From Earning to Entitlement

I have absolutely no business talking politics.  I guess if “politics” is involved than we as the people are responsible for all of the changes made under/in the name of politics.

So instead I’m just going to ponder…

Why does our government, or any of it’s people, believe and support that people are “entitled”? I belive we as human beings should take care of those unable to take care of themselves. There are those of us who need the care, abilities and support of one another to exist. And we should do everything we can to provide this to those in need. I think we should help those who seek help and want guidance to being self supporting persons.

I don’t think we should have to provide for those who are unwilling but capable of providing for themselves.

As a governmnt why are we just giving things to people who refuse, yes refuse, to do for themselves?

If we have money to just give it willy nilly to people who will not work for themselves why is there so much talk about the bad state of affairs, debt and social issues that exist.   If, as a nation we are financially unable to manage our country-perhaps it goes back to allowing our people to not manage themselves. And not be responsible.

If people do not have a means to support themselves and provide for themselves but are capable then help them provide for themselves. How about building a huge farming community?  Provide basic and decent housing to people. These people can work the farms, sow, harvest and reap the benefits of their very own labor. Milk the cows. Raise the chickens and gather the eggs. If we have money to just give away then how about putting it to work. I bet there are more people out there willing to go live on a farm and feel proud about their ability to help provide for themselves than you would think. Hmmmm. I know not everyone thinks like me, but if I had absolutely nothing and I was hungry and was given two options:

1. Food stamps. Subsidized housing in a building that is known to be used as a drug post (both lab production and distribution all from the same little room right on the other side of my apartment). I don’t have to do anything. I don’t have to work. All I have to do is accept what others are giving to me. I expect nothing of me. You expect nothing of me. And, by the way, you abhor me.


2. Live on a farm. Get up in the morning with a purpose. Fill my days with meaningful work. Spend time with others who are able and willing to teach me, guide me. Grow, cook and prepare my very own life sustaining food. Spend time with my family teaching them the benefits of work. Learning how to provide for me and mine, and showing mine how to do for themselves. Learn how to “make”, grow, create, sew, produce, and flourish.  How much more respectable can you get, than to be a hard working, life sustaining farmer?

There’s no shame in having nothing. There’s no shame in being poor. And by poor I mean having very little money.

There should be shame in not being willing to take care of yourself if you are capable. As a community we have accepted that people don’t have to do anything. We have lost ethics and replaced it with entitlement. We have replaced earning with expectation.  There is a difference between “can’t” and “won’t”.

And on the flip side of that we have a multitude of people who want to feel valued. They want to know that what they do, and their very existance, has value. I know people who are ‘labeled’ MRDD/DD who value going to work every day and believe that what they do matters. Because it does. They know that what they do means something, firstly to them, secondly to someone else. I know men and women who have been forced out of their jobs and the work force due to their age. I’ve had men and women in their 80’s, their 80’s, ask me how they can get a job. Because they value the ethic of working and working well. There is a faction of our society that wants to work, and they haven’t an opportunity, so not only do they feel the world doesn’t value them, they begin to lose value in themselves.

Sometimes it just seems to me that there are a lot of jobs created to fix a problem that has only been created because a lot of people have jobs to define and allow this to continue. Jobs to make reasons for not working, when you can, an acceptable way to exist.

I know we have a multitude of problems in society. And I know I have a very simplistic way of looking at things and thinking things could be resolved easier. Maybe too simplistic. But there has to be a balance, and a better answer, than what is going on today. People do fall upon hard times, and a hand up is often needed. Assistance, compassion and charity are certainly  attributes we want in our society.

I don’t understand our willingness to let our values go.

We valued work, work ethics and ‘company’ loyalty.

We valued taking care of our family.

We valued our community and community members.

We valued what we had and tried to take care of it.

We valued longevity, not disposability, in people and products.

We valued dedicated employees.

We valued what was right over someone else telling us what to do.

We valued praise and appreciation for work done well and the people who did it.

 I ponder, I do, what we are doing to ourselves.   What we are allowing to happen.  And how we might change our values back.  Back to where dependability, determination, willingness to work, self respect, and earning are all valued.   And entitlement is questioned by those who don’t understand such a concept.

