The value of work by Loren Lippincott, NE State Senator, District 34
Several years ago while flying at Delta I discovered the co-pilot I was flying with was a fellow farm boy, like me. Being in the cockpit with someone for 20-30 hours lends itself to a wide range of conversations. It was not until talking about our time on the farm that I came to realize something obvious - the value of work!
We both discovered while on the farm, far from supplies found at a convenience store or an extra hand to tackle a job, that farm life requires you to have a “can do, get it done” attitude. Neither of us ever heard our fathers say we cannot conquer this task ahead of us, instead the mindset was always we will complete the mission, it is only a matter of how!
This same attitude can be seen in towns, schools, homes and wherever you call work. Work has been part of creation since God put Adam in the Garden to work it (this assignment was even before sin came into the world. See Genesis 2:15). Work can, and should, help feed three basic needs all of us have: the need for belonging, worth and competency.
As we approach the Labor Day Weekend Nebraskans are very grateful for our high employment rate! In fact many companies are in need of workers, unable to find help! As students return to school the workforce becomes even more scarce.
Our nation has moved a step closer to government reliance in the workplace as government’s tentacles in regulations and relief were felt during the recent pandemic. Since the pandemic hit our nation, and the world, government influence and control has dramatically increased. I am reminded of an observation made by Milton Friedman, "Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.”
Let’s look at the government’s efficiency and ask ourselves if that is the direction we want to go. Before the Corona Virus US Government statistics showed there were a combined total of 80 programs to care for the poor equaling $61,000 a year per person. This would equal $168 a day and $30.60 an hour. Compare this to a non-welfare person at $137 a day and $25 an hour ($22 an hour after taxes).
Since Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” in 1964 taxpayers have spent $22 trillion toward eliminating poverty. When adjusted for inflation, that is THREE times the cost of all military wars since the American Revolution in the 1770s. The purpose of government is to maintain peace and when violated provide justice. Defense spending falls under this purpose. After the $22 trillion War on Poverty there were MORE people in poverty than before!
God thought enough about the value of work that He included it in the Ten Commandments. Commandment #4 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work…”
It was Voltaire who said, “Work banishes those three great evils: boredom, vice and poverty.” Work has value!
The Bible mentions “money” four times more than “faith” or “prayer” and nearly half the parables told by Jesus were about money. Obviously an important topic. Of the 2300 verses on money 200 discuss caring for the poor by families, friends, neighbors and churches. Only three verses address the government caring for the poor and all three verses speak of justice in the courts for the poor! Think, “Equality before the Law” our state motto.
When the government is involved in welfare programs 70% of the money is spent in bureaucratic mishandling, only 30% gets to the needy. When churches minister to the needy the numbers are reversed, 70% gets to the ones in need.
Each of us was created to have a place of service in our community. A place to fit in serves not only others, but is good for our own sense of well being. Politicians and those in government often try to please all, and have difficulty saying “no” with your money. It is economist Thomas Sowell who said, “The first lesson of economics is scarcity, there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”
“Socialism is a false idol that thrives on taking our individual Christian obligation of helping our neighbors and replacing it with government.” US Senator Rand Paul