In this month's column, Wayne Nash, MGWC, speculates and offers his rationale for the dwindling numbers in the industry.

I’ve been thinking about the drilling industry’s problem attracting – and keeping – new employees. Besides the obvious pay and creature comfort differences between our industry and many of the new high-tech jobs, I think I have detected a deeper and more insidious reason that extends far beyond the drilling industry.

Since most of my readers live and work in the United States, I will restrict my observations to our system of government. To my overseas readers, take note; this could happen to you, or maybe it already has.

Although we live in a representative republic, most people still consider our form of government a democracy, so, for simplicity’s sake, I will address that.

About the time the 13 original states adopted our new constitution in 1787, a Scottish history professor named Alexander Tytler is said to have written about the fall of the Athenian democracy that took place nearly 2,000 years ago. The words that are attributed to him:

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority will always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”

During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:

1. From bondage to spiritual faith.

Think of the subjects of King George in the colonies.

2. From spiritual faith to great courage.

Remember the Declaration of Independence? The men who signed it pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to the cause when they signed that document, yet by law, at the time, they were automatically branded as traitors who could be hanged on sight.

3. From courage to liberty.

The revolutionary war took 11 years! That required an attention span that most Americans lack today; many can barely sit through a half-hour episode of the “Simpsons.”

4. From liberty to abundance.

From the 19th century and first half of the 20th century, we built the greatest country history has yet recorded.

5. From abundance to complacency.

After World War II, we knew that we could do pretty much anything we put our minds and backs to, and rested on our laurels, which, of course, led to the famous 1960s. I know; I grew up then. We didn’t have to worry about much; the future looked bright, indeed. By the time the Cold War ended in 1989, we were so comfortable that it led to the next step.

6. From complacency to apathy.

By the 1990s, people didn’t bother to vote much, and didn’t really care much, or research the people they voted for. All was well with the world.

7. From apathy to dependence.

There are estimates that fully 40 percent of the population has reached the “governmental dependency” stage. Further, it’s been said that if Congress grants amnesty to 20 million criminals, called illegals, and they vote, then we can say goodbye to the United States within 5 years.

8. From dependency back into bondage.

I don’t know any drillers who have reached this stage, or anywhere close. As an industry, we still are enjoying our liberty and building abundance. There are some complacent drillers, however, and this is a wake-up call.

My point: The pool of replacements to carry on our industry is shrinking. Too many of the potential next generation of drillers are sitting on the porch like Katrina victims in New Orleans’ ninth ward, waiting for their next government handout – which no doubt will include long-line water systems to provide “government” water.

The people we elect presently require nothing more than a room temperature IQ, a pocket full of money, and promises of plenty of someone else’s money in your pocket to get elected. I think it’s time for a change before the inevitable happens. Apathy is the greatest danger to our freedom. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

I will get down off my soapbox - for now ….