So soon after Christmas I am hesitant to play the Grinch, but I have become increasingly disappointed by the growing sense of entitlement that our culture has created. It seems everyone thinks they should be permitted to have whatever they want whenever they want no matter what they actually contribute to society. This is not the way our founding fathers ever envisioned what it means to be an American.
We can go back to the original Homestead Act for the first entitlements that were granted. Titles to land were granted to thousands of Americans willing to work the land. Back in those days working the land did not mean that you had tractors and trailers. You worked the land with your hands and had tools, with some mules if you were lucky, and you built your own home, your own fences and barn and everything else you might need to turn uncultivated land to crops or cattle-raising property. Basically your land grant entitled you to the opportunity to work sixteen hour days and create a legacy for your children and grandchildren.
Today the level of entitlement is out of control. I am not just talking about federal programs to help the poor. A minimum level of food, housing, education, health care and freedom to create is a necessary entitlement for all members of society. What is concerning me is the level of entitlement our public servants feel they deserve. Just a few days ago another case was discussed in our local San Diego newspaper of a former police officer who was requesting that her $200,000 plus annual retirement payment be considered in part disability payment and thus not subject to normal taxation. She requested this because of disabilities she had developed while serving on the police force for thirty-plus years. In this case the police officer happens to be a woman. Because of the privacy act she does not want to have her specific disability revealed. (more…)