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What can we do about the entitlement culture in the UK?

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    A society built on entitlement, where the government exists solely to give me everything I need, nay, everything I want, will eventually suffer. What we see in London and in the United States markets now, and saw in Greece only a few months ago, it all screams the self-centered entitlement mantra..—André Schutten, "Link"

    Why do people in the UK in particular feel entitled to something for nothing?

    I do support the concept of welfare for people who genuinely need it but why do some people feel that they are entitled to take without giving anything back? What has caused this and ultimately what can we do to stop it? If we stop the benefits system we will inevitably punish the wrong people, so how do we separate those in genuine need and those who just want something for nothing?
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    I wouldn't say it's a behaviour exclusive to UK citizens, it's just that our welfare system is so generous. If you offer somebody money for nothing, where quite often their other options aren't much better, of course they will accept it. This is why people from other countries always seem driven in their work even doing the most menial of jobs, because where they originate from, chances are if they weren't working they'd be screwed.
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    It's not just at the bottom end, it happens at the top end of the banking sector where there's an attitude of entitlement to high bonuses regardless of performance. The argument that used to be used was you need to pay the best bonus to reward the top performers, which is valid, but then when you have banks where the shareholders are getting poor returns and even worse, where the taxpayer has had to step in to cover losses so that depositors haven't lost their money, there is still a general attitude of entitlement culture at the top that even if performance has been poor, management should still receive a huge bonus because they have "worked hard to get there" and "work long hours".

    Then also you saw it in government with the MPs and their expenses, remember the defence used by many was "we haven't broken any rules" - if the rules say there are loopholes where you can run a gravy train at the expense of the taxpayer then go for it. They also said stuff like "MPs aren't in it for the money, they want to be in government to serve the public etc", I think they felt that because they had been voted in at an election they were somehow deserving of a fiddle on the second homes because they were such worthy people.
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    (Original post by Malabarista)
    It's just that our welfare system is so generous.
    I would not say that £53 a week is generous. Have you tried to live off £53 a week independently? How much less can you give people, realistically? Once you've paid for food and transport to the Job Centre there's no money left for clothes or non-essentials.
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    (Original post by Norfolkadam)
    I would not say that £53 a week is generous. Have you tried to live off £53 a week independently? How much less can you give people, realistically? Once you've paid for food and transport to the Job Centre there's no money left for clothes or non-essentials.
    if you have children it can be generous. I've heard people earning 6 figure sums per year whinge that their child benefit will be taken away from them. They claim it because "it's a tax rebate" and "I need it for my child's trust fund".:rolleyes: ER, no, you don't need it, you want it.
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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    It's not just at the bottom end, it happens at the top end of the banking sector where there's an attitude of entitlement to high bonuses regardless of performance. The argument that used to be used was you need to pay the best bonus to reward the top performers, which is valid, but then when you have banks where the shareholders are getting poor returns and even worse, where the taxpayer has had to step in to cover losses so that depositors haven't lost their money, there is still a general attitude of entitlement culture at the top that even if performance has been poor, management should still receive a huge bonus because they have "worked hard to get there" and "work long hours".

    Then also you saw it in government with the MPs and their expenses, remember the defence used by many was "we haven't broken any rules" - if the rules say there are loopholes where you can run a gravy train at the expense of the taxpayer then go for it. They also said stuff like "MPs aren't in it for the money, they want to be in government to serve the public etc", I think they felt that because they had been voted in at an election they were somehow deserving of a fiddle on the second homes because they were such worthy people.
    Cannot agree with this enough. Welfare benefits don't even compare to the level of waste and decadence in the financial and corporate boardrooms.

    This is a very interesting topic though, an example of a 'look the other way' tactic from the government and media. All this talk from the right about an 'entitlement culture' is a relatively recent thing. But welfare hasn't really changed that much for a few decades. If anything, the welfare state has got smaller since the 1970s. What's changed is its effect. The incentive to get off benefits has dropped because alternatives have got worse - jobs don't pay as well, moving up in jobs has become more difficult.

    And the response to this has been to now blame the benefits rather than the situation. Cutting benefits is just going to result in a race to the bottom.
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    A government that cares for its own citizen's welfare is good. A government that cares for its own citizen's welfare, whilst giving its citizens encouragement to live independently, is better. A Government that does not care for its citizen's and lets them die of starvation and destitution (even if encouragment to live independently is given) is no better than a Fascist government.

