The New York Times published an article over the weekend titled “Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It“, which profiles several families and folks that describe themselves as conservative, the area recently helped sweep out a Democrat in favor of a tea party candidate. It is especially interesting because it strips individuals away from rhetoric or group think and confronts them on inconsistencies. This might be considered a “gotcha” style of report, only it’s not. It’s tone, sensitivity, and questions offer a personal glimpse into these folks lives (the individual vignette videos under the introduction). Everyone interviewed either used some of the government safety net or had someone in their immediate family who did, plus one guy who was adamant that he would not accept money from the government.
“Plan ahead! I don’t expect the rich to cough up the money that they work hard for, to give to to the people that are too foolish or too lazy to provide for themselves”, says Matt Anderson. This is pretty typical of a libertarian/republican line of rhetoric, perhaps it is more than a talking point for this guy. The only problem with this logic is that it assumes that the rich have worked hard and those that cannot provide for themselves are foolish and/or lazy or don’t plan. This is the essential crux of the “entitlement issue”; do people “deserve” benefits? If so, what is the criteria for deserving those benefits? Continue reading