The day deserves a leap-year entry, but I seem not to be able to find an every-fourth-year thought.
Rather, in these days of Republican discussions of political theory I would like to offer a brief commentary on being entitled. Yes, I am among the crowd that receives entitlements. Let me name some: social security that covers most of hospital and doctor costs and a portion of prescription drug fees; a huge batch of government services ranging from highway maintenance to safety enforcement; library services; consumer protection services; fire protection; garbage collection and many, many more “gimmes.”
Thus, being entitled and qualified, I shall opine.
— It is much more difficult to take away an entitlement than to give it.
— It is less difficult to slow down an ambitious, hardworking person than to motivate and speed up a person who has gone inactive and unmotivated.
— It is extremely difficult for people to assume personal responsibility in an area of service previously supplied by someone else.
I shall illustrate. There is on occasion a problem at the corner of Bolton and Michigan. Two problems, actually. (1) Leaves clog the drain to the storm sewer, so the intersection can get lightly flooded. (2) For reasons I know not, a hole develops on the southwest corner of the intersection.
We get a bit fussy when the city is slow to remove the leaves and to refill the hole.
It would be difficult to convince the people on my street to clear the leaves, not only from the drain screen but also on the block leading to the drain. It would also be difficult to expect Todd or Mary or Scott to go to Home Depot for a big of $15 driveway patch every other month.
The moral of my opinion?
This kind of personal responsibility is assumed by Libertarians and Tea Party Conservatives. I would like to hear from them in this election season not only which services they would want to drop, but also how they would reactivate people who have become accustomed to those services.