I was recently involved in a discussion in which someone mentioned the sense of entitlement in this country. The point was that people who have lost jobs or are unable to pay their bills have shown a sense of entitlement in having their problems taken care of for them.
It made me start to think. I feel entitled. I feel entitled to food, water, and shelter. I feel entitled to a decent house. I feel entitled to my retirement savings, my annual vacation, and the clothes I buy. I feel my children are entitled to their college funds, the education our public school provides and that we pay ridiculous taxes for, and to medical care paid for by the insurance I buy.
Why would my sense of entitlement be any better? I pay for these things, but I do so because I can. I am healthy, smart enough (not calling myself smart, just smart enough to earn at the level I do), and educated enough. Some of the people at the heart of the discussion were people who felt entitled to significantly less than I feel entitled to. They only felt entitled to have shelter, food and clothing for their children, medical care. I have heard the argument that feeling entitled to things you can pay for yourself is different than feeling entitled to something but expecting others to pay for it, but I do not necessarily agree.
My question for anyone who cares to debate or discuss: which is worse, feeling entitled to things you need but are unable to provide for yourself or family or feeling entitled to things you do not need or to more of the world's resources than you need?