Perhaps I should call it the Entitled Age. It appears that people have gotten it into their heads that they deserve an awful lot of stuff. Unnecessary stuff. Stuff that was once reserved only for the incredibly wealthy people, now everyone wants it. Top-tier education. Money. Good job. Health care. Free internet (a joke 5 years ago). They want so much! A quote, if you’ll indulge me, “All I want is a good job and a well-earned degree, a family, a wonderful husband and kids, but I don’t want to raise children in a world like this.” And, And, And. And a pony, and a roller coaster and my two front teeth!
In the past, people would work for it. They’d work 80 hours a week to afford their night classes, then go to them gladly, because they had the privilege of attending them. Then they’d get a degree (maybe) after many years. Not now! Now they want it to be given to them. Hard work, you say? Hardly work is more like it. Study? That’s not work, that is a major benefit of living in the West. Getting up to go to class? Not work, that’s life. This isn’t hard work, this isn’t even a job. So don’t tell me that you want to work hard and in the end be rewarded for it, because frankly, this is not hard work.
I believe that this all stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of the American Dream. The American Dream is not to be successful. Because at no point in America’s history has the plan been for everyone to be successful. The plan was, and has always been, to give people the opportunity to be successful. To succeed or fail based upon your own decisions. Then, if you fail, to own up to your mistakes and keep on moving until you do make it. Not to get mad when things go wrong in your life and demand the heads of bankers. That was never the plan. That is not the American Dream. That is a nightmare.
Of course, it appears that there are far more people who feel entitled than there are people like me, who wish to dissuade others from seeking entitlements. If that proves to be the case, then things are looking down, not up.
So, the Entitlement Age is: A) Ending or B) Just Getting Started.
I really hope the answer is A.