If the title of this article bothers you or offends you it is my intent, my goal is to capture your interest. You might find some of the content offensive or not to your political orientation⏤it’s meant to wake you up to the facts, the facts of what’s happening in this country and how dangerous these trends are to our Republic.
What is the Entitlement Generation, who are they? You may define it differently; I see it as those individuals that basically feel the world owes them everything, they want it all and without having put much effort into getting it.
Some people think they have toiled and worked and strived to achieve their goals, my question is if so, why haven’t they succeeded? The United States of America is the country of opportunity where people come from all over the world, by the millions every year in fact. Immigration to the United States legally and illegally⏤all to find a better life is their common goal. If that is not an endorsement that opportunity in the United States is still better than any other place in the world, what is?
The Entitlement Generation is empowered and irresponsible! It is made up of individuals of all backgrounds, ethnic, racial, religious or any other social affiliation and grouping by geographic location, education or just self-determination or lack of it. They are convinced that they are entitled to more than the opportunity to flourish in America.
The Constitution of the United States says “Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”, it doesn’t say the government owes you everything you want or think you deserve. It does not say there are no hardships and blockades to achieving those things. It does not say that everybody has equal abilities and will have an easy path to the top of the heap.
Our government, run by the politicians, that create the laws and set the framework in place for the social engineering that they love to play with has created most of the entitlement generation.
Government in the United States has grown over 500% since the 1960s. We had a federal budget of $108 billion in 1961. Even factoring in inflation that is about $1.2 trillion today. The 2021 proposed budget will be over $4.5 trillion at the federal level alone, not including any of the trillions that we have just paid out during the pandemic and have yet to pay out during the recovery.
Tack on another couple trillion dollars for state and local governments⏤one and three dollars in the economy is spent by government. That might not seem like a lot to Bill Gates or the United States Congress, but it is over $8 trillion.
Did you know that over 50% of the population of the United States receives some form of government assistance?
Will politicians change this Entitlement Mentality taking it away from a voting public that receives these dollars, do they have any incentive to make change?
What will change this? It must come from strong leadership at the top and if not, it will come from economic collapse. If not accomplished by planned change⏤our Republic will find itself in chaos and in ruin.
There are forces in the United States that would like nothing better than to see our collapse. Each party fails to recognize the time bomb that the uncheck growth of Entitlements present, calling it “untouchable” and “political suicide”. It will be far worse if they do not act soon.
Entitlement is an arrogant statement:
- the fact of having a right to something.
- An entitlement is the right to a privilege or benefit, granted by law or custom
- A Federal program or provision of law that requires payments to any person or unit of government that meets the eligibility criteria established by……
- Entitlement, generally, any government-provided or government-managed benefit or service to which some or all individuals are entitled by law
- Entitlement. Distribution or exercise of an absolute privilege or right to an economic benefit (such as old age pension, social security, unemployment stipend) granted by contract or law, automatically upon meeting the required qualification.
Can anyone tell me what Article of the United States Constitution contains the Entitlement Clause? I purposely listed these by increasing complexity, the last several are the Government’s language. I like the first one.
“the fact of having a right to something.”
The word “fact” stands out followed by the ambiguity of “something” a fact establishing a right to something, does this makes good sense.
The next definition adds the complication of “the right” which is terribly misused today. But here it is clear in saying, “a particular privilege or benefit, granted by law or custom”. You have the right to drive a car at age 16, provided you meet all the requirements of the law: pass a written test, a driving test, an eye test and have liability insurance. Is driving a “God Given Right”, no and it is not a good argument if stopped while driving without a license. The injection of the word and idea of “right” is significantly misused and abused.
The next definition is clear is stating:
“any person or unit of government that meets the eligibility criteria established by…” usually by some innocuous bill.
So, if you or anyone meets the criteria you can be granted an entitlement: cash, check, debit card. We now go from clearly stated to the newer more confusing definitions, vague by law, less responsibility as they can be assigned to most anyone.
” Entitlement, generally, any government-provided or government-managed benefit or service to which some or all individuals are entitled by law”
This one comes from the United States Senate, “any government provided or managed benefit or service” and further “some or all individuals are entitled by law” this seems to include anyone for anything the government provides as a benefit or service. I am starting a list today and getting signed up.
Finally, the economists at the OMB came up with this one, “absolute privilege or right to an economic benefit……. granted by contract or law, automatically upon meeting the required qualification”.
Who defines “absolute privilege” and “economic benefit” and “automatically when you meet the requirements”? Veterans’ Healthcare is one, but a new Mustang GT convertible is not.
We now have a good idea of what Entitlements are, how governments have defined them, and that they are not mentioned in the Constitution.
Empowered – the Constitution empowers people. It gives someone the authority or power to do something. As in “Pursue Life Liberty and Happiness” and places restrictions on government and people from stopping you. It does not make guarantees of success.
