Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Moral & Fiscal Degradation Caused by Entitlements

It was come as a surprise to many of my readers that in theory I support generous subsidies to health care and education, but my reservations lie in the unintended consequences that they engender. When I ask prospective renters how their credit is, on quite a few occasions they respond "my score isn't too high, but that's only because of medical and student loan collections." While some individuals face astronomical medical bills that are beyond their capacity to pay, others have a string of modest collections (as low as $46) that are in their power to pay, but they simply choose not to. The same goes for individuals with student loan payments that their income would permit them to pay, but they choose not to.What is the source of this blasé attitude regarding the costly medical care and educational subsidies generously provided to them by the public? The answer is clear: those who believe they are entitled to something are rarely grateful for it. And those who believe that any goods or services are "free" will often squander them at a great cost to the public. This moral and fiscal degradation did not occur over night; I have had the pleasure to speak with a few WW II veterans who were forever grateful for the education they received via the GI Bill. Even though they risked their lives on the hellish battlefields of Europe and the South Pacific, none of them expressed the belief that a subsidized education was an entitlement, rather it was part of a social pact in which rights were balanced by responsibilities. How much we've changed...

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