I’m Entitled to an Entitlement

I’ve been thinking about writing an article about the perception of value and I’ll probably make it Lesson One. I’d like Conservative247 to be a baseline conservative site that can be used as a primer for those interested in learning about such things.

What does perception of value mean? Well, when a product or service is provided to you well below the market rate – or even for free – you tend to value that product or service less than you would if you paid for it yourself. A broad example is “free” education, since it’s free you don’t have much investment in it and you don’t value it too much. In a micro sense, how do you think high school kids would treat their text books if they had to pay for them? How would they treat them if they were provided for free? You get the idea.

What does this translate to for us citizens over time? Well I’ve defined it as the “I’m entitled to and entitlement” culture. That’s right, I deserve it so the government – other people – should give it to me.

This morning, Malkin provided us with a link to a feature (language alert) in the Washington City Paper by one Franklin Schneider.

When the federal economic stimulus package hit the news in January, my latest run on unemployment was just going dry, and the mere prospect of getting another job was enough to make my testicles retract into my body. When reports surfaced that a three- or six-month (!!) unemployment extension was going to be part of the package, it seemed like government was finally doing something for the little guy, instead of just the fat cats and whiny Christians. I spent the next two weeks Google News-ing “unemployment extension economic stimulus” every 10 minutes. …

I’ve been on unemployment three times in the past six years. Each time was better than the last, and each time I stayed on until the last cent was exhausted. I didn’t even try to get a job; it was a paid vacation.

Thanks for contributing to our society Franklin.

Today at SigForum, poster SteveAikens provides us with this story, lightly edited for this space.

There was a professor in a large college that had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab, the professor noticed one young man (an exchange student) who kept rubbing his back and stretching as if his back hurt.

The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist government. In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question.

He asked, “Do you know how to catch wild pigs?” The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke.

You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs will find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat, you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd.

Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America. The government keeps pushing us toward Communism/Socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops, welfare, medicine, drugs, free medical, etc. while we continually lose our freedoms – just a little at a time.

One should always remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch, and a politician will never provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have. – Thomas Jefferson

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.

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