Somewhere along the way, at some unknown point in time, our political leaders perhaps supported by many in the press have vilified the word “entitlement.” They have lumped, grouped, placed or any other term you may like any payment by the government to any person.
This of course when examined by anyone who has an IQ that makes it to double digits is an unfair use of all of the non-entitlement programs. When I think of entitlement programs I think of the ones that the recipients are indeed entitled to. In other words programs that people or businesses have paid into themselves. Programs like Social Security, Medicare, unemployment compensation, workers compensation to name a few.
Let’s first look at the biggest, Social Security. Indeed many people have collected more than they have paid in, (this is a lot like insurance). However, the flip-side is the millions has died prior to ever receiving a dime, (both of my parents are in this group). This fund has in fact been covered by people who work, and who have themselves and their companies paid into, i.e. it is earned.
The same can be said of the others. A person has worked a long enough period of time in order to get back to work and get on their feet. This payment has in fact been funded/earned by the person and their company.
This is no way resembles the “non-entitlement programs.” These include food stamps, government housing subsidies etc. We pay people who don’t work to have additional children who they can’t afford. My wife (actually ex-wife) and I stopped at two, that was what we felt we could afford to bring into this world properly. I realize that with all of the jobs we ship overseas (a topic that I will address one day) it is difficult to find work. But generation after generation of these payments to these people has got to stop. A side note here, politicians have from both sides of the aisle referred only to the people who are actively seeking employment when figuring the unemployment rate (I guess that makes them feel good). What about the able bodied adults that aren’t seeking employment? These are the ones that I’m writing about.
They boost the actual unemployment rate to well over 20 percent and they have no incentive to actually start looking. I quote a good friend of mine “what we feed, grows and what we starve, dies.” Well there really is no incentive for the non-employment seekers to start looking.
It is these people, not the ones receiving the “entitlements” that are dragging down this nation. We are a great and rich nation and we can and should help those who cannot help themselves and those who have hit hard times, just not the lazy, unmotivated recipients of dollars that we, not them, have to pay for.
This of course is my opinion, (which I respect).
Mike Brennan is a business teacher at Bartow High School.