The Entitlement Myth and Liberal Logic

I love it when my themes come together. That is, except when it’s in response to negative situations, as unfortunately is the case at present.

I’ve been writing on the issue of “The Entitlement Myth” and will continue the theme for a couple of more posts. I’ve also started a “Liberal Logic” theme, and will no doubt continue with that. Today, I’m hitting 2 birds with one stone.

The Entitlement Myth exists on many levels, the most common being the belief by a large number of Americans that by nature of their particular “disadvantage,” whether it may be race, age, location, profession, economic situation, education level or [lack of] motivation, they are owed something by the rest of the us. “Us” could be us normal working-class individuals, rich people, corporations or, more than likely, the government (as if the government is something other than “us”). Okay, so you can probably guess how I feel about this way of thinking. It is the “give a man a fish” thinking, as opposed to the “teach a man to fish” approach. The Entitlement Myth also completely ignores the fact that someone actually has to pay for this.

Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t help people. I’d rather give to the poor than to most people who ask me for money. But, this entitlement thinking is wrong; it has been shown to undermine people’s self-worth, demotivates people, leads to dependence on the system and requires higher taxes to pay for all of the entitlement programs. The band Ten Years After summed it up nicely in their song of years past, I’d Love to Change the World: “Tax the rich, feed the poor, till there are no rich no more.” It is the second cousin of socialism.

Now, consider last week’s elections. You’ve probably heard many wild interpretations on why the Democrats now have the majority in both the House and the Senate, most of which are mostly wrong. I won’t go into detail about this (today, anyway), but keep in mind that many of the Democrats who were voted in ran as conservatives. The election many have been a Republican loss, but not necessarily a Conservative loss.

The problem is, however, that the Democratic Party is not run by moderates or conservatives, but by liberal extremists, and the newcomers will have very little power to do anything. They will be pressured to follow along, as they always are, and chances are they will follow, no matter what they said during their campaigns (it happens to both parties).

So, guess what? We are already hearing the plans of the far left, echoing the pre-election warnings by the conservatives, including raising taxes and funneling more cash into “gimme” programs. This, in spite of the fact that the economy is booming. Why? Because liberal logic says that since there are poor people (regardless of the reason), we should raise taxes so we can give them money.

I admit that at first glance, it seems to make sense; it even seems like the compassionate thing to do; except when you start to think about it logically. “Give a man a fish” and he’ll learn to become dependent on the handouts. Some liberals may actually want to encourage this dependent thinking – as it also makes them dependent upon the liberals to keep the programs going. That’s how “pushing” works, isn’t it?

Conservative logic also says that we should help the poor – but by doing things like growing the economy to provide job opportunities, or even by being one the “thousand points of light.” It says that the government should encourage faith-based programs (people who already care about their communities) rather than have government create ill-managed programs. Conservative logic, in this case, also tends to be more Biblical: “if you don’t work, you shouldn’t eat.” Compassion doesn’t create dependency, compassion enables responsibility and independence.

But, the true conservatives failed to actually be conservative, and for the most part they deserved to be kicked out of office. The downside, however, is that now we have another opportunity to become too familiar with liberal logic, and you and I will end up paying for it, one way or another.

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3 Responses to The Entitlement Myth and Liberal Logic

  1. Quixote says:

    Now that you mention it, I do have a problem with Venus, but there’s not much you can do about a distant planet or a Roman goddess for that matter. I thought it’d be easier to pick on you.

  2. me says:

    Labels are merely adjectives (it could be argued that the word “label” is itself perjurative). In this case, all of the adjectives you mention are, in fact, generally understood and used by conservatives and liberals themselves. Among the various categories of issues involved in American politics – social, political, fiscal, etc. – there are various views which generally fall to the “right” or to the “left.”

    I have, however, tried to define what I am talking about as “liberal logic” and “conservative logic.” Based on my analyses of the hours upon hours of political discussion I have listened to over the years, I have recognized two very different ways of thinking, often preventing meaningful dialog. In my opinion, it is this communication gap (plus the nature of partisan politics) that is a polarizing factor, more so than the labels.

    Perhaps I should stick with the term “Venusian logic,” which would only be perjurative to those who have something against Venus. 😉

  3. Quixote says:

    Conceding the convenience and widespread use of labels such as “liberal,” “conservative,” “left,” and “right,” I’m a bit troubled by the reductionist and polarizing effects of their use. They have ceased to be neutral, descriptive terms, but often seem ideological and pejorative. This can (and does) compromise genuine understanding and productive dialog.

    This is not to say that these terms have no substantive meaning at all, but that they assume too much. One of those assumptions is that political and moral issues are on a linear continuum and that the “sides” the lables represent are mutually exclusive.

    Perhaps that is really what some people believe. But some (like me) do not. Unfortunately, reductionism and polarity are the rules of the political/religious game these days. That, I’m afraid, is what we are really paying for.

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