Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Entitled to Freedom

"You can't be free when you are being supported".  I wrote this down on a slip of paper but neglected to identify the source (maybe from the movie Grey Gardens).  Subsidizing anything shackles its ability to grow independently - earned effort. 

In the book "The Millionaire Next Door", Stanley and Danko invented the term UAW (Under Accumulator of Wealth) and found that UAW's tend to have children who require an influx of their parents' money in order to afford the lifestyle that they expect for themselves.  The book has a whole chapter titled "Economic Outpatient Care".  It provides example after example where UAW gifts/subsidies are mismanaged, interpreted as earned/owned, and weaken the recipient - creating even more dependency.

When we are physically weak, the body knows in order to heal, that exercise and rehab is necessary.  With that healing process comes pain and effort.  The body expects us to "earn" back the good health.

Compassion encourages the giving person to help and provide aid where there is a need. Usually, the intent is to provide a "jump start" for the individual to "get back on their feet". The challenge is defining whether the gift satisfies a need or subsidizes a want.  So the issue of extending the unemployment insurance that is now being debated will naturally be argued between what is compassion and what is dependency.  There is no easy answer other than to eliminate the perception that a subsidy will always be available.

These discussions extend into all entitlements (the word itself is an anathema to the individuals freedom).  Do you know what the best entitlement program invented is?     A job.


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