Bad enough to make America look good. A whole lot of it is just human nature. But the fact still remains that religion and faith is the answer. It is only religion and faith that gives the kind of good moral character that every country needs. Christianity is the answer. True Christianity, Christianity that is practiced and implemented in one's life. June 2003 More from SolitaryRoad.com:
On Self-sufficient Country Living, Homesteading
Principles for Living Life
Topically Arranged Proverbs, Precepts, Quotations. Common Sayings. Poor Richard's Almanac.
America has lost her way
The really big sins
Theory on the Formation of Character
You are what you eat
People are like radio tuners --- they pick out and listen to one wavelength and ignore the rest
Cause of Character Traits --- According to Aristotle
These things go together
We are what we eat --- living under the discipline of a diet
Avoiding problems and trouble in life
Role of habit in formation of character
The True Christian
What is true Christianity?
Personal attributes of the true Christian
What determines a person's character?
Love of God and love of virtue are closely united
Walking a solitary road
Intellectual disparities among people and the power in good habits
Tools of Satan. Tactics and Tricks used by the Devil.
On responding to wrongs
Real Christian Faith
The Natural Way -- The Unnatural Way
Wisdom, Reason and Virtue are closely related
Knowledge is one thing, wisdom is another
My views on Christianity in America
The most important thing in life is understanding
Sizing up people
We are all examples --- for good or for bad
Television --- spiritual poison
The Prime Mover that decides "What We Are"
Where do our outlooks, attitudes and values come from?
Sin is serious business. The punishment for it is real. Hell is real.
Self-imposed discipline and regimentation
Achieving happiness in life --- a matter of the right strategies
Self-control, self-restraint, self-discipline basic to so much in life
We are our habits
What creates moral character?