An Open Letter to Millennials Like Talia…
Stefanie Williams

Stefanie Williams, I think I just had a heartthrob moment. Thanks to your editorial. And I’m going to let yours stand. I was going to write a scathing one for both Yelp (which I detest the business practices of — they operate much like the old style mafia are depicted, trying to blackmail merchants into using their services to advertise, or suffer their verbal wrath!) and Talia. You did such a wonderful job on Talia, I’ll leave it at that. You were nicer too, and hit all the points that needed to be touched.

I saw a news article picked over this fiasco. The bottom line is this woman could have a wrongful termination claim, but I haven’t seen any lawyers pipe up on that front. I’m sure given the news involvement one or more will if they think it may stick.

But that doesn’t make her entitlement, which you’ve addressed, any less an issue.

I too worked two jobs while preparing to go into medical school, the second time. Life needs got in the way for me both times. That’s not an excuse, simple stating the facts. The second job was waiting tables 4 nights a week in a small town, after working in the bank, at what was for the area a prominent high paying position. At 30.

The entitlement attitude in America is despiccable, and it’s not limited to whites by any means. That should also be pointed out. Race isn’t the issue, it’s the idea that they are entitled Americans. Having lived there most of my life, and now living in a very poor country, by American standards, I am still amazed by both viewpoints. Americans of all stripes, of the second or later generations, seem to think because their parents worked their asses off to provide them an easy life so they aren’t working to add to the family’s income and put food on the table once they can walk and follow directions has made Americans soft, lazy, and weak.

Not only are they soft and weak, too many today can’t make it without charity, in a land of plenty. Work’s too hard. Or it’s too much effort, or not worth the pay. Excuse doesn’t matter. These same people should be allowed to slip into the gutter and live homeless and destitute until they are ready to work and act like adults again. In America, even that’s not a bad life and you’ll be well fed, even if you sleep outdoors more often than not.

I’m working on a photojournal piece comparing homelessness in the wealthiest parts of America to homelessness abroad. Now. To begin it, I was homeless myself for a few months. It wasn’t a bad life at all, if not what I was accustomed to. Granted, I had higher standards for myself, and even many of the homeless didn’t want to believe I was homeless myself, but I was, for a period of 3–4 months. I share this by way of example alone. Not for pity.

In America, it’s easy to pull yourself out of the gutter, if you want and put in a little effort. If you don’t want to, go live in the street. You belong there. At least until you find your work ethic and want to contribute to society. That’s what people are paid for in the end. What part of society feels they actually contribute.

Yelp is not a good example of my last statement. I have inside knowledge to their business practices. All second or third hand I concede, but these complaints from merchants are not by any means isolated or difficult to verify. Yelp should be out of business. But Talia should never have opened her entitled mouth, so I really have no pity for her. She made her choices, she needs to endure the consequences. California is very expensive to live, anywhere near the coast.

Southern California was my last “home” before I left the states. I know. And lo and behold, I lived a life before I left that many would envy. It’s not hard, but I did exert myself, and when I worked, I often pulled 12 hours days. It happens. Especially at the beginning. And now I’m starting yet another series of new business ventures abroad. I guess I like to be challenged. And I eat well in between the lean times. Fat goes a long way. Just a suggestion.

And whatever the hell you do, don’t be fools and raise your minimum wage. That’s the #1 reason the middle class in America has vanished. Yes, in combination with other factors, but there is an oft overlooked dynamic tied to inflation, which is tied to minimum wage that even economists forget to illustrate. The middle class is there by virtue of their being above the minimum wage. If you raise the minimum wage, you do not raise the quality of life of those who receive it for more than 2–3 months. In that time, markets adjust, inflation creeps in to adjust for the increased worker cost, and their spending power stabilizes pretty much where it was before. In the meantime, those who aren’t far enough into the wealthy category to be insulated from most of the effects of inflation experience a loss in quality of life. They did not receive an increased income, but inflation, tied in part to the minimum wage’s influence, has raised many of their expenses. The net result is the poor are dragging ever more of the middle class into their destitution by eroding their relative buying power and with it their quality of life.

If you want to increase the quality of life for the “poor” of America, I have two suggestions. First, they can get out, educate themselves on a new line of work and diversify their options, work harder, more, or in a better paying area, all of which in essence are find a better job and do what it takes to earn it and keep it, or Second, go to another poorer country. You’ll see what real poverty can be and either regain your work ethic or starve. But you may be grateful for what you have when and if you return to your “poverty” in America.

And if you ever want an exotic destination or a tour guide and photographer along the way, I have some very shall we say creative ideas? Erotic or not, as you prefer Stefanie Williams. I’m always a gentleman, probably too much so, but I do have wonderful ideas. Adieu.