Seated inside the restaurant we were served water by Jianyu, his country of origin: China
We were served rolls by Mi-Cha, Korea again.
Earlier in the day, at Yellowstone Lodge, where Old Faithful is, the check-out guy at the mini-market was Yeo, China again. At breakfast at the restaurant in the lodge, our waitress was Fedheeta, country of origin: India
Our waitress at dinner was Kathy, her country of origin: USA. She was probably one of 10 Americans out of the 50 or more employees of the park I saw that day.
Yellowstone is the United State's first national park. Over 2 million acres of pristine, protected wilderness resides in a massive caldron of a dormant super-volcano in the states of Montana and Idaho, with the majority of the park in Wyoming. The USA preserved this land for families and fans of natural beauty to come explore, discover and study natures wonders for present and future generations. Tens of million of taxpayer dollars goes to maintaining Yellowstone National Park annually.
So why are most of their service staff from everywhere but the USA? I asked our waitress, Kathy, at dinner in Canyon Village. Why are our kids not landing these jobs, which provide a great opportunity to acquire sales and communications skills, add to college applications...etc?
The American kids get fired here constantly, Kathy told my family after taking our order. They party a lot, get drunk, don't show up for work, are rude to the customers. They write the orders wrong, or charge people the wrong amount because they can't do simple math quick. The management can't keep them for more than a few weeks into the summer because they're mostly irresponsible and lazy.
Her words literally hurt me, because I knew they were the truth.
Kathy went on to describe the programs that land the out-of-country kids the jobs at our national parks, the thousands they have to pay to get here, which is generally less than the salary for six days of work a week, food and lodging during their contract with the park. They clearly want to be here very badly, usually to acquire work skills and develop their English fluency, and they do an excellent job. It's easy to see why management prefers them.
Yes, it is, Kathy.
If Jesus really saves, he better start saving our kids. Someone better, because it sure as hell isn't our education system, and clearly most parents aren't doing any better. A generation of spoiled, unmotivated, under-educated Americans can not, will not, and DOES NOT compete in our global economy.
World New Tonight on ABC has a segment they call Made in America. It's a joke, an embarrassment to any sensible, educated, aware adult who knows that China, Japan and India are, and will continue to dominate manufacturing globally, with Mexico, Korea, and many other nations close behind them. The World News segment is touchy feely, saccharin and all smiles with Diane Sawyer interviewing American manufactures of unique hats and scarves, or a cupcake maker gone viral, and then touts these businesses as being the cornerstones of our future success. But that's bullshit. The USA is not, and will never reclaim its manufacturing base when we charge in excess of ten times as much to do the work other nations are willing do, and well, for so much less.
The atom bomb united our world [in the abstract] because it gave us the ability to destroy the planet.
The internet has united our world directly, as it gives most everyone the opportunity to see how others live. It's easy to find the American lifestyle attractive. Our families generally have warm houses with running water, electricity for light, computers, entertainment systems, cars in almost every garage, freedom from religious and/or political persecution. The U.S. is slowly losing it ranking among the ten richest nations on the planet, yet most countries still aspire to US, to model our independence and luxuries.
Watch World News Tonight for its entire half hour broadcast and Diane Sawyer will tell you all about the 9.1% of Americans out of work,losing their warm houses, their garages. She'll show you families now sleeping in their cars, or homeless encampments springing up across our nation. She'll tell you about our personal debt crisis, where Consumer debt in 2010 was $2.4 trillion, and she'll introduce you to one of the many of families bankrupted from a medical catastrophe not cover by their private insurance or Medicare.
This decline in the American lifestyle will continue for most U.S. citizens, and eventually even the wealthy here, guaranteed, if we stay the course we have been on, and are on.
Like it or not, we are a global world now. Two 20th century inventions bind us—Today's technology gives us the opportunity to thrive as a people, a planet; or we can destroy everything we have here.
Ignorance, and those in want usually destroy in anger. Education, and awareness generally promote communication, and eventually cooperative interaction.
Out of 34 countries, U.S. students ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math. Our education system is clearly failing our kids. They are unprepared to compete globally, even in the States. And according to our server, Kathy, at Yellowstone, who went to a private school back home in New York, the American employees clearly demonstrated their lack of education in their reading, writing, and math skills, regardless of their poor interpersonal skills with customers and fellow employees of the park.
The eternal idealist, I believe the U.S. can become a nation of creators, inventors, global leaders in the sciences, arts and technology, built on the foundation of individualism envisioned by our founders. By its nature, a capitalistic democracy embraces creative solutions, rewards invention with monetary remuneration, leveling the playing field, making it [theoretically] possible for virtually any citizen to succeed financially without the constraints of social status or lineage.
Our children are the future of this country. We are on the precipice as a nation, again, as we were in our beginning, and the civil war. Continue to enhance the division here between rich and poor, with only the lucky few able to afford a private education to provide their kids the tools, knowledge and connections to thrive anywhere, and within a few generations there will be no wealthy Americans with everyone else unable to buy anything without jobs, which all went overseas.
Partying, with attitude, instead of doing their work, like the stream of American kids fired from Yellowstone; playing Halo, or Farmville, killing endless hours on Facebook, watching TV or the laptop watching Netflix instead of studying math and science (as school curriculums around the world require of so many kids today); cutting school hours of instruction with furlough days, short days and extended holidays has not, does not, and will not produce a nation of creators. It takes education, practice, and focused persistence to produce inventions of value or improve on existing ones. For the U.S. to achieve the potential our forefather's conceived, and our father's achieved—have jobs and retain the lifestyle to which most of the middle-class has become accustomed, we're going to have to limit our play/relax time and work a hell of a lot harder.
Greed, laziness, the-world-owes-me work ethic so many Americans possess won't win us jobs, or help us keep them here in the States. We must teach our kids that practice is the only way to get good at anything, and that means investing the time and energy into academics instead of iPhones and video games, which mean parents need to pay more attention and invoke more discipline. It means educators need to step up to the plate and give more homework, harder tests, teach longer hours for the same money because more and more is simply not available with so many on the government dime vying for tax dollars. And why do teachers have to take the hit? We all do these days. It's the price we're paying for our arrogance.