The Entitlement Generation has been empowered by their parents and environment. Some are given the license to fail at school, their parents intervene for second chances and in some cases buy the kids way into USC. Suzy the blonde cheerleader gets her father’s 3-year-old BMW convertible the day she gets her driver’s license. She is empowered by the privilege of class wealth and has no idea of working for anything.
The idea of entitlements breeds false expectations and failed promises⏤over promise and under deliver. It is not limited to only wealthy and so called privileged.
Government programs and guaranteed economic benefits, the absolute right and privilege have become demands of the entitled, those who have been promised and not received, many times the politicians that won do not pass the bill granting the benefit.
No one is entitled to anything they do not work for; achievement is not easy. Whether it is education, success in business, becoming an Olympic star athlete, or a late-night TV host. You do not become an outstanding chef at a Five Star Michelin restaurant by just having a backyard barbecue once a week, welcome to the world of reality.
You must get up in the morning get dressed like everybody else and go off to work. Work might be going to that 8 o’clock class in high school with a smile on your face and having done your homework and studying last night. Your teacher called on you, you did not have the answers and guess what, you got a “C” in the course. That is not getting you into Harvard boys and girls.
So instead of Harvard you get into Southern Florida State University, along with 58,000 other students. You then take those math classes and science classes in high school, a general liberal arts curriculum, you take some accounting courses because you’re in the business school and you didn’t do very well and finished somewhere with a 2.2 GPA. You get out of the University and you can’t get a job with an accounting firm, don’t even consider the seven big firms in New York as they only take four point grades out of Ivy League in top 10 universities.
So, you sign on with H&R Block and you get three months’ work out of the year, you have $20,000 in student loans. Your girlfriend from college hooks up with some Ivy Leaguer or takes off for New England. At this point you think you are entitled to a lot more, kind of a common thing among the 50% of college grads that do not get six-figure jobs out of college.
Well maybe if you paid attention in high school got a 4.0 average, went to Vanderbilt University instead, got that law degree you wanted, you’d be earning $300,000 a year after two or three years you may have that girlfriend and a beautiful home in suburban Nashville. Life does suck for those who do not work at it.
You may have noticed I have not talked about minorities, affirmative action, racial divide, and opportunities denied. Why is this? I do not believe in any of them, they have all failed. One of my very best friends for the last 40 years is a gentleman that grew up in the Chicago neighborhoods got into Northwestern University after getting a 4.0 average in high school got a graduate degree in business finance and an MBA later from Harvard. He was raised by his grandmother and single mother, he has an extraordinarily successful career, a beautiful family and lives in a genuinely nice suburban Connecticut community.
Again, the Constitution only guarantees opportunity and it is up to the individual to make the best of it.
Irresponsible: who is responsible the entitlement generation
I think there’s two groups, first and foremost the politicians who have fostered the feelings of entitlement and irresponsibility, giving people the easy way out, the age of political correctness, and providing what they call an umbrella of opportunity.
The political left has been the advocate for social programs for the past 55 years with that umbrella of opportunity including affirmative action, social promotion, lowering achievement standards, normalization of SAT scores, acceptance based upon minority affiliation, and as we all know the achievement awards for participation. The list includes so much more.
How did this happen, it was easy! Instead of fostering excellence and achievement and providing opportunities for everyone in the United States politicians chose to reward many by lowering the standards. Today many school districts across the country have social promotion. Johnny did not learn to read in the second and third grades, but he was pushed forward anyway so he would not be stigmatized by being left behind. Well when Johnny got to high school Johnny still could not read. Johnny got frustrated and, in some case, he dropped out or he was offered a curriculum that wound up giving him basically a certificate of attendance.
In certain states Johnny then got admitted to the community college because the laws said anyone 18 years of age regardless of whether they had high school diploma or not was granted admission. After one semester of usually remedial education Johnny left community college ending his educational experience. Politicians and political correctness have ruined the opportunity given to him by making it too easy to fail, encouraging failure year after year. Johnny did not think he was responsible, maybe his parents or absence of parents were responsible to a degree. It was the politically correct educational and political community that is ultimately responsible for the crisis in illiteracy and sub-standard non-competitive education we have in the nation.
Since we really have limited apprenticeship programs in this country and vocational training at private institutions is terribly expensive achieving a high-paying rewarding job and career is exceedingly difficult. Some of the responsibility of this goes to the political establishment and the corporate world for outsourcing millions of industrial jobs. It is estimated that over 25 million jobs in industry were outsourced in the last 35 years, most of it in the 1980s through 2000.
I did not go into people’s “rights to entitlement” per se as my overall position is “No One Is Entitled”. There are several situations where people may need assistance, educational help, disaster aid, or due to disabilities that they had no control over their situation and government can play a role. Hopefully, this role would be temporary and assisted by helping people reach their full potential and let them become independent instead of becoming permanent wards of the government.
We must break this loop and this pattern. Our country cannot continue down this path. Frankly we cannot afford it financially and socially or survive the divisions it brings to our society, it has fostered economic division, huge disparity of wealth and environmental conditions. We must change.