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American Independence, paying the price

Under this umbrella known as the American dream is the pursuit of owning a home, a car, a stable paying job and the ability to provide for our food, clothing and enough cash to care for our family.

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Help for Teens who Stutter

Stuttering is a frustrating and embarrassing problem for millions of people, but it can be especially tough on teenagers.

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Carolyn Eslick for County Executive

Carolyn will be speaking about her campaign and platform at the event. She will be expanding on her three priorities for this campaign: economic development, safety, and fiscal responsibility.

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Lacrosse Leaders unchanged

For the second consecutive week Issaquah and Wenatchee held court as the top boys lacrosse teams in Washington state, while the Lake Sammamish Lacrosse Club remained the top girls squad in the weekly ScoreCzar prep lacrosse poll released on Sunday.

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Ford Fund and Local Dealers Donate to Oso Disaster

Ford Motor Company Fund and Washington Ford Dealers Donate $45,000 to Disaster Relief Efforts

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Charles Jensen to run in 39th LD

Sedro-Woolley teacher and Western Washington University graduate Charles Jensen, a 12-year veteran of the United States Air Force and Washington Air National Guard, will take on first-term legislator Elizabeth Scott in the 39th Legislative District.

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Snohomish Hard Cider Festival

Ticket to the event is $25 and includes five tasting tokens and an appetizer plate prepared by 907 Bar & Grill of Snohomish.

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Published:2014-04-24 Column Print Snohomish Times
American Independence, paying the price

By Glenn Mollette

The dream of the average American is independence.

Under this umbrella known as the American dream is the pursuit
of owning a home, a car, a stable paying job and the ability to provide for our food, clothing and enough cash to care for our family. Americans work one or two jobs forty to sixty hours a week to keep this umbrella over our heads.

Independence is never easy or cheap. Most Americans pay 20 - 30 years to own a house. A lot of Americans never own one. Young adults are graduating from college owing $28,000 to over a $100,000 before they even begin their first real job. (Source: American Student Assistance.Org) Americans with medical insurance often end up tens of thousands of dollars in debt due to being responsible for 20% of their medical bills. 1.7 million people filed bankruptcy due to medical bills in 2012 and 56 million more Americans struggled with medical bills. (Source:cnbc.com report from NerdWallet) Too many Americans have worked for corporations for ten to twenty years to learn their employer is moving to Honduras, Mexico or simply closing to reorganize and reopen in another state. (Source: Manufacturing.net, 600 Kentucky workers lose jobs as Jamestown plant closes to move to Honduras.)

Traditionally, Americans have dreamed of plugging into an employer or career and working thirty years. The hope is to progress, grow and be rewarded throughout the career. When retirement age comes then we hope to pay ourselves to do whatever we want to do which could include golfing, fishing, traveling or walking the beach.

Our forefathers came here seeking independence from British rule. They wanted to enjoy religious freedom, own some land and have the freedom to carve out a living for themselves and their families. The pursuit of their dreams was tough and many died.

Their sacrifices paved the way for survivors and others who would follow. They and every generation that followed handed to us the America we enjoy. It is humbling to walk the national cemetery in Arlington knowing that so many died for what we have today. Whether standing at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier or at a friend's grave in Kentucky, who died in Vietnam, I am starkly reminded that a huge price of sacrifice has been paid for all of us in America.

My mother and father worked hard for forty years. I benefited from their labor. Numerous schoolteachers invested in me for years without a lot of pay. The spectrum of debt we all owe is wide. From the Wright Brothers, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Jonas Salk, Martin Luther King, Steve Gates and millions of others our lives are enriched because so many have worked hard and sacrificed much.

Americans have enjoyed the freedom to dream, pursue, fail and try again. All the while everything we are doing today has been made possible or a little easier because of the price paid by so many others who have given so much.

Glenn Mollette is an American columnist and author.
Contact him at GMollette@aol.com. Like his facebook page at www.facebook.com/glennmollette.


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