The Logic of Entitlements


Glock27's picture

Greetings mhstahl

I scaned over the article you posted. The first thought which came to mind is that the fellow was within the baby-boomer generation prodegy (and I bear the same shame,) but I believe many of the baby-boomer generation pampered their kids, overly protective;then there were the spock generation, burn the bra generation, Viet Nam resistors, individuals whom missed the depression values and morals those people had passing on to baby-boomer generation, a generation which failed to instill the idea of hard work or at least work to attain some position in life building in the sense of "helplessness". As we progress historically the great Uncle decides to start passing out American tax dollars to those out of work. (I recall when uneployment was only 16 weeks and after that you made it on your own one way or another[it seemed reasonable that a person could find some kind of work in 16 weeks]).

For this fellow, desperation sat in upon his life, a full year of desperation. I don't believe he shot the first person as a result of entitlement. Yes he lost his job but it may have been the reason of loosing it. Anger and rage set in. At the point of hopelessness, deciding he had nothing more to loose, he created the idea 'F__k that son of a bitch. I'll show him he screwed with the wrong person, ergo, boom!

I have not seen anything yet or hear that he went on the rampage because he believed he had a right to the job; subconsciously that may be true. I have a son struggeling to keep a job. He finally landed one and not too long afterward a 20 something kid came in causing the company to loose a major client because he was lazy, disrespectful, unskilled at work ethics and etc. Now my son will be loosing his job because of this blundering idiot. He's not going after the kid who cause the problem, but being creative and has a new situation lined up.

I have said more than enough. Give me your thoughts respectfully. I felt the author used the situation unfairly.

mhstahl's picture

Dbl post.

mhstahl's picture


Please do be aware that my reasoning for posting an article is most emphatically not because I agree with its content. Instead, the purpose is to generate thought and/or to offer content that might be of interest to STR readers. Tibor Machan is a fairly well known academic who is also a libertarian who made an observation about an event that occurred that day-that is why I posted the article.

I agree that the case is, at minimum, somewhat overstated. That said, the idea that one's "job"-meaning wage employment rather than vocation or specialty-is essential in self-definition is an unfortunate pathogen cultured in the industrial revolution. We are, of course, much more than worker drones yet sadly for far too many people attaining a well paying "job"-doing literally anything-has become a dime-store substitute for philosophical introspection.

This is not to say that enlightenment was ever achieved, or even attempted, by most people, but rather that the industrial job culture wears a polyester suit and waves a glittering flag promising fulfillment. Tragically, the human mind's capability for self-deception is such that vast multitudes accept this third-rate margarine and convince themselves that they have "done well." Not only do they never taste real butter, they don't even know it exists.

Religion once stocked those same shelves, but at least its wares had some nutritional value on occasion.

We don't know, and doubtless never will know the motives of the NY murderer. That alone does not render the social commentary useless, rather it makes it that much more important.

Were I Machan, I would have focused on the sense of entitlement found in the POLICE who fired multiple times into a crowd of innocent people-wounding several. There is utterly no excuse for this behavior, yet it is excused. We are told that since people who choose to take up a profession that puts them in potential contact with violence and who supposedly exist to "protect" the innocent where at some risk they were then justified in endangering the live of scores of innocents. Talk about entitlement-base cowardice is being justified because the police officers are "entitled" to protect their safety-no matter what the cost.

I will say that I suspect that there is far less generational variation than you suggest, and that societies, all societies, are constantly in a state of flux. I also notice a double-helping of conservative finger-pointing in your commentary. It is regrettable that what passes for conservatism today has become so very reactionary and deceptive in its rhetoric-this is useless for anything other than garnering votes. It needn't be that way.

At any rate, thank you for the comment.