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View Diary: UPDATED: A Conversation With My Conservative Father: What We Can Learn (185 comments)

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  •  Call them EARNED BENEFITS not 'entitlements' (12+ / 0-)

    Stop the party of Gut & Spend policies that gut our Earned Benefits programs like Social Security and Medicare and spends on tax breaks for the wealthy elite.

    by jillwklausen on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 02:41:51 PM PDT

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    •  That bums me out. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stlsophos, AZ RedWingsFan

      Jill -- I understand why "Earned Benefits" is more effective language than "Entitlements" but it REALLY bums me out that the Republicans have succeeded in practically flipping the meaning of an English word.  They've succeeded so well that I even hear my progressive friends using "entitled" as a derogatory term for someone who, like, say the "1 percent" ,believes they deserve privileges that they have not earned.

      I guess on a realistic, pragmatic level, your advice is spot on, but I really wish there were a way we could fight back against their attack on the English language.

      •  Think of this as our way of fighting back ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fumie

        They want to bastardize a term? Okay, we've got a better one, so HA! We'll be better at their game than they are and that's our fight. Does it really matter what they're called so long as people understand what they are in a positive frame? :)

        Happy Friday!

        Stop the party of Gut & Spend policies that gut our Earned Benefits programs like Social Security and Medicare and spends on tax breaks for the wealthy elite.

        by jillwklausen on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 07:10:00 AM PDT

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      •  The word has been injected (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jillwklausen, AZ RedWingsFan, fumie

        with a RW moralism and code to mean the undeserving (who, in a zero sum game, must necessarily take from you and me--the deserving).

        "Entitlement" was originally used as a neutral, descriptive term connoting something falling under a rubric or title.  There have been "entitlement" programs as early as social security, which was and continues to be known as "Title 1".  It's a structural mechanism used by the House Ways and Means Committee to subsume spending under the Committee's purview.

        There have been a varying number of titles throughout the history of entitlements.  I remember as many as twenty back in the late '70s, but when Reagan came in they consolidated and eliminated them  until they look like this (N.B. They are evidently called "chapters" now instead of titles, but, as the preface explains what they really mean is entitlement spending).

        http://greenbook.waysandmeans.house.gov/....  

        Please note that Republicans don't object to all entitlement programs.  See, for example, #12, the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation.  When they screw retired workers out of their pensions or mismanage the company into bankruptcy or get raided by Bain we taxpayers are on the hook for their avarice and cold-blooded ways.

        A petty criminal is someone with predatory instincts but insufficient capital to form a corporation. --Clarence Darrow

        by stlsophos on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 07:33:33 AM PDT

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    •  VERY late with this thank you, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fumie, jillwklausen

      but this series you're writing is one of my favorites. I appreciate the link to your site and to Elizabeth Wilke's FB response, as well.

      Regarding using "earned benefits" in place of "entitlements," I agree and do so; another way I've been phrasing it over the past year or so is to call them "deferred compensation."  Coupling the two and stressing "earned" and "compensation"  seems to be eye-opening and provide food for thought to some.

      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

      by scarlet slipper on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 10:48:42 PM PDT

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      •  Deferred compensation is a great phrase, too! (0+ / 0-)

        Jill

        Stop the party of Gut & Spend policies that gut our Earned Benefits programs like Social Security and Medicare and spends on tax breaks for the wealthy elite.

        by jillwklausen on Sat Jul 07, 2012 at 12:48:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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