    I do not want to live in a Fascist state. And, I think that many good natured people would agree with me.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    Cannot agree with this enough. Welfare benefits don't even compare to the level of waste and decadence in the financial and corporate boardrooms.

    This is a very interesting topic though, an example of a 'look the other way' tactic from the government and media. All this talk from the right about an 'entitlement culture' is a relatively recent thing. But welfare hasn't really changed that much for a few decades. If anything, the welfare state has got smaller since the 1970s. What's changed is its effect. The incentive to get off benefits has dropped because alternatives have got worse - jobs don't pay as well, moving up in jobs has become more difficult.

    And the response to this has been to now blame the benefits rather than the situation. Cutting benefits is just going to result in a race to the bottom.
    Most welfare is negative, the fishing net welfare, and corporate welfare.

    At the bottom end, it should be, and always should be a social safety net, and corporate welfare shoud be abolished. Problem is, tax cuts and exempments to the whole spectrum over size of business come under corp welfare, not just the large corporations and PLC's (the legal status of coporation and PLC is a type of welfare aswell, and all the benefits that come with it), but small businesses, Private limited companies, co-ops, they also get certain tax cuts and, with some clever accounting, don't have to cover some costs.

    How about all sizes of those businesses don't get any welfare, exepty no or very low taxes. If you are against corp welfare, you are also against grants for start ups companies, by definition, I think lower/no taxes in all sorts of areas, not just businesses taxes, but nation wide ones too, would cover that problem.
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    Mitchell and Webb propose a simple solution: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owI7DOeO_yg
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    if you have children it can be generous. I've heard people earning 6 figure sums per year whinge that their child benefit will be taken away from them. They claim it because "it's a tax rebate" and "I need it for my child's trust fund".:rolleyes: ER, no, you don't need it, you want it.
    So my defence of Job Seeker's Allowance means I'm in favour of child benefit for the upper-middle classes? I don't really get your argument. Of course rich people shouldn't get benefits and of course people who need help should get that help.
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    (Original post by roh)
    Mitchell and Webb propose a simple solution: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owI7DOeO_yg
    0:50 ....

    And FFS I shop at Lidl, I don't see what the big deal is.
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    (Original post by Norfolkadam)
    So my defence of Job Seeker's Allowance means I'm in favour of child benefit for the upper-middle classes? I don't really get your argument. Of course rich people shouldn't get benefits and of course people who need help should get that help.


    No, this isn't about taxing the rich, the is about how the poor subsidise the middle class.
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    (Original post by prog2djent)
    0:50 ....

    And FFS I shop at Lidl, I don't see what the big deal is.
    Yeah, PC it ain't but given how liberal Mitchell and Webb come across in interviews I suspect it's ironic.

    Just 'cause it's cheap I spose, I shop there too and it's certainly no Jack Fulton's.
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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    It's not just at the bottom end, it happens at the top end of the banking sector where there's an attitude of entitlement to high bonuses regardless of performance. The argument that used to be used was you need to pay the best bonus to reward the top performers, which is valid, but then when you have banks where the shareholders are getting poor returns and even worse, where the taxpayer has had to step in to cover losses so that depositors haven't lost their money, there is still a general attitude of entitlement culture at the top that even if performance has been poor, management should still receive a huge bonus because they have "worked hard to get there" and "work long hours".

    Then also you saw it in government with the MPs and their expenses, remember the defence used by many was "we haven't broken any rules" - if the rules say there are loopholes where you can run a gravy train at the expense of the taxpayer then go for it. They also said stuff like "MPs aren't in it for the money, they want to be in government to serve the public etc", I think they felt that because they had been voted in at an election they were somehow deserving of a fiddle on the second homes because they were such worthy people.
    I'm so glad it has been acknowledged that this is a problem across all sections of society, and this thread isn't just an eyes down the nose attack on the people at the bottom, as i thought it might be.
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    (Original post by roh)
    Yeah, PC it ain't but given how liberal Mitchell and Webb come across in interviews I suspect it's ironic.

