Thursday, June 02, 2005

Entitlements are Killing the American Spirit

I did a job for a woman at a brand new apartment complex last week. She was driving a newer model Ford product and had lost the keys. My daughter had been looking for a newer apartment, had even looked at these same apartments; only to find that they were reserved for low income families, like my daughter was one of the Hilton heirs. This woman was living in a very nice brand new apartment, one that my tax dollars were going to help pay for. She told me her rent was only $ 400 a month for a two bedroom apartment; but that she had to pay the $20 a month utility bill out of her own pocket. My heart bleeds for that extra $ 20 a month.

I have a friend from church who’s living in an older set of apartments and paying $850 a month for the same size apartment. The insulation is so bad her utility bills in the summer are $5-600 a month to keep the place reasonably cool. The single parent woman has to work so many hours at minimum wage as to preclude her being able to go to church many times.

Maybe she should stop working, stop paying taxes and get one of those neat looking apartments. Maybe I could do the same and sell off all my properties and then turn around and live in one of my old houses; with the help of a government subsidy, since I will then qualify with my impoverished income. Is this the American dream of having it all; not having to pay for it will last only as long as I can get some other sucker to pay for it? (It’s been a slow week for business and thoughts of inadequacy may have crept into some of this rant.)

It’s a lie; by the way, that we believe in not having to pay our own way. The American spirit has always included the singular aspect of being able to stand on our own two feet. There is a pride that goes with being able to make it without help from parents, from not having to rely on an inheritance that Aunt Millie left or even have to dip into savings when things get tight. That is what’s missing. Our current society has been spoon fed entitlements for so long as to erase the pride of having done it on our own. Is this the legacy we want to leave our children?

Some of you senior citizens, you survivors of the Great Depression; what happened to the “can do attitude”, did you leave it on the night stand next to your dentures? Do you stand behind the AARP crap, “Give us our prescription drugs, give us universal health care, give us everything because we have earned the right”? Think about the demands to have “government sponsored” entitlements. Doesn’t this fly in the face of everything your generation stood for? Did you wake up one morning and say to yourselves, “I’m tired of fighting the good fight, and anyway, I paid my dues.”

What kind of example are we setting for the next generation? Are we telling them that when you reach a certain age you become useless, unable to obtain necessary items or worse; that you would permit another to do what you could have done for yourself, had you any pride left within you at all? God, I hope not!

Update: Stephen Littau, of Fearless Philosophy for Free Minds, awarded this post his 2nd place vote for Blogpost of the Month Award. Thank you for the recognition Stephen, I liked this post a lot and I'm gratified that you did too.

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