Entitlement

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the word entitlement is defined as follows:

  1. a :  the state or condition of being entitled:  right
    b :  a right to benefits specified especially by law or contract

  2. a government program providing benefits to members of a specified group; also :  funds supporting or distributed by such a program

  3. belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges

I have recently been watching a show via YouTube that has had American, British and Australian versions. As far as I can tell, they are no longer made anywhere. It’s a celebrity genealogy show called Who Do You Think You Are? And I’ve been drawn to viewing it because I’m fascinated by genealogy in general – my mother has been tracing her own family history for a number of years now – and I like this show because you get insight into not only someone’s family history, but bits of history that are not really taught. For instance, yesterday I learned that the largest single-vessel disaster in British maritime history was the sinking of the RMS Lancastria which happened in 1940. The loss of life was estimated to be between 3,000 and 5,800 individuals – more than the number of deaths on the RMS Titanic and the RMS Lusitania combined.

Another bit of someone else’s family history was the discovery of silk weavers that went back several generations. Imagine being in a trade that at least four generations of your family have been a part of, to the benefit of each generation’s immediate family living well. Something to be proud of, right? I know I would be. But then circumstances change. Could be any number of reasons, or no particular reason whatsoever, but suddenly your silk weaving skills, no matter how great they are, no longer seem to be necessary. People just aren’t buying it much anymore. There are machines to automate it all. So what do you do? Cry for the government to step in and force companies to…. do what exactly? Get rid of automation? Not likely. Force the companies to employ people where you live and not foreigners? And if they had done all that and still didn’t hire you, then what? Well, in this case, the family whose immediate generation was affected by the lost of a family trade did what he had to do to support his family and went into an entirely different trade. He might have had to start at the bottom and work his way up, but he did so without whining to anyone about his losses.

I think the biggest problem with people who lost their jobs in the last 10 years are so are up in arms not because they won’t be able to find a new job, but because their standard of living will probably go down. If you work the same job for most of your life, chances are, you’ve been promoted a time or two or you’ve gained a few raises, so you’ve been able to afford nice things for your family. Having to start over with a new job is not impossible, but it probably means you need to downsize and who wants to do that after a lifetime of relative luxury? The fact is, jobs get automated. Machines take over the majority of the work that people today feel are taken by foreigners. Just like they did two hundred years ago. You have to suck it up and deal with it as best you can and quit acting like you’re entitled to help of any kind from the government. I used to dream of having a job with a company long term and retiring from their employment in my 60s or 70s, but that happens to very few of us these days. The job I’m at now I’ve been with for 10 years. I hate it most of the time, but I’m thankful that I have the job. I also know that I could put my big girl panties on and find something new, even if it’s different from what I do now.

The government isn’t here to force anyone to employ me.

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