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Entitlements the Government Owes Me

Updated on December 4, 2012

The entitlement generation believes they are owed something—by parents, schools, government, employers and anyone else in authority. They have been conditioned to claim more rights than they deserve. An action seems ethical as long as they’re not caught. For college, they look to government grants and subsidies.

It’s not right; they screwed me!

The entitlement generation believes they are owed something—by life, parents, schools, government, manufacturers and so on. They are quick to complain when life events don’t go the way they want. It is their right. It is only fair (from their view). They’re called “spoiled” by the same elders who set up those expectations (collectively if not personally). They have a crab-pot attitude of disdain toward both the self-made man and those who have the good fortune of a windfall.

Some of them will look for opportunities to make the big guys pay in one way or another. Business owners have to be financially shielded from their business liabilities. Class-action suits abound. Punitive awards far overshadow compensatory damages. It is a litigious environment and everyone has to carry higher liability insurance.

It is the entitlement attitude that assumes the self-determined right to exhaust unemployment benefits before starting to look for another job. When car insurance seems too expensive, they sometimes neglect it and hope the other guy will pay for any accident. When a health care plan is unaffordable, they know that they can always depend on the emergency room of indigent hospitals for routine health care.

The entitlement attitude too easily breeds a situational ethic: “something is OK as long as I am not caught; besides, they owe it to me.” This situational ethic is too often modeled by leaders in authority, both government and religious.

For students

Colleges and government agencies address this personal finance attitude through grants rather than through scholarships or sweepstakes drawings. The grants recognize personal need, in an effort to provide an equal opportunity for all, regardless of academic (or other) excellence or chance opportunity. The only application required is to justify and verify financial or discriminatory need.

More about personal finance attitudes


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    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      6 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      I hope you do work some more on this hub as you have time and inclination. Backing up its points with citations to supporting facts and figures and true stories would add to its effectiveness.

    • Howard S. profile imageAUTHOR

      Howard S. 

      6 years ago from Dallas, Texas, and Asia

      Most of my hubs are informational based on serious research. I rarely do anything that could be called essay or opinion. This one was intended to be inflammatory and elicit reaction. In that sense, it worked. As for being well-written, I judge it to be one of my worst, since I dashed it off in a hurry along with 2-3 others in a series.

      Thank you for complimentary comments on other hubs.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      6 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      I did not mark this hub down, because it is well expressed, but I did not mark it up, either, because it is nonsense, regurgitating the propaganda of apologists for unregulated capitalism. Entitlement is a legal term meaning "the right to guaranteed benefits under a government program." For instance, Social Security is a government run insurance program into which I paid. Now I get a monthly retirement check. That's an entitlement, that is, a guaranteed benefit. It's not free money or charity. It's an insurance program pay-out. If I did not get the checks I do, I would be getting cheated, the same as if a private insurance company failed to pay out as agreed in a program (as many do cheat). At a time when extremist reactionaries in the government are scheming to sabotage Social Security and Medicare, when the biggest banks are still getting away with rampant corruption, when the student loan system was and probably still is rigged and fraudulent, when wage theft is widespread, and when the Constitutional right to peacefully assemble to petition for an end to corruption and to laws designed to take from the poor and those of modest means and give to the rich, and when deregulation led to irresponsible (and in a sensible world illegal) speculations by bankers that got them richer and brought down the economy, at a time when a decadent system sorely needs reform, it is irresponsible to blame its victims. The mission of the US government is to provide for the common defense and to promote the general welfare. In these times that means protecting we the people and our land, air, and waterways from irresponsible corporations, and that also means investing in the people's future general welfare, such as with education grants, with upkeep of infrastructure, with research, and so on. No level-headed person disdains or begrudges a self-made man (a misnomer for, I gather, someone who came out ahead as an investor or business owner) or the recipient of a windfall, if those achievements and blessings were come by honestly. (I am certainly disdainful of those who "self-made" their profits by investing in part or full ownership of, or by running, companies paying less than a bare living wage or engaging in wage theft or polluting or obstructing employee unionizing or finding sneaky ways around their responsibilities.) And the accusation that anyone would wait to look for work until after unemployment insurance runs out is not at all plausible at a time when jobs are very hard to find. And what you say about insurance makes no sense. If insurance is unaffordable, what other option is there but do without? I don't know if your accusations about litigation and liability have any validity--I'll try to fit in researching that sometime--but I'm guessing not, given the faulty premises and reasoning of the rest of this hub.


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