When I hear politicians discuss “economic development” I cringe. To politicians, the phrase “economic development” means they develop with my economics. Now, this is not a rant about taxes and government spending. It’s more a rant about us.The problem with the public, is that once we belly-up to the public trough, we are not eager to back away. We become addicted to tax payer funded programs and keep coming back for more. Ultimately, we have a choice between entitlement and responsibility.
It seems that Professor Jack Chambless’ was trying to teach his students exactly this point. As The Orlando Sentinel reported this past semester students in Chambless’ classes were to write an essay explaining their definition of the American Dream. Like most folks, the class wanted basic needs met for themselves and their families. Chambless’ students were then asked if the federal government was to help them achieve their American dream. The professor was not prepared for what he read. Educated in America’s public schools, the now college age young people
“wanted government to pay for tuition, provide a job, give money for a house, make sure free health care is provided, pay for retirement, and raise taxes on rich people so that they could have more money”.
One young woman in the class accepted the fact that her freedoms were being reduced by receiving public aid, but she did not care. When students returned the next day Chambless asked them to place their wallets and purses on their desks. The professor grabbed one student’s wallet and took out all the cash. Chambless “then told the shocked student that part of my American Dream is to have a cabin on a lake so that I can enjoy my retirement.” The students had no understanding that the money to pay for all their wants in life had to come from some place. Taking money from someone’s wallet made students rethink taxpayers paying for entitlement programs.
The concept of entitlement—that government owes me something—has become engrained in American education. Perhaps public school unions foster a government aid mentality. But I think the problem goes much deeper. Humans like entitlement because humans dislike responsibility. If we are not responsible for our own actions, we will always look for someone else to bail us out. That’s why, when it comes to bellying up to the public trough, we pigs should go on a diet.
For Moody Radio, this is Dr. Mark Eckel, personally seeking truth wherever it’s found.
To be broadcast by Moody Radio, 26 March 2012
 Jack A. Chambless, “Today’s lesson: Dream, but not at government’s expense,” October 09, 2011, Orlando Sentinel.