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11.06.2013

CONVENIENCE AND LUXURY ARE NOT ENTITLEMENTS


Entitlement bugs me.  We breed it here in the United States like a mink farm.

Case in point; this week someone said to me, "My cell number is going to change.  Since I'm at the poverty level, I'm getting one of those Obama phones with 250 minutes preloaded on it."  I tried to keep my white hot thoughts from spilling onto my face or bleeding into my response.  I fussed and fumed for the rest of the day about that statement.  I groused around about yet again having to pay for someone else's non-need.

This is not an expose' on politics, political parties, or whose fault it is that we now give out Obama phones to those at the poverty level.  Political leanings and parties aside, I totally believe that we are called as human beings to help those that need help.  I don't always know how that looks, what shape it should always take, or how to draw a definitive line on the subjectiveness of needs and wants sometimes.  Helping with needs is concrete.  Count me in.  Entitlement is shifting sand at times.  I don't believe in it.

I write this though from my lens.  And, my lens is white middle-class with an upbringing from the Midwest.  I was taught to work, take responsibility for myself, try harder and be a good steward of what I had whether it was much or little.  Based on my own experiences, I expect society to reflect that same train of thought. It would appear that our governmental systems, and portions of our society, do not.  That irritates me.  No, it makes me angry.  I felt it again today when I heard the words poverty level and Obama phones.

Let's take that spirit of entitlement to those not at the poverty level.  It's easy no matter your socio-economic grouping to feel entitled; I'll pay the credit card off later, I need this extravagant this or that, I work hard for my money and I deserve this.  Those too are forms of entitlement.  Here's the difference though; you and I are paying for those at poverty level and their entitlements. Their entitlements cost me.  My own entitlements though are mostly only billed to me or ensnare me.

When have cell phones become a need. [I know in my life it is not a need but a cultural want that costs me a lot of money every month!]  When did our elected officials agree that this is now part of the available benefits given to those on some form of government assistance. [I realize when this measure was passed I was in the middle of a divorce and re-ordering my own life so I may have missed it!]  When did we stop being a society built on independence and allow our government to rule everything. [Isn't that why we came to the New World to have freedom from governmental control!]

I hate when the real problem or issue has caused so many other problems that you don't totally remember what originally started this waterfall of entitlement.  

Franklin D. Roosevelt never intended social programs to be permanent or on-going or to grow to the significance and cost they are today.  They were bridges in response to the Great Depression.  The New Deal was about relief, recovery and reform of the financial system to prevent a repeat depression.  I think where we stand now is not at all what was intended back in 1933. 

I have to pay for my own cell phone [I hate the cost of my cell phone.  It seems outrageous!], if I choose to have one.  I have to pay a significant amount of money to have the convenience and luxury of a phone I can carry on me at all times. Don't confuse convenience and luxury with need.  Believe it or not, you also can live without a microwave.  The stove top and oven can heat leftovers too, just maybe not as conveniently.

3 comments:

  1. This "Obama phone" rumor has been going on for so long that even people who would be eligible under the rumor are believing it. I agree that "entitlements" are a growing problem and just giving away free money isn't the best thing to do to really help people, but this one is just a straight up lie. The person you spoke to believed it and then you did too.

    http://www.factcheck.org/2009/10/the-obama-phone/

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/taxes/cellphone.asp

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  2. The Lifeline program started in 1984 to help those at the poverty level (qualifies for federal assistance) were not cut off from jobs, families, or emergencies. It started with assistance monetarily with a landline but has morphed to cell phones. You and I pay a fee on any landline and/or cell phone we have with a hidden charge that funds this program and most of us don't even know it. The point of my blog was the big picture of out of control entitlements. I appreciate your reading it and your thoughts. Thank you. Read this article.... http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323511804578296001368122888

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  3. Agree with you on this particular subject. I'm a Liberal who has personally seen too many people taking advantage of the system. Have seen too much laziness. There are those that pin ALL of this on minorities. But I've seen plenty of it with young white people just out of high school or college; young people who don't want to work; young people who had everything handed to them by their parents, and subsequently know little of working for the things you need and want. I've had a job every year of my life from age 15 onward, and it's hard for me to witness new generations of people who don't even try. MI

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