Entitlements are not Rights
You are not guaranteed food and lodging by the Constitution, these necessities are not rights, these are things you work for and earn. As a society we try to educate our youth in an effort to provide them the tools they need to earn money so they can get shelter and food. Education is not a right either, but it is what society does in an effort to improve its odds of creating an optimal environment, and survival. Somehow people now think it is their right to be “kept” by the government. These folks believe it is the government’s responsibility to provide them everything they need to live. This list of “necessities” continues to grow.
If rent is too high, they believe they can live where they choose, albeit in a tent. They claim homelessness, and many are, but in some cases, it is an unwillingness to abide by the rules of places that offer them shelter. Some of these places insist on no drugs or alcohol, others have other restrictions. As a society, what will we do, how will we manage these people who refuse to manage their own lives? So far, in many cases, we refuse to even acknowledge the problem. Gee, imagine that, ignoring a problem did not solve it.
People are frustrated, and rightly so, about inflation and the cost of necessities while wages stay flat. The situation is worse in large cities where the cost of rent can be very high. What Joe Citizen does not see, and is in my opinion purposefully obfuscated by the government, is the subsidies provided to low income earners. Rent is subsidized through various programs, but put another way, tax dollars are used to subsidize people who don’t make enough money to afford basic expenditures. Make less than “x” dollars a year, your rent can be subsidized too. This is an entitlement. Yes, it is subsidy for lower paid workers, or if you prefer, it subsidizes business from paying a living wage. This is a bit more complicated, as has been discussed in prior posts, but it is not wholly wrong.
Entitlements started as a great idea, as do many government programs, but have been warped into something much different than originally intended. The saying goes in politics, once you start an entitlement, it only gets bigger and more expensive as it is expanded to include more people. The more people who collect an entitlement, the more people dependent on the government. Before people start to boo and hiss at all these entitlement “bums”, keep in mind the single biggest entitlement expenditure is Medicaid/Medicare. Increase medical benefits for old farts and you are a hero and are fighting for the common man. Increase other entitlements and you against the working man and supporting those lazy bums. The rhetoric is absurd, almost as crazy and incoherent as the policies, but people simply don’t care.
It is important to remind all people that entitlements are not “constitutional rights” and you don’t have the “right” to a two bedroom apartment simply because you want a separate bedroom for your kid. It is also worth mentioning that Medicaid is really expensive and should be restructured. So many policies need restructuring but please remember policies are not rights.