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SENTRY JOURNAL » addiction, Earl Pomeroy, Entitlement programs, habit, Harry Reid, Social Security » Kicking the entitlement mentality habit: Is America really ready for this?

Kicking the entitlement mentality habit: Is America really ready for this?

Today I was having a conversation with a few individuals about what it’s going to take to get us back on the path towards prosperity.  It started innocent enough with one simple question; are you going to vote this year?  The answers I got were basically no because they did not understand the issues.  This of course prompted me to inquire and drill down a bit deeper.  I asked how they felt about the direction of our country; both politically and economically and basically I got the deer in the headlights look.  So I felt the need to dig a little deeper and asked a very specific question; do you think social security is going to be there for you when you retire.  The answer I received was no from all.  I then asked how they felt about having their hard earned money confiscated through taxes to be funneled into a program that is unsustainable.  Once again they replied that they didn’t like it at all.

So we have a few folks that are not going to vote, but clearly do not like the direction our nation is heading. So why aren’t they going to vote?  The original answer was because they didn’t know the issues.  Well it appears to me that they do know the issues; they just don’t want to face them.  I see this more and more with a large number of people.  You can see this in Harry Reid’s ads against Sharron Angle in Nevada painting her as an extremist because she wants to reform or bring an end to programs that many Americans have become dependent on.  He is using the fear that breaking the dependency and standing up on your own is much more painful than remaining dependent on the federal government.  Earl Pomeroy in my state is doing the same thing.  You see like any addiction, once you become dependent on something it becomes extremely hard to break the cycle.  You see this with smokers all the time.  They want to quit for the most part, but the thought of quitting and the physical withdrawal symptoms associated with breaking the habit is painful and scary.  The same can be said with entitlement programs.

People know in their hearts that entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security are unsustainable.  They know that these programs could lead to the bankruptcy of the richest nation on earth.  So why is it so hard to kick this entitlement habit?  Because like any habit, once you become dependent on it, the harder it becomes to walk away from it.  This is the trap our federal government is setting for all of us.  This is the trap behind ObamaCare.  Once people lose their private insurance because they cannot afford it anymore or the companies they work for drop their policies because the costs are too high another crisis will be created for the government to fix and the fix will be a single payer system.  When people are eventually forced into this government program this is the beginning of another dependency that will be hard to walk away from.  The majority of Americans know we cannot afford this program.  They know we cannot afford our current programs.  They talk a big game, and say we need to do something.  We need to eliminate Social Security and create individual retirement plans.  Or we need to create individual health savings accounts.  Easy to say, but are Americans really ready for this?  Are they ready to walk away from a program that promises to take care of them with little effort on their part?

In my opinion many are not.  They know the risks associated with not quitting this entitlement addiction and the fiscal damage it will do to our republic; but their fear of life without a safety net takes hold.  This is why ads depicting candidates that want to help us break this addiction as extremists are so effective.  The Democrats are feeding into this fear of ending the entitlement addiction and a larger number of people are buying it.  Think about this way.  What if you were a pack a day smoker and you were absolutely miserable because you knew the health risks associated with smoking and wanted desperately to quick but didn’t know how.  The cost alone for a pack of smokes was breaking the bank and you finally realized that maybe it was time to quit.  A person advertises that he or she has program that will help you break the habit.  It won’t be easy, but if you follow their 12 step program or wear this patch your cravings will be reduced to the point where you will no longer desire a cigarette.  You will no longer be a slave to your addiction.  You will be free!  Do you listen?  What if a second person comes along and says that quitting is too scary.  After all do you really want to face all the bad and painful things associated with quitting?  It’s easier to just keep smoking.  Most of us would look at the second person and think this person is out of their mind to suggest that it’s better to keep smoking than quit.  So why don’t we view entitlement programs in the same light?  Why are so many willing to listen to the second person?

The truth is we really haven’t bought into the idea that entitlement programs are all that bad for us or our nation.  Oh we talk a big game, but when it comes right down to it the second person is the one that has our ear.  And many of us are buying into the lie they’re selling.

It’s time to face the facts about entitlement programs and realize that like all addictions, one day soon there will be a steep price to pay.  Let’s give the first person a chance to help us quit.

Liberty forever, freedom for all!


Filed under: addiction, Earl Pomeroy, Entitlement programs, habit, Harry Reid, Social Security

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  • LD Jackson October 21, 2010 at 2:06 AM

    Interesting article, John. I think you are right, in that these large entitlement programs are extremely expensive for our country and we need to take a look at doing something different. Whether we can just quit them, cold turkey, is another matter. I think the shock factor of doing that would be very great and may do more harm than good. I am not saying we shouldn't do something about these programs, but we need to be careful about how we proceed.