29 thoughts on “From Earning to Entitlement

  1. This is a tough topic for so many reasons. Unfortunately, I think poverty is more complicated than your “capable but unwilling” formula allows for. For example, how does one define either term? Who is deemed capable? How do you determine someone is “unwilling?” How would your farm solution work in a country where most farming is corporate and drought has destroyed most crops throughout the heartland of America this summer? I certainly don’t know the answers, but I have found, especially in impoverished parts of the world where I’ve lived is that the poorest populations actually work much harder than most Americans could ever imagine–doing laundry by hand, hauling water, scaveging for firewood that would allow them to cook even the most simple of meals.
    Tough topic. Even if I disagree, I have to applaud you for even taking it on.


    • Thanks Kathy, I know it’s tough. And I know my “answer” or pondering, is over simplified. There are no easy answers. I am speaking in very general terms about a population that I know exists and unfortunately a lot of people are suffering from their entitlement attitude. This is not in regards to those who can not provide for themselves due to infirmities, age, physical or mental issues. I think that most of us have a capability and we should use our abilities to do what we can. I know that the suggestion I spoke of may not be fully viable, and may be quite idealistic. But I kind of like the idea that people could learn skills in building basics, building the homes, learning to farm, learning to do for themselves. Sadly, I know of enough people who could “do” something for themselves, and they do not.

      This is a stretch…but I remember one elderly (90 +) lady who lived on a farm her entire life. Sadly dementia and physical infirmities took a lot of her abilities away. But she was so used to “doing” and providing for herself that even in her dementia her hands would not stop. Her son recognized, even in her advanced dementia, she needed to do something. He bought her loaves of stale bread to shred for animal food (pigs?? I don’t remember the animals they were feeding). This gave her a task, that she could complete, she was useful again and busy. What she did mattered (yes she mattered when she wasn’t shredding bread), because it was needed and she felt like she was working. In effect, living up to her capabilities.

      I recognize we all have varying levels of capabilities. In all of my studies and continuing education courses when working with/for juvenile felony offenders it was always stressed that “meaningful work” is a huge component of self worth and helping them learn values.

      Meaningful work can range from wrapping napkins around plastic ware for fast food places, to brain surgery. What we do matters if it has value.

      I so very much appreciate your feedback. Good discussion is valued in finding resolutions! Blogging people just might help find the answers! 🙂

      I want to think out loud, and learn. Thank you for helping me look at the ‘other side’.


    • Mustang.K,I was a little concerned this may look like I don’t care. Just the opposite. I care very much. I care very much that people I know (and some who I do not) don’t know the value of what they can do. I feel immensely for those who can’t manage. I know it is very easy to sit here and say “they can do more”. But I truly believe they can. And I wish they would. For their own well being. I wish that for everyone. That they strive for their potential.


      • And I do, too. I hope you didn’t misinterpret my comment. I was actually praising you…which I have been doing all to often on your blogs. LOL But I totally agree with you. You had stated it so well.


        • Oh no no no. I very much appreciated your comment. (By the way, you go ahead and praise away 🙂

          This is such a difficult topic. And I know there is no “easy” answer. When I posted this, I just had that little “fear” that I would offend or upset someone. This is truly just my thoughts about things that are wrong with “part” of the system.


          • I know exactly what you mean about being fearful… Some folks need to realize they are just expressing their feelings about something. That goes both ways.

            And since it appears to have upset you, I shall stop praising you on your terrific writing talents. lol


            • Haha! You couldn’t possibly upset me! 😉

              I have been very lucky with my blog. Even when expressing differences people have been very respectful and it leads to good discussion. Which is the best hope of making good change.

              That being said I respectfully disagree with you thinking you should stop praising me. Carry on with the praise! 🙂


  2. People ought to do something in exchange for government assistance. For example if you are drawing unemployment you should be made to put in an 8 hour day once a week to get your check. Even if that 8 hours is showing up and sitting in a chair all day. I would think that very few people who are unemployed spend 40 hours a week job hunting. Sure they have other things to do beside job hunting, but so does every other person who has a job. Money for nothing is a bad policy.


      • 😉 Haha, you put that up there without even seeing my other reply. I appreciate your candid feedback. We all have thoughts about the “way things are”.


    • Hhhhm, well, I wasn’t referring to those on unemployment. I know people who do look for work and can not find anything. When they apply for positions that are something outside of their field, or “less” than what they have experience doing they are told they are over qualified. Those who don’t have limited experience are given the “you don’t have enough experience” replies. Well, there will be different opinions all the way around on this. Talking respectfully about it is the way to find solutions. Thanks for the input. 🙂


      • I live in California. I do know people my age who were gainfully employed but could NOT find work because of their age, their experience, whatever after they were let go (due to the economy). I do feel great pain for those good people.

        However, I have NO pity for those who just flat out milk the system or who get benefits and lie (i.e., commit fraud). Unfortunately, there are so many – and so many that are undocumented – that the system is broken.

