• America, Land of Opportunity

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    These hard
    economic times have affected us all. That's why I decided now was
    the time to make a career change. So I began applying for jobs that
    may not have paid as well as previous jobs but rather were jobs
    that I knew I would enjoy.

    You can do
    this in America, I thought to myself. Of all the countries I have
    lived in, the U.S. is truly the land of opportunity. Especially
    for a white male!

    First stop:
    Hooters. I'd always loved the atmosphere at Hooters. Men drinking
    beer, eating chicken wings and watching sports. HooAaa! If I could
    spend my days mingling with those guys I'd be a happy camper. Unfortunately
    I was told that I have to be a woman to wait tables at Hooters.

    Next stop:
    Black Entertainment Television (BET). I always wanted to be on television.
    Unfortunately, I was told that they limited the number of white
    people appearing on BET.

    Next stop:
    the LPGA tour. I'd seen several women playing on the PGA tour so
    certainly men could play on the women's tour. Unfortunately, I was
    told that men are not permitted to compete on the LPGA tour.

    Next stop:
    a job at the V.A. but they gave it to a veteran

    Next stop:
    a job at Good Will Industries but they gave it to a handicapped
    person.

    Next stop:
    a job at a Muslim mosque but I was told I'd have to convert to Islam.

    Finally I realized
    that I would only be able to make a career change if I were to do
    it myself. To invest my own money and time and effort into starting
    a new business. So I decided to invest my life's savings and open
    up my own business: a Hebrew Fitness Center catering to the wealthy
    Jewish retirees in south Florida. Certainly a very rich and untapped
    market.

    So I had to
    hire fitness trainers.

    First applicant
    was a young Jewish white girl who unfortunately was grossly overweight.
    Certainly not the image a fitness center wants to present. I had
    to turn her down.

    Second was
    a young, white, Muslim fellow who informed me that if hired would
    need to pray 5 times a day. Unfortunately, I felt that, that kind
    of possible tension in my fitness center could be detrimental to
    business. I had to turn him down.

    Then
    a handsome, fit, young black man who seemed perfect for the job
    except he had no experience as a fitness trainer. I had to turn
    him down.

    In the end
    I had to close my yet to open Jewish Fitness Center in order to
    concentrate all my time and money on:

    • The lawsuit
      brought by the overweight white girl for sexual discrimination
    • The lawsuit
      brought by the Muslim man for religious discrimination
    • The lawsuit
      brought by the black man with no experience for racial discrimination

    Eventually,
    all my savings were gone as was my home and I had to move into a
    homeless shelter. Nonetheless, I realized that no matter how bad
    things get, at least I can be thankful that I live in a country
    where the government doesn't control your life!

    January
    8, 2009

    Don Cooper
    [send him mail] is an economist
    living and working in Atlanta, Georgia.

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