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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    From ‘change’ to entitlement

    The Scottsdale bar was packed and the sound was deafening. MetalHead, Arizona’s hardest-rocking in-your-face 80’s metal cover band, was covering MÇôtley Crüe’s “”Kickstart My Heart.”” A couple girls were intensely following me as I weaved my way towards the stage. Yet something was amiss.

    The lights came on as the song roared to a close and, lo and behold, my ego plummeted as I quickly realized I was about to be hit on by a woman in her early thirties. Escape!

    Now, there are cultures that instantly strike me as appalling, such as the Southern California culture that is plagued by Hollywood wannabes and tall black socks. Even worse was the one I just met, the Scottsdale youth, populated by a type of individual commonly referred to in academic circles as the “”Scottsdale douche.”” The two cougars who hunted me down in the bar were no exception, and I soon realized that most of the women at the establishment were older, silicone-fueled part-plastic cyborgs of some sort. Aside from my friends, the men were similarly aged Affliction-sporting juicers.

    It occurred to me that the test of one’s manliness was no longer the arm-wrestling match, but the size of one’s anime-inspired hair. Faux-hawk envy abounded, and I’m certain many of the guys were taking shots of Rogaine to combat the effects of old age and heavy steroid use. Truly, many of these refined folk were attempting to mimic Los Angeles culture, therefore making Scottsdalites wannabes wannabes. Even “”South Park”” has labeled Scottsdale “”the most horrible, miserable place on Earth.”” Yet despite the scorn directed towards them, the cultures of Scottsdale and many others that we know have not shirked from their pride in identity.

    Unfortunately, however, trends come and go, and it is with great sadness that I view a different, less-innocent culture that I would not wish upon anyone to have to grow up in: the rising culture of dependence. This culture has an odd character. One must have a feeling of being a victim in this cruel and unfair world. Regardless of merit you deserve more, and it’s really the fault of Big Business, Big Oil, Discrimination, and Republicans that you don’t have what you deserve.

    This seems like an angry entitlement mentality. Its result, when put into public policy, is the large nanny government, as much a slave of fashion as the veiny dude in Scottsdale whose tattooed pores are gushing with synthetic hormones. Currently, the industry of cool drives the socialist-leaning policies of a Congress that “”has to do something.””

    Defensive in the face of the boogeyman and trusting a president who exerts no control over the process, Americans have put their faith in legislators that even get angry at themselves for passing ridiculous laws they haven’t even read. The result of the society that wants no responsibility is a dependence on inefficient government programs. This inefficiency is then blamed on insufficient funding and government control. It feeds into itself, giving government more power, strengthening dependence, and reducing our freedom, and the worst part is that such policies are terribly difficult to roll back.

    For example, during the Republicans’ brief control of post-FDR Congress, the best Republicans could do is stop taxes from going even higher until they lost control. Not that that’s a bad thing, of course, since although Republican spending is clearly stupid, Democrats spending many times more is simply stimulating. Programs that we become dependent upon are almost impossible to remove.

    This dependency cannot be clearer than in public opinion. Our faith in public institutions is, oddly enough, terribly low, yet in our desperation we just go along with it. Not even Wall Street leans toward capitalism anymore, but at least they have their incentives, as do the corporations that invest overseas due to China having far lower taxes. Most of us absolutely do not, but we let legislators have their way while our president just reads off his teleprompter and acts like a celebrity, all in the desperate hope that if we shoot government up with more steroids and put ourselves ever more in deep debt, some welfare pennies might find their way back in our pockets.

    No colossal faux hawk can make up for this sort of mistake. This culture of dependence always has excuses that can make us feel good, but is it really the right choice? What are we giving up? What happened to the American ideal of merely being entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

    Do we slave away our lives, give up our economic liberty, and abandon the idea that happiness is a goal rather than something we deserve just to vent our anger and desperation, merely in the name of change? There is a proven, powerful American individualist culture that is in the midst of being hammered to pieces by those people we elected, and being a helpless bystander is no way to be proud of it.

    -ÿDaniel Greenberg is a political science junior. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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