        Indeed, I have seen well-dressed people use “food stamp” debit cards at the supermarket. They have no shame. I’ve seen people claim disability but go surfing during the day.

        I do not want to pay even one more dollar with my taxes so they can surf during the day…but will pay that one dollar for people that I know that just cannot find gainful employment.

        Make them useful. I agree. 🙂


        • Ahhhh, Mustang.K, this is what I was trying to get at! Not the people who need help. We all need help at different points in our lives, for different reasons. Helping should never be an issue. It is a problem when people who “can” choose to “not”.

          I know that in the grand scheme of things I don’t know enough to resolve any world wide problems. In my little part of the world, if I have an ability to help someone who needs help, I will, I will, I will. I sometimes feel, though, that when we give “help” to those who can “do” we are not helping them.


  3. Well said, my husband retired after working for the States Assistance Program for 20 years and he could write a book on the abuse the system has. We believe in the old saying “give a man a fish you feed him for a day, teach him to fish you feed him for a lifetime” My son was deployed twice to impoverished places and the first time he came home he told me, that the poor in this country have no idea what poor is. That is not saying we do not have truly poor people who need our help, I know many areas that are in desperate need in our country, but sad to say most are not “poor”, they abuse the system designed to help those in need. They have cell phones, gold jewelry, drive new cars, computers, etc….yet they complain because they have no food. Growing up and parts of my married life we were poor, lucky to put food on the table let alone buying all the new gadgets. I know the point you are making and I agree – this system needs to be thrown out and replaced with something to give people hope not handouts, to be useful and busy and not be dependent and not a burden. Good article – great discussion! Patty


    • Thanks Patty, it’s what I hoped to do, get people talking.

      I have been poor, and on occasion I needed “help” in one form or another. I never expected anyone to ‘carry me’ forever. I just had moments I needed help. And that is what most of our social programs were initially designed to do, assist. And I’m glad we have programs like that. But these programs designed to assist are now having to ‘carry’ and it’s creating huge problems.

      And, I agree, there is abuse that is the problem. The things that your husband saw, I see still. And the abuse is so difficult to stop.

      I know my suggested answer was very basic and idealistic. But I also think there is something to the simplistic way of living. And, like you, I agree in the philosophy of teaching. There are some very wrong things going on, which is what is so frustrating. I’ve seen it, and sometimes it’s just very hard to stomach.

      I would like to point out that there are very good things happening. I am in awe of people I know who put in 40+ hour weeks, raise families, take care of aging family members and STILL provide volunteer services through their churches and civic organizations. Very good things are trying to be done for those in true need. I love our world that does this.

      I hope we all keep talking. I know there are problems to any idea or solution implemented. But I believe that the more we encourage people to do for themselves, to their capability, the better off they are.

      Thank you for reading AND commenting!



      • You are so right the only to solve the issue is to talk – and learn. Shoveling it under the rug or throwing more money into a broken system won’t fix the problems that is for sure. Blessings – Patty


  4. Interesting ponderings. Complicated ponderings too. There is a book called “The Way We Never Were” that, for me, shed light on some of these issues. I’m not sure there were any answers there, though… just more ponderings.

    And kind of off subject, but not: There is the flip, flip side wherein our work ethic has brought about a society that doesn’t get nearly enough vacation/leisure time, where people are sitting on the beach with their smart phones having to stay in touch with work when they should be unplugging.


    • I agree about the folks who work, even on their breaks. People can’t “go home” from work, so many have to take it with them.

      There’s lots of ponderings about our issues, I wish I had the answers.


  5. I like how you question our value system and why we are obsessed with how many dollars a person has. It isn’t a measuring stick we should use on each other. I have to disagree with a big part of the vibe your blog sends out though. I don’t believe that being poor now a days is because of lack of desire to be dependent and work for a living. There are a lot of evidence that the number of increasing broke people doesn’t have to do with laziness being the latest trend. As far as the world is concerned there are billions of very poor people who work very hard.
    The results of the election has sent a lot of people into a state of hopelessness. Honestly, some of use are not a stranger to feeling hopeless about thier future. The one thing that’s good about the whole thing is that everyone understands the fight and the need to learn more about thier history to gain some pride. We don’t need to let ourselves be divided between the people who deserve poverty and those that don’t and blame things on a certain type of poor. Poor people aren’the problem . There is plenty of reading out thier that can answer your questions. The poor are making the poor isn’t an over simplified answer and it’s wrong.


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