Thoughts on Entitlement

Day before yesterday, Sunday, a friend I know to be kind and generous reposted the screed about how it makes no sense that we provide assistance to “others” while “our own” have unmet needs, and it hurt my heart. I never like to see that come around, but that it was posted by her was hard for me to accept.

Speaking for myself, I had no active role in choosing to be born a white male in the most prosperous political subdivision of the time built on the bones of an indigenous population and slaves. I was born in Moline while others were being born in Aleppo, Al-Fallujah, Kosovo, Somalia, etc. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but I had a chance. I had a good foster home, a free public education, survived my 20 years in the service, made a few dumb-ass choices, and still have made it to within spitting distance of my 70th birthday. What right could I possible claim to withhold a share of my good fortune?

The American version of poverty, hunger, homelessness, and lack of affordable health care are problems to be sure, and you know how I feel about this country’s lack of care for its military veterans; but, in this country, they are due to a lack of will. So is our failure to do what we can for those in need around the world. We are still very much the same people who sent the MS St. Louis and her passengers back to Germany in 1939.

What does it mean to say that we are “proud to be an American” or to “make America great again”? I see no greatness in this.

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2 Responses to Thoughts on Entitlement

  1. Rain Trueax says:

    I just wrote a blog on this (poverty and economics) for Saturday. My distrust and unhappiness with the news media is for tomorrow. How to deal with poverty is a huge problem. If I said, which I did not, that the inner cities where crime is more rampant than where I live, is due to poverty, someone else would say it was all about race. If a kid won’t work in school, or say he has an inferior school, when he drops out (oregon ranks at the bottom in terms of kids dropping out and it is predominantly white), what will he do? Manufacturing used to be an option– not so much today. Logging still works for the strong kids. In the inner city, it’s most likely gang activity and selling drugs– often the price being a much shortened life. Since Johnson’s war on poverty in the 1960s, we have thrown 22 trillion dollars at poverty and what has it accomplished?

  2. Joared says:

    Excellent post which truly sums up what we need to consider and act on.