The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 25, 2012

Who mooches?

Daily Item

---- — The world "entitlement" is thrown around to depict people as lazy and parasitic. "Moochers" was a word much used by Ayn Rand in her books.

Let's talk about who really thinks they are absolutely entitled. When Reagan was president, he fired the air traffic controllers and lots of people cheered as showing those union people who was the real boss. The truth is -- that scenario didn't do anything to alleviate the problem -- it continued when Reagan left office.

It is kind of like people believing when a common person is awarded a huge settlement in a lawsuit they rarely actually receive that amount.

More often than not, those huge payments are never a reality but are used by the right-wing press to inflame people and create tort reform to ultimately get to the point where a common person has no recourse in a situation where they have a legitimate complaint against a corporation. These are all "frivolous" lawsuits. We have seen a large attitude shift from business from appreciating and valuing employees to a dislike and indifference -- with a big focus on appeasing stockholders

Since the 1980s we have seen jobs move overseas, substandard wages in jobs with little or no benefits, exorbitant health care costs, exorbitant educations costs (at one time these were programs that used to be in the secondary public schools like vocational education), the destruction of downtowns by large corporate entities that get lots of tax breaks and perks for putting in more big-box stores, less security in jobs, less safe conditions in the workplace, and so on.

All of this has created a level of unprecedented wealth and huge growth in the number of billionaires. Massive deregulation due to the influence of corporations in the realm of government has occurred and the money just pours in.

More recently, we have had two wars being funded by taxpayers with lucrative, often "no bid" contracts for the corporate entities. Now, to solve a fiscal crisis (which we don't even have accurate information on) they are coming after Medicare and Social Security.

There have been certain media venues that have shamelessly promoted this whole scenario of the unworthy lazy public and the industrious deserving wealthy class -- though I think this scenario is being widely debunked as evidence of the last election.

The irony is that vulture capitalists have been lionized in this country and postal workers and teachers have been portrayed as arch enemies.

I think when the word moocher is used and the word entitlement is used as a pejorative -- we are focusing on the wrong groups, people. Can you see where the hubris, arrogance and condescension is coming from?

Alexis Fasolka,

Marion Heights