The NY Post’s Michael Goodwin has an excellent column today that talks about the union demands in Wisconsin as part of the overall destructive “culture of gimme” in America that has primarily been fostered and enabled by liberal Democrats for the last several decades (bolded emphasis added by me):
The Wisconsin showdown between a determined Republican governor and spoiled public unions is shaping up as a crucial test of state and municipal solvency. But the financial stakes represent only part of the much larger conflict engulfing America.
The real war is over the entitlement culture itself. And while government spending is the most visible part, the ultimate issues are the character and fate of our nation.
Any serious conversation about American decline must start with the fact that too many of our countrymen have lost the plot about how the United States became the beacon of the free world, the world’s largest economy, and the lone superpower.
For those who have no sense or interest in how we got here, it is easy to believe we are immune from the laws of history that inevitably reduce empires to dust.
From that willful ignorance, it’s perfectly acceptable to demand pay without work, or, almost as insidious, pay and pensions that dwarf those of your neighbors who foot the bill.
It is also perfectly acceptable to assume that, if you have a house you can’t afford, the government — again, your neighbors — should be dunned to help you keep it. If your business is failing, the government’s deep pockets are there to bail you out, no?
Or if your child can’t read, it’s not your fault. It’s the teacher or the school system or the mayor. Any scapegoat will do, as long as it’s not you.
This is the noise of the entitlement culture as it plays out every day. It is contagious and so ingrained in how we live and think — somebody else is to blame and must pay — that we no longer think twice before demanding total satisfaction and expressing outrage when we don’t get it.
We are entitled to it now because we want it, whatever it is. If somebody else has it first, then we have been cheated and are doubly furious.
As for giving it back, or taking less, what are you, a sucker? This is America, man, a free country.
Indeed it is, and that’s the problem. We are free to be endlessly selfish, and nobody dares to tell us no.
Nail, meet hammer.
Make sure to read the whole thing.