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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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