Generation “E” For “Entitled”, Part II
©2007 Debra Rae
I witnessed an attitude-propelled, manifestly disgruntled teenaged girl
insisting that she was owed a replacement phone. Yes, she broke the one she had
(when she threw it in anger); but after all, that phone was “cheap” and
bound to break sooner or later.
matter the sweet reasonableness with which she was implored, this youngster
relentlessly insisted that she shouldn’t have to wait, or be asked to
contribute to, purchase of what she obviously has coming. Bottom line: parents owe
on the power of persistence, this young woman demonstrated intuitive knowledge
that, given time, concentrated hammering on her parent was certain to get her
what she wanted—if only to curtail the annoyance of an extended tirade.
likely, she was right. For any number of reasons, today’s enlightened parent
willingly takes to heart such scathing rebuke. Eager to sidestep escalating
tensions, the exhausted adult rationalizes her teen’s demand: Going
without would surely wreck havoc with my child’s self-esteem, wouldn’t it?
Friends have what they want. Shouldn’t my child as well? Perhaps I really do
that, the child is appeased, conflict ceases, and the relieved
“problem-solver” applies the “smile gauge.” Because the placated child
appears happy, that parent basks in false comfort that her work here is done.
throwing money at a problem often paves the path to least resistance, it seldom
cures what’s ailing. Take our public schools, for example. They have been, and
remain, the best funded on earth, yet when competing with other industrialized
nations, American students consistently score poorly in math and dead last in
this in view, former secretary of education and drug czar William Bennett poses
the fitting question: What do we gain if our youngsters “smile their way into
abysmal ignorance and educational oblivion”?
won’t cut the mustard in today’s emerging global economy, nor does it serve
to nurture healthy relationships of any sort. If Generation “E” consistently
skirt self-gratification, whether delayed or denied, they are the real losers.
mission groups like No More Deaths
and Border Action Network persist in
giving aid to illegal migrants braving the
very term “illegal alien” stirs the ire of today’s politically correct
crowd. Lawbreaking immigrants are categorized instead as “undocumented
workers”; nevertheless, whatever the nomenclature, the key word is illegal.
It stands to reason that enabling lawlessness invites even more of it.
increasing numbers of
Forbes rightly suggests that while we are the land of the free, we are not the
land of free loaders. Nonetheless, statistics reveal that, after twenty years,
even legal Mexican immigrants have
double the welfare rates of naturalized citizens.
the last three decades, bilingual education, expanded welfare, the hyphenated
identity and radical historical revisionism of SW American history, propelled by
racist reconquista rhetoric, have
proved to be detrimental to assimilation and economic improvement.
the rate of immigration exceeds that of assimilation, riots and chaos are
inevitable. Some surmise that under
the titanic weight of diversity, multilingualism and entitlement for
correct black activist Randall Robinson wrote The
Debt: What Americans Owe to Blacks. In it, he blames white folks for black
poverty. To level the score, Robinson calls for taxpayers to underwrite black
reparations to the tune of trillions of dollars. This applies even though not a
single African-American alive today was ever a slave, nor was a single living
white American a slave owner.
the global community applauds reparations for bygone ills of American slavery,
it takes little or no action to condemn ongoing atrocities by the Sudanese
government, for one. Go figure.
this as well: If you lost a family member in the 9-11 attack, you are entitled
to reparation averaging almost $1.2 million (for some, millions more). This,
however, does not apply if you are a surviving family member of an American
soldier killed while defending
a surviving spouse, the first check you get is a $6,000 direct death benefit
(half of which is taxable). Next, you get burial costs ($1,750) and $833
monthly—that is, until you remarry—and each of your children is awarded a
mere $211 monthly. Once each child turns eighteen, he is cut off completely.
it is not right to do wrongly that somehow good may come, blanket entitlement
cannot possibly be a viable solution for bygone offenses. But, then, if one
believes society owes him, this is not an easy pill to swallow.
“Norwegian-American,” I am aghast at the hardship endured by Norwegian
immigrants who once flooded our country. In support of their families, and to
make ends meet, my rugged predecessors were forced to work under intolerable
conditions and, then, for meager recompense. What about balancing the score on
then, if society truly owes African-Americans and Norwegian-Americans, it surely
owes Japanese-Americans, all victims of terrorism and natural disasters,
unwilling hostages, war prisoners, families of those lost-in-action, the
handicapped, those discriminated against, the sexually harassed, victims of
crime—just about everyone.
pray tell, if everyone is owed, who pays?
Owe the “Have-Nots”
United Nation addresses the question, “If
everyone is owed, who pays?” with two simple words—namely, sustainable
development. Sustainability incorporates socialist principles into the emerging
global governance structure. Simply put, those who “have” naturally owe
those who “have not.”
the global economy, wealth redistribution (socialism) trumps allegedly greedy
gain from free enterprise. “Acting together for a just world” has a noble
ring, true, but then today’s brand of egalitarianism is nepotism, plain and
may well be that the vices of ostentation and conspicuous consumption are so
prevalent in 21st century American culture that they no longer are
viewed as such (World, 15 April
2006). Americans shoulder trillions in debt; in fact, ours is the largest debtor
nation in the world. Moreover, ABC news has reported that the average family in
as this is, I am equally alarmed by the
growing mindset that “you owe me because you have it, and I don’t.” Although
Deuteronomy 16, Moses instructed the Israelites to appoint for each of their
tribes those judges and officials who “hate dishonest gain.” To the
contrary, God pairs true equity with righteousness, viewing a just weight as
“His delight” and a false balance as “abomination” (Prov. 2:9; 11:1).
traveled extensively through Third-world countries, I am haunted by earmarks of
poverty—tired, old faces; torn, filthy garments; bellies distended from
starvation. Each draws the heart of compassion; each reminds us of blessings
that too many Americans take for granted.
social programs and faith-based outreaches give legs to the Golden Rule; and I
affirm wholeheartedly that the affluent—Christians most particularly—have a
moral mandate to reach out to the weak and poor of the world. Nevertheless,
wisdom dictates that if we value entitlement over justice, we end up forfeiting
Debra Rae is an author and educator who has traveled extensively throughout the United States and abroad. Having authored two books—the ABCs of Globalism and ABCs of Cultural-Isms (the latter highlighted at the 55th Annual CBA International Convention, 2004)—Debra contributing columnist for News With Views. Debra has been a speaker on numerous radio shows aired across the nation, the Western Hemisphere, Russia, and the Middle East. This past year, she co-launched and now co-hosts WOMANTalk, a special edition of Changing Worldviews TALK Radio, for which she writes weekly commentaries. www.debraraebooks.com, www.womantalk.us, www.newswithviews.com/Rae/Debra.htm