Comments about ‘Amy Choate-Nielsen: Richard and Linda Eyre waging a crusade against entitlement’

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Published: Sunday, Aug. 28 2011 3:00 p.m. MDT

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Joe Bauman
Salt Lake City, UT

What a biased article. Take the second paragraph: "Their adversary is entitlement, a growing plague that eliminates responsibility, fosters laziness and encourages the accumulation of insurmountable debt." Sez who? Since that description of entitlement is not attributed, the reporter is stating as fact that entitlement causes all these evils. But what is an entitlement? For those without a dictionary, entitlement means something to which one is entitled -- that is, something that belongs to you. I receive an entitlement, monthly Social Security payments. I earned them through a lifetime of working. I paid into the Social Security fund nearly all my life. I am entitled to this assistance now that I am retired. Many of us have pensions that were crafted with the idea that pension plus Social Security could allow one's family to live with dignity. I challenge anybody to tell me that Social Security eliminated my sense of responsibility, fostered laziness or encouraged my accumulation of an insurmountable debt. Quit parroting and think for yourself. Editorializing in news articles is unworthy of a good newspaper. What makes it worse is that the editorializing doesn't reflect reality.

Eugene, OR

And I'm sure that the Eyres' were just as concerned when Wall Street asked for billions in taxpayer funds to cover up their own incompetence. Never mind that Republicans took a budget surplus and a plan to pay down the debt in ten years and turned it into the largest deficit in history. I'm guessing that this book wouldn't have been written if John McCain were in the White House right now.

I realize that we all have a part to play in this and it isn't a bad message by itself, but I fear that this is just another way to guilt-trip the poor and middle class while the main culprits get off scott-free.

Saint George, UT

Richard and Linda Eyre co-author a book capitalizing on the current unrest in our society.

Fair enough.

I did not see a chapter crusading against corporate entitlement.

Simple oversight?

Soon to be addressed in the 2nd edition of their tome?

working class
Salt Lake City, UT

How positively sickening! I'm an entitilement junkie because I want to have medicare available for my wife?! This is in capsule form what is most sickening and despicable about Mormon life. Truly, I wish I were not longer part of Mormomdom.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

The entitlement mentality comes from mislead views of "equality", "rights", and "fairness". Many cling to the paradigm of entitlement because they feel that the hardships that humanity faces are not justified. This is a trick and a flaw in reasoning.

I posted a 4-part post (long, I know) on the article, "An Awful Experiment", recently published by the D.N. - In this post, I address the fundamental problems with communism. One of the main problems surrounds the idea that we can have equality in society.

1- The idea that government should make us equal is false and ultimately it's end is dangerous.

2- The idea that we are equal in our right to govern is democratic, free, and sound.

3- Even if equal distribution exists, equality in possession is still impossible.

4- The idea that we are "entitled to" means that we "should get". When a system is designed to "give out because it should", then the system is a moral design to force equality. a) force is dangerous and anti-freedom. b) it doesn't work in the end anyway.


If anyone replies to these points, I suggest first reading my referenced post for my full view.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The Eyres are on the right track and teaching the right lessons to people they can reach, starting with their own family. Good for them!

No, they cannot change the entitlement mentality in everyone else that is so seriously harming our culture, nation and economy.

However, they are on the right track and trying to make a difference. Too many critics are on the wrong track and only seek to make sure they get everything they are "entitled to" while begrudging any of the ill-advised efforts to spend money fixing corporate problems.

I do not support corporate welfare either, but I won't blame Mr. & Mrs Eyre when corporations take money that politicians try to shove into corporate management's pockets.

I will, however, condemn the politicians who feed the entitlement mindset, and try to defeat them at the ballot box.

Brigham City, UT

The hymn "I'm a child of God" says "and so my needs are great" which sounds like entitlement is part of the gospel of faith.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

Joe Bauman,

Entitlement, when defined, is a concept... not a right. The Social Security example is an institutionalized example. Social Security doesn't technically even need to exist. You are entitled to the results of your hard work and I agree with this. I don't think the Eyre's disagree with that though.


The point that they and others are making is that people often believe they are entitled to things that they have no claim to. Am I entitled to the benefits of your hard work? No, of course not. Children see other kids with an x-box and feel that they should have one too. Many parents simply buy the xbox to satisfy that mentality, rather than thinking intellectually and rationally about whether there is a more effective way to parent.

Some parents may 'go against the grain' and some may simply find alternative methods instead. Rather than 'give give give' to your children, offer a way for them to earn it, and help them accomplish those goals in a structured, not overly difficult, and timely manner.

There is no need to attack a couple with the single motivation to help others with parenting advice, especially rational advice.

Bountiful, UT

Is public funding of education evil entitlement?

Is social security likewise?

I think its evil entitlement that multimillionares think they should get away with paying the same tax rate as the poor and middle class.

