We seem to be living in a society where envy and entitlement drive our behavior.
We look to blame others or circumstances. We choose not to save for the future and then seek a greater amount from those who have.
We are willing to accept broad generalizations and government policies they are based on without regard to facts or cost. Here are a few:
- Senior are poor – most aren’t
- 50% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck – only if they overspend
- Americans can’t afford to save – they sure can
- Families – high income families – deserve payments for child care – no they don’t
- Debts freely and knowingly incurred should be forgiven without criteria – why?
- College should be free – with disregard for the general lack of minimum proficiency in key subjects by high school students
- A third of Americans don’t take their meds because of high cost – many Americans failed to fill prescription or take meds as ordered long before cost was a factor
- Other countries provide many more social programs to their citizens than the US – Yup, with higher and broad based tax systems including VATs of 20% or more
- The super wealthy take from the rest of us and thus we need to take more from them – most have given far more to society than imagined
Many Americans honestly believe that others don’t pay their fair share even while the majority of tax avoidance is the result of behavior of very average Americans.
We fail to make the connections among things like corporate profits, the stock market and our retirement security.
We accept without doing the math that the high pay of a few hundred executives adversely impacts workers. Why? Because a few politicians tell us it’s unfair.
I wonder where we would be if the attitudes and behaviors of Americans today prevailed in the 18th and 19th centuries?