There was a long line waiting for the train at Denver International Airport. At the last minute a weasley guy swooped around us all and boarded first. Why did he do it? Because he could. He put his egocentric needs above decorum or courtesy. It was an act of entitlement.
The same principle applies to people who want to get more simply because they have less. To hear Obama campaign, you’d think the greatest threat to the U.S. isn’t terrorism but people who are wealthy. A basic concept that seems to escape candidate Obama who must have missed Econ 101 is that people who work harder, create value and take risks usually (but not always) end up with more money. If individuals and corporations made their money legally and ethically, they should share no greater load of the tax burden than the disproportionate amount they already pay. Robin Hood economics are antiquated concept that Obama has successfully revived. It is about entitlement.
The people whining about their mortgages have good reason if their loans were misrepresented or they are victims of unscrupulous practices. Most are whining because they signed their names on a contract they didn’t read. But they think they should be given special dispensation and not held responsible for their bad decision. It is another form of entitlement.
I signed a contract that we tried to renegotiate because of unusual circumstances. We were unsuccessful. So you know what I did? I honored it. Legally, that’s what you do when you sign a contract even if the outcome sucks. It is the opposite of entitlement; it is called responsibility.
So whether you’re a weasel who sneaks to the front of the line or someone who thinks they should get something for nothing or not be held accountable for a legally binding agreement, understand that your problem isn’t poor parenting or W or the economy. It is a disease called entitlement.
(afterthought: AIG is on the brink of failure. Nobody complained when their AIG stock made money, but now it isn’t fair that the stock has tanked! Here’s another form of entitlement: acccepting the gains of risk without being willing to pay the cost. You’ll find entitlement is quite pervasive in our culture today.)