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The Entitled

One of the themes of the upcoming election has to do with what a citizen of this country should expect from their government. Perhaps, it is not coincidental that there is a similar theme that many of us deal with in our dating lives…..what should any one of us expect from a potential partner?!

When you isolate any one action of a government, or of an individual, you can often mistake what you are dealing with. Some events rarely get repeated. Some actions are momentarily influenced by very current conditions that can disappear or dissolve. However, over time, if you are conscious, a bit perceptible, and honest with yourself, you can readily discern patterns or trends. Many are unmistakable!

Here are a few trends for you:

Over the last 47 years welfare, as a percentage of GDP (The gross domestic product (GDP) is one the primary indicators used to gauge the health of a country's economy. It represents the total dollar value of all goods and services produced over a specific time period - you can think of it as the size of the economy.), has increased 300%.

After adjusting for inflation, welfare spending is 13 times higher today than in 1965, when the War on Poverty started.

The out-of-wedlock birthrate is 40 percent, and the African–American out-of-wedlock birthrate is 72 percent. When the War on Poverty began, the out-of-wedlock birthrate was 7 percent.

More than 40 million people are on food stamps. Four decades ago, only 4.3 million people were on the rolls.

The percentage of people who do not pay federal income taxes, and who are not claimed as dependents by someone who does pay them, jumped from 14.8 percent in 1984 to 49.5 percent in 2009.

It does not take much study or debate to conclude that programs developed over the last 50 years to lesson poverty, irrespective of who was in power, have been colossal failures. This article is not attempting to place blame. It is solely looking for the trend, and perhaps, an unmistakable conclusion.

I have no doubts that well-meaning people have worked hard to create programs for those citizens who have been less fortunate than others. I empathize with their ambitions. However, so often…too often….well-meaning people do not understand that there are often unintended consequences, negative ones, of their actions. I am a believer in safety nets. I think that various programs need critical updates and modifications. But, I am not a believer in throwing good money after bad and expecting different results, just because it feels good! Worse yet, accounting offices in our current government keep telling us that our actions are unsustainable.

And, as bad as the statistics are, they don’t necessarily show you other aspects of these failed programs: they blunt initiative, they stifle confidence, and they discourage self-reliance.

Simply stated: When you can get something for free, what is your incentive to work hard, take risks, and make sacrifices? I am not trying to look down on the unfortunate. But, I am very consciously aware of the huge net of dependence that so many of my fellow-American have allowed themselves to be caught up in. And, with a bit of rationalization on their part and with encouragement, approval and reinforcement from others, they have chosen to allow themselves to become even more beholden to their government for the very quality and significance of their lives.

This country was founded on different principles. Yet, so many have lost sight of what our founders fought for…..the independence of the human spirit and soul, and that our success in life was dependent more on our individual initiative than the actions of others. Growing dependence has mushroomed so out of control and proportion, that many people now see themselves entitled to a life style that they never earned. It is a terrible trend!

Many, many things in life are interconnected and related. If one has been fortunate to have had parents who wanted their children’s lives to be better than their own, it has not been unusual for these children to grow up overprotected and spoiled, with a false sense of reality. Well-meaning parents have tried to shelter their children from pain, hardships, and suffering. Who could fault them? But, taken to an extreme, these actions can create a generation of overly indulged, self-centered citizens who expect things to be done for them and rewards handed to or made available to them easily. They feel so entitled to the Good Life, that invariably their relationships can be influenced by these attitudes.

How so? I’ve seen women enter their 40s and 50s with the conclusion that if they cannot provide for what they want in life they will marry for it. They have given up their own initiative, or they are too tired striving for their dreams, or they have just simply come to the convenient conclusion and rationalization that they deserve what they want, and a man, if he is to have them should be willing to fulfill their every wish and whim. I’ve seen men of this age and older achieve financial successes and rewards in life to such an extent that they think that they should have any woman they want or crave, on demand. Their past accomplishments in one area of their life have brought them to the conclusion that they are entitled to their fondest desires in other areas.

An overly entitled society, whether citizens of a country, or single people seeking a romantic relationship, can easily be led astray by the wrong values and expectations. A little more humility, self-reliance and personal fortitude would seem to me to auger well for the futures of both.

|  Posted on: 2012-10-06 04:30:39  |  1 Comments  

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Comments for Life Style > The Entitled
Great article Fred. Appreciate it.
Comment added by jukebox on 2012-11-25 15:04:01
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