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“My Name is Julio, and I’ve Been Working at McDonald’s for 4 1/2 Years…”

I’m sure Julio Osegueda is a nice kid. I’m not here to blast him because, frankly, I don’t know him. He made a big splash at President Obama’s Fort Myers, Florida town hall meeting:

“It’s such a blessing to see you, Mr. President. Thank you for taking time out of your day, oh, gracious God, thank you so much!” he said. “My name is Julio Osegueda. I’m a student at Edison State College. For four-and-a-half years I’ve worked at the same job – at McDonald’s. I can’t find another job. Do you have a plan for better benefits?”

Obama’s answer was that of a typical politician (the video is here), especially since he couched it as part of his sales pitch to sell the Porkulus bill. (Maybe Julio should have said he hadn’t paid his taxes, and Obama would have given him a Cabinet-level job on the spot. I couldn’t resist putting that in there.)

Osegueda not only works at McDonald’s, but as mentioned he’s a college student. In fact he’s a 19-year old freshman at Edison State College, majoring in communications. All good. In fact, he’s since gotten an opportunity to broadcast the local minor league team’s games. Unfortunately, he’s been taught a lot of bad lessons. A lot of them. That’s why he asked the question he did.

When I was a teenager, like tens millions of other teenagers, I worked at McDonalds. A couple of different times. I needed the job to pay for my share of the auto insurance on my parents’ cars (we had two, and I didn’t have a car). Plus, I needed spending money; hey, I was a teenager. What I got out of the experience is a work ethic that has helped me to this day. Like Julio, I started at the bottom. Although I wanted more when I worked at McDonalds, I also learned that I had to work hard to get ahead. While I was a teen in high school and as a college student in my early 20′s, every job I had was at the low end of the totem pole, simply because the jobs were temporary (I wasn’t going to make a career at those places) and I was young. Those jobs were simply there to provide enough spending money to pay for the little I had (college was paid for through student loans, all of which were paid off years ago). I knew that the jobs I would get out of college would be the ones that would be able to support me living on my own.

What Julio has been taught, it seems, is that he has a right to a benefits package that would be the automobile equivalent of a Cadillac, all while still a teenager and in college. It’s very possible that Julio needs the job to pay for college. Since he works at McDonalds, he probably doesn’t get health insurance for his job; Edison State College doesn’t offer it. But does he need it? Remember, he’s 19, and probably single. Even if his parents don’t have health insurance, he probably isn’t going to go to the doctor very often (I don’t know Julio, I don’t know if he’s got medical problems; I base this on him being a typical 19-year old kid). And if he needs emergency care, that’s already covered thanks to the Supreme Court. If his parents do have health insurance, then he could very well be covered on that policy and doesn’t need another one. Forget a retirement package; he’s going to college to get a job that offers those things, plus Julio is already paying into Social Security. So unless he has some debilitating disease or syndrome, which would be covered other ways by the federal government (SSI, for example), why should McDonalds be forced to provide the Cadillac of benefits packages when it doesn’t need to? Or even any other company that has these kinds of entry-level positions?

As to whether or not there are any other jobs, I couldn’t say; I don’t know anything about Fort Myers, Florida. It isn’t as if there is a well of employment opportunities for teenagers with a high school diploma, like Julio, to begin with; but does there need to be? There are other fast food chains, there’s the grocery store, Wal-Mart or Target, pizza delivery, other types of stores in strip malls, etc. Maybe they’ve all hired out. I don’t know. I do know that Julio is working now, but that he doesn’t want his job at McDonalds to be permanent. So why would he need a great benefits package as a 19-year old college student? But the problem is that this is what he has been taught by liberals like Obama, and in the public schools, that they have a right to these things. Earning these benefits has been taken out of the equation.

There are a lot of people, and I understand this, who have to work at McDonalds in order to support themselves and possibly a family. But working at McDonalds as a burger-flipper, fry cooker, or cashier isn’t going to raise someone’s income outside of the poverty level, especially if it’s their only means of employment. It doesn’t mean they don’t have health insurance; the whole point of Medicaid is to insure people in this situation, as is S-CHIP if the employee has children. Besides, nobody would want to make a career out of being a fast-food cook at McDonalds. It’s a great place to work if you’re just starting out in the work force as a teenager, and will suffice for those who need the work until something better comes around.

I do wish Julio Osegueda well. It’s too bad that Obama and the liberals keep teaching that everyone has the right to everything, instead of teaching people that many things have to be earned. This is what they’ve taught Julio. It’s a good bet as to why Julio asked his question. Let’s hope he eventually learns that what the liberals are spreading, the liberalism he’s being taught, is no better than the grease he has to throw out after cleaning the burger fryer.

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