In Defense of the Entitlement Mentality

Photo credit: Sander van der Wel

Photo credit: Sander van der Wel

What’s wrong with kids these days? Today’s youth are so demanding. They think they’re owed something. They have this insufferable, all-permeating sense of entitlement that sours the very air in their proximity. Why don’t those little ingrates just learn to respect their elders and be thankful for everything they have?

Or so the conventional narrative goes. But I don’t buy it anymore. The young people are right this time. I’m here to defend the entitlement mentality of today’s youth.

The young people of the modern age do have some things to be grateful for. For most of the world, we live in an era of unprecedented safety, high life expectancy, and technological wonder. Never before has it been so easy to be fed, healthy, and able to access the entirety of human knowledge and achievement from virtually anywhere. All that, however, is only the silver lining on the looming stormcloud. All the high living by previous generations was done on credit. That’s debt that will have to be paid down the road. By today’s young people. And it’s happening already.

First and foremost, unemployment. While global unemployment is through the roof across the board, the youth have been hit especially hard, with countries such as Greece reporting rates of over 60% without jobs. Government regulations on business and barriers to entry into the marketplace, voted on by the older generations, have effectively handicapped the youth’s ability to secure gainful employment. This comes at a time when young people are pursuing higher and higher educational achievements in hopes of getting a job. Unfortunately, this strategy just isn’t working as expected, causing the youth to spend years of hard work and accruing a lifetime’s worth of debt for no better future prospects.

And about that debt. We’re talking about in excess of $16 trillion in the U.S., which amounts to about $52,000 for every man, woman, and child. Add that number to existing school debt, which in many cases is upwards of six figures, and we’re looking at a lifetime of debt to pay off. Decades of financial slavery that can’t even begin without first finding a job. If that isn’t a stolen future, I don’t know what is.

Finally, the cherry on top of the bleak-future sundae with extra nuts: currency. The last century of central banking has seen rise to the most wicked and insidious tax of all, that of simply printing more money to cover higher spending, devaluing the people’s hard-earned savings in the process. This approach crushes any hope of saving up for the future if all store of value rapidly bleeds said value. Push the devaluation trend enough, and eventually people will lose confidence in government paper currency altogether, causing money as we know it to become worthless.

So, after all’s said and done, a young person today faces grim prospects of securing a job. A job that would pay wages in severely devalued money. Money that would go towards paying off a debt that the debtor had no choice in accruing. All because the older generations hampered business with senseless regulations. Established onerous taxes to pay for an ever-growing state. Spent untold fortunes on wealth redistribution programs, unnecessary wars, and every kind of waste imaginable. Robbed all savings of its value in order to pay for the here and now.

What’s wrong with kids these days? They have no future. They have no hope. They have been stripped of all opportunity to shape their own destinies, to build a better tomorrow, to live free from indentured servitude. Are young people entitled? You bet they are. They’re entitled to a fighting chance. They’re entitled to a blank slate. They’re entitled to be able to live and die by their own decisions and convictions, not waste their precious short lives as slaves of the older generations. Generations who had their chance, still possessed their liberty, and made their decision to build an empire out of the broken dreams and stolen freedom of those not yet born.

What’s wrong with kids these days? The sins of the father are being visited upon the son. And the son has had enough.

Joël Valenzuela is the editor of The Desert Lynx