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View Diary: A Very Candid Krugman: "Economists Themselves Are Confused" (127 comments)

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  •  We are entitled, by virtue of our creation, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mnemosyne, semiot, not2plato

    to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  That means that those people responsible for our creation--i.e. the prior generation--have an obligation to provide and secure our sustenance.  Some people resent even the concept of obligation to the next generation and prefer to presume that sustenance has to be earned.  The short-hand for that is, "there is no free lunch."

    Converting "entitlements" into a derogatory term is just an effort to deny one generation's obligations to the next, regardless of whether there's an individual "contribution"--i.e. reproductive "success"--involved.

    Interestingly enough, several African cultures "solved" this problem of promoting provision for a future population whose contributions are unknown and uncertain, by postulating that the next generation is actually the re-incarnation of the past and, ipso facto, entitled to collect on the debt owed by the current adult generation to the ancestors.  In other words, the village does for the children what the grandparents did for the village.  The only drawback with this system is that it promotes stagnation--people only do as much as was done for them, no more.

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:40:02 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

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