Our children are our nation’s future

By: Robert Lee - Contributing columnist

We already know that our children will be our nation’s future providers. Why would you want to burden them with high interest rates on loans? This takes place when they attempt to pay back money owed on government loans that have been used to pay for their education. I know that we, the taxpayers, cannot afford to pay for free college educations for the entire country. We can afford to cut out the interest that the student is required to pay back. I did not know until recently just how high the rate that the government requires is: 6.5 percent. What upsets me more than anything is the fact that this child is trying to get a better education so that he or she will have a future and a good paying job.

But on the other hand, the government will pay out large sums of money to those who do nothing for themselves or the nation — money that goes out as entitlements to those who lay up and do nothing but have a child ever other year so that they will get a raise on what the government already gives them. Something has gone horribly wrong in this country when it has come to a point that the lazy are provided for better than the working class and those who truly wish to be educated so they and America will have a brighter future. Think about this: the bank pays you maybe 1 percent on you money and we all know that is nothing. The government charges the student 6.5 percent. Has the government gone into the banking business?

One other point that we must also consider: The student has to start the repayment of those loans at six months after graduating. In most cases, the student has not even found a job. The stress can be overwhelming for a child of this age.

Uncomfortable feelings are part of the survival package we were given when we were born. Whatever you feel, millions and millions of students are experiencing a similar feeling at this very moment. It makes those feelings not as uncomfortable, knowing that you are not alone in this voyage into debt. But there are other problems.

The conflict to come is within our educators and if they want to do the job at hand: educating our children. The job that they are being paid to do. Some will stand up to the task that is at hand and others will fall to the wayside because they do not have the desire to work for the betterment of our children. Sad, but true. Some people truly are not the type of educators we need. We need educators who will push their students to be the best of the best.

A bit of old-fashioned discipline within the educators would not hurt at all. I am not saying that these teachers should act like Marine Corps drill instructors. I am not saying that at all. Some students could not take that type of discipline, and it would work against the educator. But the ones who could take this discipline would excel and be the best of the best, as some teachers are. Just a little extra work on both the teachers’ and students’ part could and would put America back on top in the realm of educated countries. Third-world education brings you down to third-world thinking. We have to be better than that at educating our children.

We do not need ditch diggers, we have backhoes to take care of those tasks. We need doctors, engineers and architects to help build America back up. Build pride back into our country and its people. Build for the future. Give back to our children that pride of being an American. Also, we should pay our teachers a good and fair wage. Teaching is not an easy job.

We need a fresh face with fresh ideas and a drive to push for what will make our education system the best, educators who work not for a paycheck but for our children and their future. I know the paycheck is part of it, as we all want to make our own way through life. Well some of us do. There will always be those who would not work in a pie factory as a taster. I have no concern for those people. My concern is for those who want a better America and a better way of life for those who do contribute.

We want a better North Carolina and a better America for not only my family but for your families. This has already been proven to me and many others. We know the long road we have to travel to make a difference.

People need not be afraid to speak their minds and voice their opinions. Some might not like this — as I have found out personally from my own critics who would try to push me back and down. But it didn’t work.

I am nothing but a poor boy from the hills of Tennessee. Education means everything to me. Our children — black, white and brown — are our seed crop of the future. That future will be very dependent on higher education.

America has fallen to 14th place in our world standing in education. We have fallen below Russia in the education of our children. What does that say about our education system as it stands today? So as to not offend anyone, I am talking in general terms. Nothing is being said about teachers in Richmond County. So do not read into my words what was not written.

We are failing our children, our America, and our future standing in the world for generations to come. We have turned into a service-orientated economy. I’m sorry, but people who work for minimum wages flipping burgers and waiting tables don’t buy new cars and trucks. They don’t buy new homes. In most cases, they are working just to go to work. All of these people are hard workers, they just don’t have the income to gain these thing that I write about. Why? They did not get the education they needed to go further with their lives.

We are failing, or have failed, almost two generations of Americans. We did this by not pushing education. During my generation, we were taught such a wide vareity of subjects, everything from world history, modern and ancient, to America’s past and present. We learned because we had no choice in the matter.

I will not say the teacher’ were better or worse. We had both just like now. What has taken place within our schools is a lack of discipline, from both students and some teachers. Parents share in this. Discipline has to come from all sides. We push for more discipline within our educators on the college level.

We pay these educators, we can demand this of them. Students teaching students does not cut it with most parents who pay with their hard-earned money. Students helping from time to time is not a problem.

If the professors do not want to teach what is required, no problem. But you damn well better believe their paychecks would reflect their unwillingness to teach. Our society cannot allow our students to be dummied down any longer. Our educators must educate or go to other fields of employment. Our good teachers must be shown by example what they mean to us. We must back them in their quest to be the best educators.

We have to start working now to insure that our teachers work for all of their students. We must give our educators the tools for the future, our future, so we can have an educated workforce.

The one thing that cannot ever be taken away from us is our education. An educated population makes a stronger America.

Robert Lee is a concerned citizen and U.S. Marine veteran who owns and operates Rockingham Guns and Ammo. His column appears here each Saturday.


Robert Lee

Contributing columnist