Joe Bauman
Salt Lake City, UT

@the supposed "voice of reason": You don't think the Eyres are disagreeing with Social Security? Then why does the article talk about the national debt, which is attacked by the Eyres as an example of entitlement gone wild? Why has Rick Perry advocated dismantling Social Security and Medicare as an example of the evils of entitlement? Let's get real, here. The big national debate over "entitlement" -- as exemplified by the comment concerning national debt -- is all about destroying these essential lifelines that people earned. Entitlement is a concept and not a right? Excuse me, but what does the phrase "entitled to" mean? You're not going to win any arguments by ripping up the dictionary and coming up with your own definitions. Words have meaning. You can't claim people aren't entitled to their entitlements.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

I don't suppose what the Eyres think. Moving on...

"You can't claim people aren't entitled to their entitlements"

"Entitled" means you have claim to something. This is the textbook meaning of the word. No one is really fighting that idea, just feeling entitled to something FOR nothing.

A man who works 40 hours a week is entitled to a paycheck. A man who sat home, jobless, and didn't work at all is not entitled to a paycheck. Do we have a right to unearned benefits?

When people take something they didn't earn, they borrow... thus the dept problem.

Government debt to pay SS or wages is paying EARNED wages. But the article doesn't even mention that. It does mention Credit-Card debt.

Are we entitled to earned wages, SS, retirement? Absolutely!

Are we entitled to what we have yet to earn, like a T.V. or going in debt for luxuries, etc? No.

That's all I'm saying. I don't think you really disagree with that. I think we simply found a language barrier. Am I wrong?

My concern was the parrot remark. I agree with the Eyre's, but also think for myself. The author here did nothing unintelligent.

Sugar City, ID

What are people "entitled" to in our society? Should some reasonable restrictions be placed on "entitlements" that might make for less waste and more personal responsibity?

I know a woman who has been handicapped since she was a child and is unable to earn a living because of her handicap though she really would like to contribute and pay her own way. Social Security and Medicaid are a godsend for her.

I know another woman who decided to become an alcoholic. She is quite incapicated by her self imposed problem and she has received over the past couple of decades, taxpayer support that reaches into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Is she "entitled" to this money; this support?

Are people who get Medicaid or Medicare assistance for drug or alcohol or tobacco or sexual promisquity diseases "entitled" to this help? Perhaps they are. Where do we draw the line?

Holladay, UT

One thing true about human nature is that if you give someone an inch they will take a mile. Testing boundaries doesn't end with childhood.

Sugar City, ID

Are you teaching your children mercy or will they grow up with the attitude so strongly condemned by King Benjamine? Have you "earned" your life? the air you breathe? the earth on which you live? the freedoms you enjoy? Are we not all beggars?
This article should be classified as an advertisement. Are you really on a crusade to save the Social Security recipients from their "entitlement mentality"?
Or are you taking advantage of a hot topic to give light for hire? I'm sure Glen Beck will promote your book and so will Rupert Murdoch and the Koch Brothers.

The Sensible Middle
Bountiful, UT

If parents could always find adequate jobs to provide enough food and shelter for their family, or if charity were enough to cover that shortfall, then government charity would have never been necessary.

Given that it history has shown there are hungry people, including children without government government invervention, government charity ..IS... necessary.

If you think otherwise, have you ever been without a job, or unable to find one that is adequate? If not your time is probably coming.

The right likes to say it is un American for government to involve itself. I think just the opposite. It is un American for people to get rid of the only tool that can ensure that all of us have the basics.

Gary Moore
Bountiful, UT

christoph @ 9:15 p.m. cites a line from a children's song about needs being great.

Though unwitting, he has provided us with an excellent illustration of the nature of the entitlement mentality.

Personally, I hope I have grown some, not just in height, since the days of my childhood.

Madison, IN

I am so sick of the attitude of some of the elderly that they deserve or have earned social security. I think it is perfectly fair if you get back everything you have contributed into the system. The reality is that you take waaaay more out than you ever gave. The average ss recipient recieves three times more money than they contributed. The plan was a bad plan implemented by men who were not farsighted enough to manage the money or foresee the future numbers. Get a grip and plan for your own future instead of relying on future generations to make up a standard of living for you. I neither want or need the government to provide for me, and that requires living well within our means and sacrificing some of the things society tells you you should have. I dont' care what choices others make, just don't ask me and millions of others to nullify the natural consequences for you. Totally an attitude of entitlement!

salt lake city, utah

I still don't like the idea of over reaching words like entitlement, and morality. Very inprecise, and confusing. Secondly the comparison between the functioning/governing of a family and the governing/functioning of a nation is way off base and almost useless.

That said, the teaching of personal responsibility and personal ownership is still key to a happy functioning, individual, and a civil functioning society.

Despite the Eyers messy nomenclature, and overreaching comparisons, their specific life examples are probably quite timely.

Cedar Hills, UT

I often talk with my wife about members of our extended family who have gotten caught up in the entitlement (I deserve it) mentality. King Benjamin made it clear that we don't even deserve even the air we breathe, its a gift from God.
I think deep down in each person responding to Eyers knows they are right about taking personal responsibility for their own lives, about the virtue of honest hard work to provide for yourself and your family, about the untenable position we are all being put in because of an out of control government, a government that spends way beyond its (our) ability to pay back.

Murray, UT

I'm sorry - but I have lived in the south and I have lived in Utah. Mormons are more hard working than those in the south. Mormons also contribute millions per year toward charities. Yes - I said it. So I'm not really sure why mormons were even mentioned. Sounds like people are reaching.

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