  • Steve Dennis October 21, 2010 at 4:23 AM

    Great post John! I agree, I don't think people are ready yet to make these types of tough decisions and the fact that these ads are so effective is proof of that.
    We can no longer afford these programs, many of them either need to be eliminated or cut back, but people are afraid to lose what they already have. That is why it is so important to repeal ObamaCare before it is too late!

  • John Carey October 21, 2010 at 5:33 AM

    Thanks for the comments Larry. I think we can take steps to gradually move us in the direction of eliminating these programs. Maybe grandfather social security at a certain age say 50 years old and up are under the social security program and 49 and below fall under a private retirement plan. We can do the same with heath savings accounts. All I know Larry is we must start thinking of a world without these programs.

  • John Carey October 21, 2010 at 5:34 AM

    Thanks Steve. I totally agree. These ads are effective because the truth is a tough pill to swallow. The sooner we can repeal ObamaCare the better. We cannot afford it and we definitely do not want people plugged into it.

  • Conservative Scalawag October 21, 2010 at 5:55 AM

    This was a conversation that I have with my Aunt all of the time. She dislikes the government spending, but do you dare touch her SS or Medicare. Something I find ironic.

    These programs are nothing more than government redistribution (Marxism) of funds from the young to the old.

  • kingshamus October 21, 2010 at 6:15 AM

    Great piece.

    I don't know the answer.

    At the Tea Parties I've been to, people seem receptive to reforming Social Security. When one speaker asked if we were ready to raise the retirement age for SS, people at the event cheered. Mind you, this was at a Tea Party with a lot of older folks, presumably the types that would be collecting SS pretty soon. So people who should've been hesitant about it were at least open to the idea of raising the retirment age.

    But that's a pretty small sample at a couple of events. I dunno if that's becoming a dominant mood in the country.

  • October 21, 2010 at 7:10 AM

    To steal a sentiment from "Rules for Radical Conservatives" we need to stand on principle, and get out of the weeds on specific issues. If you get someone to go back to their principles, then frame the argument from that standpoint, then they will see these entitlement programs are wrong. There is no other argument.

    People hate to be made a fool, or even worse a hypocrite. Point out that there belief in personal responsibility flies in the face of the government taking care of them and they have to concede the point or face the numbingly obvious title of hypocrite. Now winning an argument isn't winning the war. But it is where we need to start.

    We need to get the people back to principles. We allow progressives to set the argument based off issues, or programs. That is a debate we will never win. People love gifts. Focusing on issues allows them to disassociate themselves from the principles behind the programs.

  • Bunkerville October 21, 2010 at 9:08 AM

    One only has to look across the pond to see what happens when you take the kiddies away from Momma.Temper mean I have to work past 60?

  • John Carey October 21, 2010 at 7:38 PM

    I couldn't agree more CS. The problem is facing the truth in regards to these entitlement programs.

  • John Carey October 21, 2010 at 7:43 PM

    Thanks KS. I think the mood is mixed. The one thing I can say though is that there is a large segment of the population that doesn't want their entitlements tinkered with that much. They know the problem exist, they just want it fixed with the minimal effort.

  • John Carey October 21, 2010 at 8:21 PM

    The progressives appeal to the emotional side of people Fleece. When was the last time you made a sound decision based on emotion. I cannot think of any time for me because emotion is the great deceiver at times. This is why the progressive tactic is so effective and why people continue to fall into this entitlement trap. Thanks for the comments.

  • John Carey October 21, 2010 at 8:29 PM

    I know what you mean bunker. Europe is a mess because the people are so dependent on these government programs. Now that the programs are going bankrupt and cut backs are needed the people don't like the solution.

  • Gorges Smythe October 21, 2010 at 8:59 PM

    I have to wonder just how many of those who don't plan on voting this time, voted for Obama and subconciously just can't bring themselves to vote against his minions, thus admitting their original error. Too many people will let the country go to hell, rather than admit to themselves that they were wrong.

  • John Carey October 21, 2010 at 9:17 PM

    I'm hoping that those that have buyer's remorse will indeed vote over the feeling of being betrayed by Obama GS.

  • Matt October 21, 2010 at 10:00 PM

    Great post and discussion here John. There will be no SS for me, but I will have paid into it for my entire working life.

  • John Carey October 21, 2010 at 10:35 PM

    Thanks Matt! We all will pay into something we will never see. And we all know it.