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Noun

entitlement (plural entitlements)

  1. the right to have something
  2. something that one is entitled to (or believes that one is entitled to)
  3. The belief that you have rights which are not accorded to others, as in "a narcissistic sense of entitlement."


In the parlance of the American Right, entitlement or entitled has come to be a dirty word, flung at those who believe that safety net programs for the poor or elderly should continue to be paid for by our taxes, or those who believe that our current economic model is flawed in a way that no longer rewards hard work and dedication and instead allows money to draw more money to itself.  Conservatives and Objectivists often make the claim that our society is becoming more and more entitled and selfish, referring to the final definition.

Example:
I have been looking for a job for 6 months! I've got a college degree, I've applied everywhere, and I have had several interviews but no job offers! The economic downturn should be top priority in congress, not Planned Parenthood

You are not entitled to a job. If you can't find work, you need to aim lower. I hear Burger King is hiring! Maybe you need more relevant skills, there's no such thing as free lunch, you need to be able to add value to a company or they won't hire you.


 Things entitlement does not mean:
  • Expecting that the money you paid in to social security and other similar funds so that you could get it back will actually be there when you need it, instead of having been borrowed by the military industrial complex.
  • Expecting that your university education will make you more attractive to employers.
  • Expecting that, regardless of your current economic status, people will treat you with respect and basic human dignity.
  • The belief that certain people with a lot of money are consolidating their political power, and that this is not a good thing for the majority of Americans
  • Having been financially stable in the past, and, not having predicted the current liquidity trap, having spent some money on expensive things instead of saving it and then later continuing to use said thing while not having money for basic necessities.
  • Believing that the government should take action in an emergency to help those in need.
This attitude is part of the current strategy of victim blaming that is often used in Republican Media to blame the poor for being poor. If people weren't so selfish, if they didn't "want something for nothing." then they would not be poor. Often those who worked their way out of poverty fall for this line of thinking, believing that helping others in their old situation would somehow devalue their hard work.

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