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|Corey the Well Driller||11/21/2008|
Corey "the well driller" is
Corey "the well driller" is
God has blessed our nation throughout history. In turn, our people have freely blessed others. Of course, we often take our prosperity for granted and, unfortunately, some have fallen into greed and selfishness. Yet I still believe that most Christians and many Americans have a heart to share.
Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A, once said to me, "To give is to have." The friends and supporters of LIFE Outreach have given to those who are poor and suffering and discovered the blessing that comes from this truth.
As our country faces economic challenges, we are witnessing some startling reactions. We have already created a community dependent upon welfare. Even in the workforce, a sense of entitlement has taken hold. Rather than appreciate the opportunities our free-market system affords, many people now demand government intervention to ensure their jobs, even when it may not make sense. History has demonstrated that this sort of intrusion by the government into private business leads to increased bondage. Politicians tell us they "must do something," but there is nothing wrong with the alternative: reorganizing, reevaluating and starting over.
America traditionally rewards the faithful servant and determined worker without bailouts from the government. An open letter from an East Texas businessman to the president elect illustrates this truth perfectly. He refers to himself as "Corey the Well Driller."
"I am a 54-year-old high school graduate," Corey Miller says. "Twenty-five years ago at age 29, I started my own water well drilling business at a time when the economy here in East Texas was in a tailspin from the crash of the early 80's oil boom. I didn't get any help from the government, nor did I look for any. I borrowed what I could from my sister, my uncle, and even the pawnshop and managed to scrape together a homemade drill rig and a few tools to do my first job."
Corey then chronicles his years starting four related businesses, scraping together investment dollars, falling behind with creditors, vendors and the IRS, working constantly to "treat my customers fairly" and providing jobs for others. He didn't always have the best equipment, but he always had the highest work ethic. He had little or no financial backing, but he had good ideas. Many sleepless nights and worried days paid off -- not just once, but four times. The stress took its toll ("I do have a stent in my heart now to memorialize it all") and the risk was high ("I had placed everything I owned on the line, risking everything, in order to build a business"). But Corey Miller never gave in, never gave up and never got a dime from the government.
His days of risk are not over, because the well-drilling business is still expanding, creating more jobs, generating more revenue and paying more in state and federal taxes. Yet the well driller finds himself in the crosshairs of the new Congress and incoming administration.
"I'm the guy you intend to raise taxes on. I'm the guy who has spent 25 years toiling and sweating, fretting and fighting, stressing and risking, to build a business and get ahead. I'm the guy who has been on the very edge of bankruptcy more than a dozen times over the last 25 years, and all the while creating more and more jobs for East Texans who didn't want to take a risk, and wouldn't demand from themselves what I have demanded from myself. I'm the guy you characterize as 'the Americans who can afford it the most' that you believe should be taxed more to provide income redistribution 'to spread the wealth' to those who have never toiled, sweated, fretted, fought, stressed, or risked anything."
"You want to characterize me as someone who has enjoyed a life of privilege and who needs to pay a higher percentage of my income than those who have bought into your entitlement culture. I resent you, Mr. Obama, as I resent all who want to use class warfare as a tool to advance their political career."
But Corey Miller doesn't stop there. He is not just a successful small businessman. He is also an employer, so he has seen the effects of the entitlement mentality on those he has employed over the years.
"I've had them work for me before. Hundreds of them over these 25 years. People who simply will not show up to work on time. People who just will not work 5 days in a week, much less, 6 days. People always looking for a way to put less effort out. People who actually tell me that they would do more if I just would first pay them more. People who take off work to sit in government offices to apply to get free government handouts (gee, I wonder how things would have turned out for them if they had spent that time earning money and pleasing their employer?). You see, all of this comes from your entitlement mentality culture."
I recognize the America that Corey Miller represents. I know many wonderful, hard-working men and women who drive this country into prosperity. But I also know the others who drain the system. I also know the politicians that draw their power by exploiting both sides of the workforce.
Mr. Miller believes that our next president will likely push us further down the path of an entitlement society or welfare state. He concludes by saying, "Mr. Obama, your political philosophies represent everything that is wrong with our country. You represent the culture of government dependence instead of self-reliance; Entitlement mentality instead of personal achievement; Penalization of the successful to reward the unmotivated; Political correctness instead of open mindedness and open debate. If you are successful, you may preside over the final transformation of America from being the greatest and most self-reliant culture on earth, to just another country of whiners and wimps, who sit around looking to the government to solve their problems."
I don't know Corey Miller, but I think I'd like him. I pray God blesses him and his businesses regardless of what happens in Washington D.C. And while I share many of his concerns, I truly hope we are both wrong about the direction our country appears to be headed.
To read Corey Miller's full post, visit www.jamesrobison.net/references/coreymiller.htm
Corey's business website is www.cmillerdrilling.com
Author: James Robison
Word Count: 1,080
About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, a Christian media ministry and mission relief organization. He and his wife, Betty, host of the television program Life Today; He has authored numerous books, including The Soul of a Nation, The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope and True Prosperity.
Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at jamesrobison.net . Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.