Sunday, June 1, 2003

"Deserve vs. Desire" (Column)

I received a lot of notice for this early column - not all of it good. Whereas the many praised it, others called me a socialist and anti-American. Of course, not knowing me, they didn't realize I couldn't care less what they thought. I will say it's becoming clear to the populace that the economy that we are dealing with right now is not the fault of the poor, and that maybe those rich people who deserved the platinum cards and tax breaks really are to blame. I feel pretty prescient about this. A little wistful, too. This is one of my personal favorites.

I saw the commercial again last night. An assured, masculine voice tells me that they could help me get the credit I deserve. That’s great; we would all like credit. But do I really deserve it? I can’t say that I do. I’m a fairly good credit risk, but I’ve never deluded myself into thinking I deserve credit.

According to recent commercials, I also deserve a refinanced loan, a new car, and a cozy little home for my family and me. I’m not exactly sure what the criteria is, but I’m fairly certain I don’t actually deserve any of this. I’d love to have it, but I don’t think I deserve it.
I’ve noticed over the past few years a tendency for people in this country to go from “I would like this” to “I deserve it.” It took me some time to figure out, but I think I know what’s brought us to this point.

The conservatives are in power. If ever a single group encapsulated the entitlement mentality, it is they.