A nation of entitlement-seeking citizens

| February 21, 2009

One of the things that disturbs me the most about Pres. Obama’s campaign and his administration to date is that it appears to be accelerating the trend in US society towards entitlement and government benefits. Of course, this kind of criticism is often seen as a thinly-veiled form of racism and/or classism. Horse crap. I’ve been through unemployment, bankrupty, and foreclosure; I know what it’s like to deal with serious financial stress and disaster, and to do so without seeking or receiving any government assistance.

But this quote, in a New York Times article on the still-unfolding Madoff financial scandal, represents a new low:

“This is a human tragedy like any other tragedy, and we should be getting help from the government like any other victims,” said one Madoff investor, who declined to give her name. “I lost my entire life savings that I worked for my entire life.”

Madoff investors typically had very large amounts of money to invest, and they were getting 15% returns each year on their money until the house of cards collapsed. The idea that the US Government — which is to say, we the taxpayers — should bail them out defies description. If these people wanted government protection for their investment, they could have opened up multiple FDIC-insured bank accounts. But to engage in a risky, high-return investment and then expect the government (aka taxpayers) to step in and make them whole when it fails is the entitlement mentality at its worst.  ..bruce w..

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Category: Economics, Main, Obama Administration, Stimulus, US Politics

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at bwebster@bfwa.com, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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