The notion of entitlements has been carried far beyond that of a social welfare net. Entitlements are now overblown and unsustainable. They have been used as vote-buying schemes by politicians willing to promise anything to gain or retain office. They are no longer beneficial, but serve as disincentives that produce perverse behavior.
This mindset is now so ingrained that it represents a potentially corrosive and harmful force in society. Charles Hugh Smith describes it thusly (emboldening added):
The entitlement mindset atrophies self-reliance, adaptability and flexibility, all key survival traits. If the government will “fix” our health, we no longer feel responsible in the way one does if there is limited government/employer-provided healthcare. If we expect our Social Security retirement regardless of what other conditions may be affecting the global economy or our nation, then we stop being responsible for managing our financial affairs in the same way as one does when there is no “guaranteed” retirement entitlement.
Too many in our country are divorced from reality as a result of the notion that government will take care of them. An entire class of dependents has been created. Some families are in their third generation and consider dependency on handouts normal. Personal responsibility and accountability no longer exist.
Lack of a work ethic prevents many from looking for jobs. Our school system, little more than a warehouse for pre-teens and teens, provides little training, skills or education. As if the government in its role of educating has not harmed them enough, they pass laws that make it impossible for unskilled people to obtain employment. The minimum wage law is the cruelest. It makes it illegal for the unskilled to even step on the job escalator closing out the possibility of obtaining the workplace habits and skills missed in schooling. Various welfare payments signal that a job is not necessary.
The moral corruptness and destruction of time-honored values created by the entitlement system is ingrained in a portion of the population. As a result of government, they leave school without skills and are prevented from working by “protective” laws. Should that not be enough, perverse incentives are provided to ensure that the unfortunate need not try to better themselves.
Now we stand on the verge of Great Depression II and a government that is nearly bankrupt. Unlike its predecessor, this depression will not be as well tolerated. Government will be unable to provide the programs it did in the 1930s. People enter this depression with no savings or sense of frugality. Few know how to feed or provide for themselves.
When an entire class of people believe they are “entitled” to live at the expense of others, there is no social compact. The false Santa Claus that is government has nothing that it does not first take from someone else. The productive sector of society has already given. They see what is coming and are “going Galt.” Businesses are hunkering down, refusing to hire or invest. Many only expand outside this country.
Jobs will not be forthcoming and the government is out of options and out of money. The entitlement society is about to end and there is nothing that anyone can do to prevent this. Grave danger lies ahead as a result of the conditioning of citizens to their entitlements. As Mr. Smith points out:
The entitlement mindset is heavy baggage indeed, and the emotional content of the baggage– resentment, anger, and a debilitating focus on “what I deserve”–is toxic to the traits we will need in abundance to weather the decade ahead: flexibility, adaptability, open-mindedness, experimentation, community and self-reliance.
A mighty storm is coming. Economic conditions will likely be similar to the Great Depression. Social conditions will be worse. Thank your political class for both, but especially for creating the idea of false “rights.” These “rights,” when they can no longer be provided by government, will be obtained by the have-nots directly. Many will take to the streets to plunder the haves for what is “rightly theirs.”