Hard work and sacrifice over time is omnipotent; it builds and strengthens individuals, families and societies. Entitlement is a cancer.
That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode.
“But that’s not fair!” “Life isn’t fair.” The child shrieks that something or other is not fair. He came in 3 hours after curfew and his phone was taken for a day. Her supposed best friend did not invite her to a birthday party. Perhaps eons ago, a cave child complained about not getting a desired cut of the saber tooth tiger at dinner. In every case, the parent responded in the same way by accurately observing that life is indeed not fair. And once we get that, life suddenly becomes much easier.
We are entitled to, ”Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” And none of that is guaranteed; it was bought with blood and treasure, and must be defended or we will lose all of it.
Many of us want to be a part of trying to make life fair, as we should. And at the same time we need to be very careful about our motives. Are we trying to right wrongs with our own time, energy and money? Or are we trying to make life fair with other people’s time, energy and money? A growing number of people, groups and politicians are seeking personal and political advantage by inventing and then applying new categories of so-called fairness. Here are some examples:
- Voting. The initial shriek here was that requiring a photo ID to vote was somehow unfair to minorities and others who were incapable of acquiring the type of identification needed to live openly day to day in our country. When those taking that position discovered how insulting it was to any person or group that they could not handily get a photo ID, they shifted the claim of what was not fair. This time the claim is that having weeks of pre-voting, with polls open evenings and weekends along with weeks of mail-in balloting is not enough. Unless you added drive-thru and 24 hour voting, it was racist. Their point is that people are entitled to the utmost ease, absent any and every inconvenience, in order to vote. No. Nonsense. Everyone is entitled to liberal and equal access to the polls. Government is required to give that equal and liberal access while preserving the integrity of the voting process. And separate from what we feel entitled to when it comes to voting, we must all work hard to research the various politicians and policies before voting. Research. Not simply checking in with the sources we know will support our biases. Research, including truth seeking research on opposition party leaders and policies. Have you heard that the Biden Administration is floating the idea of requiring a paid day off to vote? If that gains traction, I can hear the woke voices now complaining that this is racist. Why? Because fewer minorities are employed than whites and would not qualify for this freebie; this would be just as racist as not having 24-hour or drive through voting.
- Work rewards, i.e., pay and benefits. The entitled approach is to pay people what they need simply because they are entitled to what they need. The rational approach is to pay people in line with what they contribute, not in line what they need or want. We are entitled to what we earn. And to keep our money over and above what is needed for government to do only what it does uniquely well, and efficiently. Right job, done well.
- Academic rewards, i.e., getting into schools, succeeding and graduating with or without honors. The entitled approach wants people to attend where they choose. And maybe even graduate more based on need and desire rather than performance. The rational approach requires that both admittance and gradation be dependent upon merit only.
- Money for life’s expenses, e.g., housing, clothing, food, healthcare, relaxation, Universal Basic Income (UBI, AKA Free Money For Life), etc. The point worth driving home here is that none of these are human rights; no human is entitled to any one of these for merely existing. As taxpayers and voters, we must support a government that allows reasonable access to all of these necessities, while the human right argument means that it should all be free. Everyone is entitled to all of these benefits in sufficient amounts to make people feel comfortable, or so goes the human right argument. The reasonable access argument clearly means that those who can provide for themselves and for those for whom they are responsible must do exactly that. Meeting that responsibility may very well take hard work and some level of sacrifice over time. Some people, even with hard work and focus over time, need temporary help; others need permanent help. The chart below provides a useful reference.
- When someone needs medical help to the point that they must go to the hospital, the medical profession’s goal is to get them well, and then send them home. No one in the medical world is pushing for people who come to the hospital to stay there. Why is it that government programs are increasingly designed for the recipient to, well, stay there? Is it because some politicians and their supporters do not realize what has been happening to create generational dependency for the past 60 years, or are they willing to make people dependent upon government for personal and political gain? BTW, Bill Clinton understood what was happening, and reversed it–for a while.
- Here’s one we are all entitled to; we are entitled to deal with the consequences of our actions. Cops and civilians both have responsibilities when they encounter each other. Related to that, we can’t make bad behavior and crime go away by ignoring it. The stats in San Francisco no doubt show a steep drop in shoplifting, but that is because California voters passed Proposition 47, dramatically reducing the penalties for any theft below $900. San Francisco has gone a step further, and virtually ignores shoplifting. Shoplifting has skyrocketed, with few or no prosecutions–leaving hurting businesses and higher prices for those who actually pay for what they take away. Shoplifting stats way down, actual shoplifting way up. It is the same in our schools. Obama administration’s “Dear Colleague Letter” on school discipline issued in 2014, advised school superintendents nationwide that racial disparities in suspension rates would be grounds for finding school districts in violation of federal anti-discrimination law, and therefore at risk of losing federal funding. The effect of the letter was to have many school districts stop reporting bad behavior and crimes where one ethnicity or another represented a disproportionate share of the offenders. And we all know that while that letter was in effect, school offenses were way up, and the stats showed a steep decline. The ostrich approach to bad behaviour and crime does not work. And it didn’t work for the ostrich ether; hiding his head in the sand did not change the lion’s lunch plans.
Today’s Key Point: Hard work and sacrifice over time is omnipotent; it builds and strengthens individuals, families and societies. Entitlement is a cancer.
Final thought: COVID can kill millions worldwide; entitlement can kill entire societies. We are defeating COVID, and encouraging entitlement. Where do you stand? What are you going to do? Remember, it does not matter where you stand if you don’t do anything.
As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:14
As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts.
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Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
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