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View Diary: If You Say "Entitlements" You're Part Of The Problem (41 comments)

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  •  This smacks of the whole (11+ / 0-)

    "We won't say liberal, we'll say progressive" bullshit that I remember burbling ever since the Bush v Dukakis campaign.

    Running from a term gives it power.

    No. Stand by it. They are entitlements because WE THE PEOPLE ARE ENTITLED TO THEM. They are established as, essentially, legal rights.

    We are entitled to Social Security because we earned it. We paid into it our entire careers and when we retire we deserve to reap the rewards.

    People play too damn many word games rather than do what they should do, which is defend government programs that are to the benefit of the American people.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 02:14:57 PM PDT

    •  Do you deny "entitlements" was a term (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dodgerdog1

      first propagated by right-wingers, or at the very least, people who want to cut the program?

      Words matter. Who says those words, the specific words themselves and the context they're used in all add up to how the general national dialogue plays out.

      Just because "entitlements" is a technically correct term for SS (you pay in, you are entitled) doesn't mean there's no negative connotation. This is America. "Earned" always sounds better than "entitled".

      Why would you want to use a word that's loaded with years worth of derisive ire to describe the most important domestic programs in the country, especially when both parties seem like they're getting ready to cut it when it should be expanded?

      Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

      by Boogalord on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 02:22:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. (5+ / 0-)

        I deny that one hundred percent, wholeheartedly, emphatically, and with certainty.

        The term stems from academia. You can't even place it in a category like the term "politically correct", which was originally coined wonkishly and barely known until someone who hated the concept started using the term mockingly.

        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

        by raptavio on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 02:31:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, it's certainly not "academic" anymore. (4+ / 0-)

          Right wingers use "entitled" to refer to undesirables.

          Right wingers refer to SS and Medicare as "entitlements" because it has the fucking word right in there.

          Yes, you are "entitled" to benefits because you earned them. That's not the point.

          We're talking about basic strategy in being effective in public discourse.

          Americans love to think that if you work hard you'll be fine. What do you think conjures more negative connotations the average American's mind: "entitled" or "earned"?

          I'll give you a hint: the Republicans have already figured it out.

          "Earned benefits" is a better term, and I can't think of any reason to say "entitlements". I don't think it's smart for liberals, let alone Democrats. In fact, I think adopting your enemy's terminology (especially in this context) is straight-up dumb.

          Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

          by Boogalord on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 02:42:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well it's not "academic" anymore. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dodgerdog1, HarpboyAK

          Yes you're "entitled" because you earned it. That's not the point. We're talking about basic strategy in being effective in public discourse.

          What do you think brings more negative connotations up for the average American? "Earned" or "entitled"?

          Hint: The Republicans have already figured it out.

          Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

          by Boogalord on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 02:45:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Wisconsin workmans comp law 1911 (3+ / 0-)

        Which came out of the Wisconsin Progressive movement.

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        Why would I use the word? Because its use is the legal foundation for many laws, like the 1935 SS law.

        Letting the GOP chase you away from using certain words is not the path I choose.

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 03:11:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely (4+ / 0-)

        I don't think you know the history of the word if you think that.

        There are also entitlement programs that couldn't accurately be described as earned benefits - agricultural subsidies, for one. You're entitled because you meet the criteria for eligibility, not because you earned anything.

        The parallel with the word "liberal" is perfect. We allowed the right to turn it into a dirty word. We shouldn't really give them that power over our language.

        An entitlement is something you're entitled to, in plain English. How convoluted is it to think it means something you're NOT entitled to?

        •  Criteria are usually means tests (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          churchylafemme

          Entitlements that have means tests are considered welfare.

          We allowed the right to turn it into a dirty word. We shouldn't really give them that power over our language
          Absolutely.

          .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 04:45:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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