In defense of entitlement
In the long term, the only solution to class division is the eradication of class. But entitlement language seems to offer one way, rhetorically, to shrink the chasms in American society. If universally deployed, the discourse of entitlement could help undergird a robust welfare state.
Public opinion on entitlements: People would rather cut defense.
Once capable of invoking social rights, many in the party are now willing to entertain the idea of means testing. Senate Democrats and House Republicans are at an impasse over how much to slash food stamps. But unmet needs debase people. Satisfying necessities is a precondition for self-determination and self-governance; for moving us beyond our most primordial needs.
In injecting insecurity, anxiety, and circumspection into our lives, economic dependency saps us of our ability to lead dignified, autonomous existences. People are forced to grovel to get by, to accept whatever job they can find or stay in abusive relationships to stay afloat financially.
Far from inducing dependency, the welfare state brings substance to the purely formal rights of the law. It makes life a little less cruel, a little less insecure.
And reducing that cruelty is, without question, our entitlement. But treating the entitlements as sacred comes at a huge cost in all the other programs. Protecting the current Medicare cost curve cannot be considered a fundamental progressive principle.
Finally, the ultimate victim of a budget deal that holds entitlements sacred is going to be entitlements themselves. For years, advocates of budget austerity such as the billionaire Peter G. Peterson and his eponymous foundation have sought to construct an alliance of the beneficiaries of discretionary programs—advocates for children, education, health research, etc.
Defense Spendings Cuts Are More Popular Than “Entitlement” Cuts
But if Medicare spending were protected and allowed to almost double over ten years, while domestic programs were squeezed by the Reid caps, it would certainly become true. The political alliance to cut those programs would become broader and more powerful, and the eventual cuts could be clumsy or destructive. A deal without revenues or entitlement cuts, one that puts all the burden on those domestic programs, is far out of balance and would hardly have been a victory for progressives.
It would have been a disaster for the economy and for the idea of an active government that can expand the scope of prosperity.
Early life and career
She immediately caught a lot of flack for the outburst—and rightly so, as it tore others down rather than simply voicing frustration—but the more I think about it, the clearer it seems that she was only giving voice to feelings that many writers and creators have. Elizabeth Gilbert, who is working on a book about creativity, reconciled these notions in her blog more eloquently:. No, creative entitlement simply means believing that you are allowed to be here, and believing that — merely by being here, merely by existing — you are allowed to have a voice and a vision of your own.