Amy Choate-Nielsen: Richard and Linda Eyre waging a crusade against entitlement

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  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Aug. 30, 2011 6:53 a.m.

    Quit excusing us from our duty to help others. We give to show our gratitude for all of our own undeserved blessings. I know full well from decades of church talks against the evils of the dole that indiscriminate payments can breed dependence, but that doesnt mean we dont give. It means we care enough to give what is needed--money, at times, but also goods, training, emotional support, or whatever.

    In the 1950s and 1960s my church and scout leaders repeatedly taught us boys, Dont ever think the world owes you a living. But their teachings included a parallel duty for us to help other people at all times, and to love your neighbor as yourself.

    Whether we do our duty privately, use private charities, or organize large scale services through our government, it is not because anyone is entitled to it, it is because Our Provider loved us first.

    Accept no excuses.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 6:00 p.m.


    You said, "Have you "earned" your life?, etc."

    Great point! It's a common one in the philosophical arena, but it fails to understand 'claim'.

    We have rights, inherent to live, etc. But we EARN wages, which is a trade.

    We inherit the right to live, true- but you have no claim to MY possessions, unless I agree to trade, like a wage. Without consenting agreement, freedom could not exist.



    "Social Security is an investment..." - That actually hits it right on the head, but I think for another reason. Say that SS gives 10 times more out... the point is that we designed the system to be that way. Some don't like how much money someone gets for their public service... BUT they technically are entitled to it, why? Because the system agreed to pay it. While SS may not be perfect, and the ideal system may be radically different (who knows?), the current system promises payout... therefore, any other efficiency or systematic criticisms of SS are relevant.

    The real issue would then be whether SS is designed well, or necessary. As it stands, those who participated in SS are certainly entitled to the payout promised.

  • Joe Bauman Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 5:10 p.m.

    @RoxyLynn. You say of the elderly receiving Social Security, "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." I suspect you may not understand the concept. Social Security is an investment that a person makes throughout a working life, feeling secure that the government will live up to its obligations. When it's time to collect on this investment, the person is entitled to the rather small monthly paybacks. One reason the payments are possible is because a huge number of working people do not live long enough to collect them even though they paid into the system. I have to wonder if you have any hard-working elderly people in your family. Or maybe you're some rich person gazing out from a penthouse, looking down on the less fortunate with a sneer. Well, we less fortunate people of 65 and above have the determination and the votes to collect what is legally and morally ours.

  • Morgan Duel Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 2:47 p.m.

    My opinion, you are only entitled to what you spent time and effort to earn. Why should I who have put in the study time, the effort time and the experience time and because of that earn a good life have to share that with someone with their hand out. Well you say pity them they came from a "Poor" background. So get off your laziness and get out and go to work.

    "Well, I don't know what I want to do." While you are setting there someone else has figured it out, you can to!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 11:58 a.m.

    Let not your heart be troubled because soon all of our troubles will be over since the government will provide free healthcare for everyone (illegals included) once the single payer dream of Obama is realized and everyone will make the same amount of money too (determined by the IRS's new wealth redistribution policy). Yes come one and come all because entitlements are on the house!!! We have money to burn in the US - just ask Standard and Poors!! Debt - who cares? China will always be there to loan us some more. "What, me worry?" (Alfred E Newman ).

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Aug. 29, 2011 11:28 a.m.

    I guess there is no thought that the money that we spend on defense is causing some problems.

    Just goes to show. It is only the spending that YOU dont like that causes the problems.

    Is it nice to live in such a sheltered world?

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 11:12 a.m.

    "a growing plague that eliminates responsibility, fosters laziness and encourages the accumulation of insurmountable debt"

    Sounds like the perfect motto for the Obama presidency!!

  • sj Spanish Fork, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 10:43 a.m.

    Bring this down to a family life style.. Do your children get a cell phone just because they want one? Do they have to do anything to pay the bill? If not do they help around the house so that they Earn their phone? My kids have to pay us for them. Not much but they have to earn part of their living. Do I just pay $80 bucks for piano lessons but my kid doesn't have to practice but I owe them lessons? The reality is that kids think that just because they want something parents are required to give it to them. Thats the entitlement attitude we need to help children recognize and help the feel the self esteem of working hard to have ownership in their "things" and their lives. Bring this to a level of personal responsibility.

  • IDmom Murray, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 9:48 a.m.

    I also think that those criticizing this article need to realize the difference between those that have chosen to do nothing and expect everything, and those that can't and need help. That is the where the big problem is.

  • IDmom Murray, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 9:46 a.m.

    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.

  • KM Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 8:47 a.m.

    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.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Aug. 29, 2011 7:38 a.m.

    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.

  • RoxyLynne Madison, IN
    Aug. 29, 2011 7:30 a.m.

    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!

  • Gary Moore Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 6:54 a.m.

    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.

  • The Sensible Middle Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 6:50 a.m.

    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.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    Aug. 29, 2011 6:45 a.m.

    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.

  • carpediem Holladay, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 4:58 a.m.

    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.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Aug. 29, 2011 12:37 a.m.

    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?

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 12:00 a.m.

    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.

  • Joe Bauman Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 10:50 p.m.

    @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.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 10:31 p.m.

    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.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 9:16 p.m.

    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.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 9:15 p.m.

    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.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 9:06 p.m.

    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.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 9:02 p.m.

    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.

  • working class Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 6:26 p.m.

    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.

  • WHAT NOW? Saint George, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 6:18 p.m.

    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?

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Aug. 28, 2011 6:03 p.m.

    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.

  • Joe Bauman Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 4:03 p.m.

    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.