Saturday, January 23, 2016

Another post about hockey and life and entitlement

So, I read this article today  If you don't follow hockey, the gist of this story is that the young man mentioned in the article was a very highly touted draft pick for the Tampa Bay Lightening (who the Hawks beat last year for the Stanley Cup. That part doesn't matter but just thought I'd put it in) He didn't seem to be fitting in very well and allegedly his agent had quietly asked for a trade. This is really not that unusual. Depending on which story you read from there, however, the team benched the kid, sent him to the minors for an alleged "reconditioning assignment" and then the player's agent made it public they had asked for a trade back in the fall. Since then, it has been a war of words.

I think article is a good read and I think the author's take on agents and parents makes a lot of sense to  explain the "entitlement culture" that many feel is becoming rampant in sports. I think, however, the premise extends further into everyday life. Whether we are talking about entitlement as a government program, or entitlement as an attitude, the premise is the same. Someone believes they are owed something they are not getting, and frequently, when you dig down, the person who believes they are owed something have some person or entity convincing them they are owed. In the article, the author restricts his point to parents and agents who are telling their kids they are so special they don't need to go through the channels that other, lesser talented people have to go through. Yet, I feel like this context can be expanded.

Last night, (start your outrage now, William) Bill Maher ripped on both the Oregon militia AND a black looking student who was literally screaming a Yale faculty member over an email the wife of the faculty member wrote. Both, to me, smack not so much of entitlement, but of the anger that seems inseparable from entitlement behavior. In the Maher video, he makes an excellent point that there are no shortage of wars the militia could be fighting in to defend the constitution, and if the student really wanted to get huffed about something, maybe she could go after the custom of forcing women to wear burkas. Instead, they are sitting in positions of comfort, believing they are so wronged and so trampled on that nothing short of angry outbursts and grandiose gestures will suffice to get their point across. Which kind of loops back to the point the hockey author was making. Way too many people in this country today, IMO, from all political spheres immerse themselves in the rantings of others, rantings that tell them they deserve more and being denied what they rightly deserve by some institution.  It's not that all of these people from the hockey kid, to the angry student to the angry militia dude don't have a point from time to time, because they do. Still, because they are so whipped into a frenzy and amped up 24 hours a day, they are not able to go about their lives and pick their battles smartly. Eventually, it all becomes noise and people who might even be sympathetic just get pissed off and walk away. No  matter what your political leanings are, nobody likes entitlement behavior and I think we'd have a lot less of it if people figured shit out for themselves. Those who block that process are the ones that really create entitlement behavior.


  1. No matter what your political leanings are, nobody likes entitlement behavior and I think we'd have a lot less of it if people figured shit out for themselves. Those who block that process are the ones that really create entitlement behavior.

    Curious as government is an enabler of entitlement behavior, why is it no one chastises governments role?

    Making food stamps a credit card to remove the stigma is the perfect example.

    1. I accept you believe that no one but a select few are critical of government enabling. I disagree. From top to bottom, I believe we have a lot of wasteful spending, redundant programs and enabling. Typically, you and I joust over the same shit, you believe government gives away free shit to coddle the poor, I believe they do it just as much for the rich. I'm certainly willing to chastise the government, but I won't swallow the premise that this is somehow something related to just poor people. So, i guess that divide continues.

      I don't buy the premise that the government changed to debit cards to protect the feelings of the person using it. Could it possibly be that in the year 2015 it's just more efficient? When I shop at the grocery store and see someone using a food stamps card, I have never been fooled that the card was anything other than a food stamp card. But to your point, can you really tell me with a straight face that somehow, the government is to blame for the complete lack of shame and decency that has taken hold in our society?

      Government seems to be your favorite fountainhead of all that is wrong. That's good as far as it goes, but this problem runs a lot deeper than that simple answer.

    2. It isn't about people but about government enabling bad behavior.

      And no Max, there are few rich, poor, middle class that will not take what they can from the government as the new America tells you that you are owed.

      As a side note, I'm trying to figure out what the government gives me in freebies.

    3. I'm wondering myself what freebies I get, none that I can tell. You've heard my spiel before about believing that government is no better and now worse than the people who elect it. In other words, I believe the change happened socially, rather than it was the result of government out of control.

      So if it's all from the government as you say, would all this behavior go away if we just abolished the government?

    4. Addendum, on some level, blaming the government for everything is also enabling behavior. This is nothing new, but look at how few people actually show up to vote. People tend to show up in the biggest numbers to elect the president, but seem to have little to no interest in showing up to vote in mid term elections, sorta like Christians who only show up at Easter and Christmas who then complain about the lack of or respect for the principles laid down in the bible. People like you and me vote and complain about whatever partisan legislation results and that's fair enough. However, I still think it's a little misleading to say that the government is an out of control monster crushing the freedom of everyone when so few people actually show up to vote.

    5. Government is out of control as dent hits 18.5 trillion and we sport a 4 trillion budget.

      But we deserve what we get when we do nothing to slow the growth of government.

    6. A lot of that budget though is basically entitlements for senior citizens, who do indeed vote to make sure they don't see cuts to their programs.

      If we say the number has gone up every year and therefore nothing else matters, the discussion goes in a direction that I don't think is productive. Spending has slowed under Obama and the budget deficit has narrowed. Obviously, that's not solving anything, but according to this link ttp:// pensions, healthcare and defense are 3 trillion of the whole budget. This is not new news. But if we are talking about cuts, I think something needs to happen in these areas. Respectfully, I think where you and I are always going to disagree is that I believe we can make government programs more efficient and be able to cut spending to them, if that is a goal. We got things done when Clinton and Newt were at each others throats, just as Reagan and Tip got things done. It's more than just cooperation though, and that's more complicated.

    7. To be accurate:
      28% of the Federal Budget is healthcare spending.
      26% is spent on SS/Pensions.

      That means 54% of spending is untouchable and both are growing.

      Military, 22%.

      For 2015, the 3 programs account for 2.8 trillion in a 3.7 trillion budget for 2015.

      I also agree government could be more efficient. Giving government more money under the current circumstances where there is no accountability for spending makes zero sense. When a person in business make bad decisions they are fired. Pensions are then delayed until 65. In government bad decisions may result in retirement. Max if you make bad decisions, you lose your license to practice yet nothing happens to a government employee.

    8. I'm not sure we can do much on SS/pensions. At least not right now. Eventually, I think we need to consider some means testing. But, this assumes an intention to keep it functioning, and I'm not sure that is something everyone agrees on. Taking that a bit further, I think this is a very fundamental divide right now.

      Here is the hard part Lou and it's at the center of what we are arguing about here. I'll concede that there are a lot of left of center people who are willing to just keep throwing money at social problems even if they are not accomplishing a goal and even if said programs are run inefficiently. I will also concede SOME of your point that some programs are essentially just give aways that foster dependence and provide little return. But, I reject the orthordoxy that states, "If it's a government program, it's shitty be default"

      From the right, I see a philosophically sound but nonetheless completely unhelpful attitude that goes something like this, "By default, most government spending is wasteful and encourages people to be lazy. If we make a particular program more efficient, we will only be encouraging it to be kept alive. Therefore, it's better to just cut it period." I'm sure not all are that dogmatic, but that's been a theme more or less rammed down the throat of Republicans by the Tealiban.
      I think a general principle right now is why reform if you can just cut.

      Your last sentence there may be a little too simplistic.