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Positive Feedback Loops

May 24, 2010

Update:  Yes.  I know that I’ve already written about this but I’m still obsessing so I’m still writing.


Is it even possible to reverse the growth of entitlements?  Will the economy have to collapse for people to recognize that the current system is not sustainable?

People believe that they are entitled to not just paid holidays and sick leave and unemployment benefits and welfare benefits but also to expansions to all of the above.  People believe that they are entitled to annual pay raises and free health care.  People believe that they are entitled to own a home and a car and a big television and a computer.  People believe that they are entitled to high speed internet access and low price gasoline.  Take and take and take more while giving and doing less and less.

Don’t have insurance?  The government should provide for shelter and the public should donate to buy new stuff for you.

Fired from your job?  The government should provide unlimited unemployment until you find a job that you like.

Don’t make enough money to afford to purchase a house?  The government should fund down-payments or subsidize home builders to provide lower cost homes.

Borrow too much and can’t pay your bills?  The government should reduce your debt load through legislation or the bank should forgive part of your debt while allowing you to keep your house.

Borrow tens of thousands of dollars to fund an education which qualifies you to do virtually nothing so that you can’s afford to repair your loans?  The government should write off your debts or the banks should give you longer to repay.

What happened to personal responsibility?  What happened to rewarding hard work?

Instead, the public elects politicians who promise to give them more, to provide more entitlements.  More entitlements teach more people to expect these entitlements and to elect candidates who promise to protect and expand welfare and benefits and protections.

When will it end?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Scott Down permalink
    May 31, 2010 10:31 am

    Many economists argue that the economy grows, that it grows at an accelerating rate, and even get worried when the second derivative of growth is level (if economic growth is not accelerating at an accelerating rate).

    What you call entitlement actually makes a lot of sense… If there is more stuff to go around, why wouldn’t people demand that they get more stuff?

    Your answer is probably something along the lines of: unions and lazies just team up and mob war the economy. And I’d probably agree with you. Where you and I disagree is that you aren’t any better. Your nice house and nice car and nice computer and nice cozy life are all protected by big mobs – we call them ‘military’ and ‘police’, but there is no functional difference, only ideological differences. The kids who make your stuff, grow and collect your food and generally make your life livable are figuratively and often literally raped because of the conditions that you and I make for them – but we feel entitled to the shit that we buy because “we work hard for it”.

    The answer to your question is that everyone in Canada knows that everyone else in Canada feels entitled to more than their fair share of the pie – but no one in Canada steps up and admits that they have too much themselves.

    You’re probably correct that the economy will need to collapse unless people like you and I step up and acknowledge that we ‘need’, want, have and use more and better than we deserve. But we won’t. Because we ‘work hard’. And we deserve it.


    “There’s always somebody who is paid too much, and taxed too little – and it’s always somebody else.”
    Cullen Hightower

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