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The Scary Sense of American Entitlement


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Some may find it strange that I post this article since at one point it slams Romney, but it is a slam that he deserves. I don't know what the **** he was thinking in Michigan. I do think that this article is right on the money with what has become the number one economic problem today. The writer praises McCain and is in favor of this asinine "rebate", so he obviously is not too bright, but otherwise, great article.

The Scary Sense of American Entitlement

By Ruben Navarrette

SAN DIEGO -- Worried that Americans are on the brink of a recession -- or perhaps already in the middle of one -- the Bush administration and the House of Representatives have reached tentative agreement on an economic stimulus package.

Glad to hear it. A stimulus may not work exactly as expected, but it's worth a try. Americans are overtaxed as it is, and anything that gets more of their tax dollars back into their hands is a good thing. And if they spend what they get, it'll be good for the economy.

There's just one thing. You hear about how voters are angry and holding Congress' feet to the fire until they get some sort of relief. But let's not get so caught up in asking what government can do for us that we forget what we can do for ourselves.

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The No. 1 economic threat facing the United States today isn't globalization, stagnant wages, unfair trade policy or illegal immigration. And it certainly isn't what one cable TV demagogue glibly calls a "war on the middle class" by big media, big corporations and big special interests.

Rather, it's the sense of entitlement that many Americans take with them into the workplace and the eagerness with which they shift the blame when things don't go according to plan.

The key is to never to take responsibility for the personal decisions you've made. Eventually, some opportunistic politician will come along and confirm what you've always suspected -- that you are at the mercy of forces beyond your control.

It wasn't always this way. Fifty years ago, Americans were a heartier bunch. They'd grown up in the Depression and defeated Nazi Germany and the other Axis powers during World War II, and they found honor in doing any kind of work. If they didn't earn enough money doing it, they took on another job, or another one after that. Most of all, they took pride in the idea that -- in this country -- our destiny is in our own hands.

Today, according to a survey of workers in their 20s and 30s, young Americans expect their jobs to provide not only a nice salary but also plenty of vacation time to enjoy it. And from research done by Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, we know that many members of "Generation Me" walk into job interviews brimming with self-esteem and expecting to be put on a path to a corporate vice presidency.

Is that all? And what if they don't get everything that they think they're entitled to?

That's when the blame comes in. Americans like to blame illegal immigrants for keeping wages low, or workers from India or China for taking high-skilled jobs. In either case, instead of accepting the challenge and trying to beat the competition, too many American workers will call out for protection. And again, some shameless politician will offer it.

Speaking of shameless politicians, what was Mitt Romney thinking when he told Michigan voters that all those lost jobs in the U.S. auto industry might just come back?

Sure, and Ford might start making Edsels again.

It took John McCain to dish out some straight talk and tell Michigan voters what they need to hear -- that these jobs are gone because the world is changing and they have to change with it.

That was awfully brave. But McCain could have gone further. He could have explained that organized labor helped bring about this displacement by pricing autoworkers out of the market. He could have pointed out that many workers went along for the ride because they felt entitled to the same standard of living that their parents enjoyed but didn't want to get the extra schooling or training to achieve it. He could have said that the situation is complicated by the fact that there will always be those who won't move away from their hometowns -- even when the towns are on life support. And, finally, he could have reminded voters that they can't always blame their problems on others and that, sooner or later, they have to grow up and take control of their lives and their destiny.

As part of a stimulus package, the government wants to send out tax rebates to jump-start the economy. That's all well and good. But what some Americans really need isn't a check they take to the bank. It's a lecture they take to heart.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/...merican_en.html

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Good article, I agree with pretty much all of it...

I'm still a little torn on what to think of this "stimulus package" idea; IMO it would serve the economy much better if they sent out debit cards instead of checks to ensure that the money is put back into the economy... If I get a check it's going straight to the credit card bill... If I get a debit card, it's going straight to Best Buy... :D

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Americans are still willing to do any job. we just demand a decent wage.

we aren't chinese who live on rice or mexicans who live 20-deep in a tiny apartment. "competing" with them means living in squalor like a 3rd-world bum. we aren't hoarding our money so we can go back to a 3rd-world country and live like kings. we have to live HERE.

so, yeah i guess i do feel entitled. to have the same opportunities my parents and grandparents had here.

stories like this are ridiculous, pushing some fake notion that previous generations were inherently better, tougher, or more hard-working.

it couldn't be that living expenses are through the roof while wages have remained depressed? the whole "people of previous generations took pride in any work" is complete BS. people didn't want to be ditch-diggers in the 50's, and they still don't today. the difference is an American could live respectably on that wage in the past. houses back then didn't cost 10x what the average american makes in a year. nowadays the only people who can survive on that pay are mexicans who stack 20-deep in apartments and eat every meal at QuikTrip.

the fact is, both the US and Mexican Govt are working in concert with the big corporations that profit off cheap labor to keep the borders open and keep immigration laws unenforced. Corporations care about NOTHING but profit, and anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar. So of course they're going to pay the lowest amount possible for all expenses, including labor. and of course they're going to lobby the crooked US govt to protect their crooked azzes and keep the minimum wage low.

so it's just insulting to claim that today's generation is just lazy and feels entitled, when in fact there are a lot of other forces at play here.

