I am 67 years old. For the first 63 years of my life, Americans, for the most part, earned their wealth and income through capitalism, free enterprise and hard work much like they had since the beginning of the Republic. Yes, there were and are laws within which one is required to operate, but basically if you were smarter and worked harder than the next guy and took advantage of whatever opportunities came your way, you ended up with more wealth and income. You did not rely on the government or other people to support you, except for the very basics and temporarily at that. (Note: I am not referring to people who are disabled or have legitimate need for assistance.)
When I was starting out in my career, I observed many people with more wealth and income than me. I didn’t resent them. I didn’t feel I was entitled to part of what they had. My attitide was to aspire to work harder to achieve what they had and become wealthy like them. Most of my contemporaries felt the same way. In the end, some of them have been more successful than me; and some less successful. I don’t resent or envy the more successful ones and feel I am entitled to some of their wealth, and as far as I know, my less successful friends feel the same way about me. That’s the “American Way.”
In the last few years, I believe a sense of entitlement has developed whereby a large portion of the less wealthy look at the more wealthy with the attitude “You don’t deserve all the wealth you have; I want some of it; I am entitled to it.” I believe that this not so subtle shift in attitude originated with and has been encouraged by President Obama’s socialist philosophy and wealth redistribution policies. I believe his “you didn’t build it” quote was indicative of how he really feels. Moreover, all this talk about the “1%” versus 99% only serves to divide the country by creating more envy.
A good President is a President of all the people and tries to unify the country, not divide it. Mr. Obama’s policies are dividing it, and we need a change.