We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Moral vices prosper by dressing themselves as virtues. Niceness presents itself as benevolence, but is often merely an evasion of hard decisions that the realities of human nature require. And it has spread throughout our societies because it is often popular with voters. The road to hell, it is said, is paved with good intentions, and so is a good deal of democratic politics.
In our compassion, we have confused egalitarian 'fairness' with justice, and we have created a monstrous sense of entitlement.
Wherever standards are destroyed and merit is redefined, a sense of entitlement necessarily follows. This is true in any aspect of society. In the field of education, it manifests itself in the demand by students for high grades when they are not earned.
And this has resulted thousands of defrauded young people who graduate with diplomas they cannot read, apply for jobs they cannot do, and are forced to remain in minimum wage jobs forever, because they cannot read, write, or perform basic computations.
A goodly part of the problems Americans in modern-day society have is their confusion between the words 'entitlement' and 'benefit.' Government programs like Social Security and Medicare used to be called 'benefits.' Then some truly evil bureaucrat renamed them as 'entitlements.'
According to dictionary,com, a benefit is a "payment or gift given by a government or other public agency." The implication here is that a gift may or may not be offered, at the will of the giver and depending on the circumstances. An entitlement, on the other hand, is not the same thing at all. According to dictionary.com once again, it is "the right to guaranteed benefits given by government under a government program."
Good points, Marianne, as usual, but when one has been forced to contribute to Social Security one's entire working career (when one would have rather invested the money oneself for retirement) one might be forgiven for viewing it as an entitlement. Otherwise, it's just another tax and shouldn't be labelled Social Security. I'm more than willing to fund our military, public education, police, fire, etc with a large chunk of my hard earned cash.
But I have compassion fatigue as Social Security benefits start being made to recent immigrants, many barely legal. Those of us law-abiding taxpayers get a tad annoyed at supporting their old age whilst there will be nothing left for us when we are old.
I assume you and your husband, at your age, are currently collecting Social Security checks? ANd that you would be angry if someone denied you them. You worked to earn them.
Of course, coworker reminds me, never assume. Makes an ass out of u and me. Perhaps you are independently wealthy and not a working peasant like me.
Most people dislike grovelling for handouts. It's sometimes a good way to weed out professional moochers (what the Victorians used to call the undeserving poor)like some of the projects residents in my town. Charity (ie; gift) is more demeaning than a small predictable retirement subsidy (entitlement). Worthy entitlements: healthcare and education for kids, and assistance to the disabled and the elderly. Likewise, if a company lays off workers with families to support, I think it proper that they should receive unemployment (entitlement) until they find work again. It's too little to live on, so people are still incented to look for work. But it keeps the kids alive whose adult work will support parents (and those who chose or were cursed with childlessness) in old age.
dear retriever ... yes, indeed, we are collecting Social Security, and, believe me, we are not independently wealthy. We worked all our adult lives in the writing and editing business. And how many working writers do you know who are wealthy? I don't know many. ... one or two, but definitely not many.
I suppose one could say that we are retired middle-class. But we did save our money carefully. And we invested equally carefully and conservatively with an eye toward the time when we could no longer work. And we have never expected, let alone 'groveled' for hand-outs. Having been raised during the Great Depression, we learned young that 'there ain't no free lunch,' and 'if it sounds too good to be true, it is.' Oh, and don't forget the cynical axiom, 'what's in it for this guy, who's pushing so hard to get me on board?'
All three of these home truths are in play now, during Mr. Obama's effort to destroy the free enterprise system, which has served us so well since our founding as a country. I don't think it is right to deploy protective systems which were instituted to protect our own hard-working citizens, to 'protect' illegal aliens, or recently admitted legal citizens, or non-citizens on temporary visas. Yet it's already being done. We should guard ourselves against this, and try to reverse this troubling trend, once we get this Person out of the White House.