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WTA (1/28/2008)
Good article, I agree with pretty much all of it...

I'm still a little torn on what to think of this "stimulus package" idea; IMO it would serve the economy much better if they sent out debit cards instead of checks to ensure that the money is put back into the economy... If I get a check it's going straight to the credit card bill... If I get a debit card, it's going straight to Best Buy... :D

But even when you pay your credit card bill it is still going into the economy. Your creditor is owned by another company that likely has its own investments and possibly even new companies to start up. It goes into new organizations that acquire new capital and create new jobs.

I want to reiterate what I said in another thread though. The government isnt "stimulating" anything. Its making up a very small amount for the enormous impact it had when it started derailing the economy in the first place. Its like when you are driving down the highway and you realize your parking brake is on. When you remove it you aren't souping up your car any, you're making up for screwing with its performance in the first place.

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Actually, on the one point I do agree with McCain. If people would take the energy they spend whining/blaming and put it into education/training (not neccessarily formal), many would find themselves advancing instead of being phased out.

Thanks for posting this article, SilentBob.

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"Back in the good old days we were better because we had crappy pay and poor benefits and worked five jobs to make ends meet, and walked 5 miles in the snow each way with no shoes to get to work. You young folks are spoiled because you force employers to pay better salaries and give better benefits packages and sit at work with your ipods and your casual dress and make us sick..."

Boo hoo. What these articles fail to say is half the time they're surveying "random" 20-30 year olds they're doing it outside of mega offices like Microsoft, Google, Bain Capital, Blackstone, Merril Lynch, or other ultra selective employers. Sorry, when you're talking to a kid that went to a top 10 school (because most of those companies really don't do heavy, if any, recruitment anywhere else) and he/she works for one of those companies then they're not being spoiled when they candidly tell you that they quit job a because they only got 3 weeks of leave or turned down job b because it would only pay 60k. These people are talking to "the best and brightest" kids coming out of school and are angry that they're gunning for the best package that they can get? Is that not plain stupid?

The fact is that there are plenty of jobs for someone with a BA/BS and above. If you're settling for a crappy package you aren't being a real old school American you're being stupid. Back then people had to settle because you didn't have options. We do now...

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I understand and agree with the article in principle.

I thought about this not too long ago. Sense of entitlement is inherit in Americans. Without that sense of entitlement we would still be under British rule.

It's going to grow with every generation as our quality of life improves, hopefully. In 1776, when one of the most important documents every written started out: "We hold these truths to be self evident", we were kinda setting the stage for a sense of entitlement.

Today we take it for granted, these "truths" I mean. There are still alot of countries out there that don't hold those truths to be self evident.

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You want to stimulate the economy, do away with welfare" except for the disabled and the elderly" there are way too many able bodied people out there who think they have the right

to live off the backs of the hard working taxpayers of this country, you've got people who have been living off of the taxpayers their entire life" **** its a way of life for certain segments

of the population, you've got the illegals who go to the emergency room to see a doctor because their kid has a cold knowing full well they have no intention of paying the bill,

and its passed along for everyone else to pay. Do away with the gasoline tax I've heard"don't

know if its true" that .21 cents of every dollar is state taxation. I just wonder what percentage

of the people who will get a rebate check instead of spending it will put it into a savings account or an I.R.A or a 401k instead of spending it, to me its like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound, in the long run its basically worthless. You can bet your bottom dollar if Obama

or Billary gets elected this Country will be one step closer to Socialism then its ever been.

They can spew their " we'll work hard and make life easier for the middle class garbage nothing

more than elect me I'm one of you crap. I don't see anyone in either party who strikes me as

one of the people...............and thats for all of our sakes really sucks.

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XLDenaliReturns (1/29/2008)
Americans are still willing to do any job. we just demand a decent wage.

we aren't chinese who live on rice or mexicans who live 20-deep in a tiny apartment. "competing" with them means living in squalor like a 3rd-world bum. we aren't hoarding our money so we can go back to a 3rd-world country and live like kings. we have to live HERE.

so, yeah i guess i do feel entitled. to have the same opportunities my parents and grandparents had here.

stories like this are ridiculous, pushing some fake notion that previous generations were inherently better, tougher, or more hard-working.

it couldn't be that living expenses are through the roof while wages have remained depressed? the whole "people of previous generations took pride in any work" is complete BS. people didn't want to be ditch-diggers in the 50's, and they still don't today. the difference is an American could live respectably on that wage in the past. houses back then didn't cost 10x what the average american makes in a year. nowadays the only people who can survive on that pay are mexicans who stack 20-deep in apartments and eat every meal at QuikTrip.

the fact is, both the US and Mexican Govt are working in concert with the big corporations that profit off cheap labor to keep the borders open and keep immigration laws unenforced. Corporations care about NOTHING but profit, and anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar. So of course they're going to pay the lowest amount possible for all expenses, including labor. and of course they're going to lobby the crooked US govt to protect their crooked azzes and keep the minimum wage low.

so it's just insulting to claim that today's generation is just lazy and feels entitled, when in fact there are a lot of other forces at play here.

POST OF THE MOTHER ##### YEAR!

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