    Just 'cause it's cheap I spose, I shop there too and it's certainly no Jack Fulton's.
    No, maybe not Webb but especially Mitchell, is what is well known as one of the "liberal elite", who are like your typical "middle class, left wing progressives" and "champaigne socialists", basically, they wear their political and social views as a fashion item. They can be as holier than thou and preachy as they want, but we all know in reality they don't really talk about poor and working class people, and they probably have never met one, and may be even scared of them, they use them as scapregoats to have a pop at populist catagories like ... bankers, Tory's, etc etc. Only middle class liberal elitists think that labour are a working class party. I mean if you genuinly think about it, do you think an number of guardian columnists have any expirience outside of London's elite liberal circles?
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    (Original post by prog2djent)


    No, this isn't about taxing the rich, the is about how the poor subsidise the middle class.
    Can I just say getting Milton Friedman to make your arguments with dull-as-dust YouTube videos is not a legitimate debating method. It's some kind of horrid scourge across TSR at the moment.

    Learn to paraphrase! No-one but Libers are watching these videos.
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    (Original post by prog2djent)
    No, maybe not Webb but especially Mitchell, is what is well known as one of the "liberal elite", who are like your typical "middle class, left wing progressives" and "champaigne socialists", basically, they wear their political and social views as a fashion item. They can be as holier than thou and preachy as they want, but we all know in reality they don't really talk about poor and working class people, and they probably have never met one, and may be even scared of them, they use them as scapregoats to have a pop at populist catagories like ... bankers, Tory's, etc etc. Only middle class liberal elitists think that labour are a working class party. I mean if you genuinly think about it, do you think an number of guardian columnists have any expirience outside of London's elite liberal circles?
    No, a lot Guardian columnists are members of the North London intelligentsia who have come through private school and the more liberal Oxbridge colleges (Balliol and Wadham at Oxford, King's Cambridge etc.) as shown here: http://order-order.com/2008/05/21/guardianista-class/
    and they probably don't have a clue what life is like living on the breadline in Far Town, but we don't know their life stories so can't be certain.

    Also, being privileged and being left wing shouldn't be mutually exclusive, look at Tony Benn.

    And some have done so, my housemate's dad sounds like a prime candidate for it: Guardian news writer, lives in Camden, PPE at Oxford. But, his dad was a miner, he comes from Grimethorpe, he grew up in the strike and went to a Comp.
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    (Original post by Norfolkadam)
    Can I just say getting Milton Friedman to make your arguments with dull-as-dust YouTube videos is not a legitimate debating method. It's some kind of horrid scourge across TSR at the moment.

    Learn to paraphrase! No-one but Libers are watching these videos.
    I would have to write a great tome to which you may reply "TL;DR", or not really read properly, and I don't want to write so much just for a TSR user, unless I am ranting/impassioned or trying to teach somebody something that has asked, in what Friedman can say in around 2 minutes.

    Funnily enough, when "libertarians" usually link videos from any number of economically liberal sites or videos, they are usually quite concise, where as so-called socialists or anti-capitalists usually send 4 hour lectures in which the lecturer and the audience spend the time agreeing with each other and fulfilling their own pomposness.

    Its' note only libertarians that watch his videos, in fact, I'd say they were in the minority, and most libertarians, since they are usually concentrated in America, and accross europe libertarians are ususally socialist anarchists, most libertarians don't actually like friedman.

    If you look at the comments, and understand friedmans fans, most of the people that link and watch these videso are conservatives, who can grasp his simple talk pro-capisalism, small governemnt anti-socialist (or what they, and friedman view socialism as ... the USSR, Old china ... derp) rhetoric.

    Friedman covers a broad base anywhere, libertarians may like his general arguments, conservatives think his arguments are absolutely fact laden speeches and that everything he says is right, but he is also a social liberal, which, if you watch his social/ inter economic-social videos ... have quite a few dislikes and comments from conservatives that think he somehow goes off the pale in this area.

    He's quite an odd specimim thoug, most libertarians don't like his specific views because he was a former keyenesian .... but he did not cross over to austrianism, intead forming his own of shoot of keyens work. His general argument can appeal to most people though ... IMO.
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    (Original post by prog2djent)
    I would have to write a great tome to which you may reply "TL;DR", or not really read properly, and I don't want to write so much just for a TSR user, unless I am ranting/impassioned or trying to teach somebody something that has asked, in what Friedman can say in around 2 minutes.
    Patronising start. :yy: Quite temped to not read any more just to irritate you.

    Yeah that's what I'm going to do. Sorry you wasted your virtual breath. If you want to engage people don't treat them like a petulant child or they'll act like one.
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    (Original post by roh)
    No, a lot Guardian columnists are members of the North London intelligentsia who have come through private school and the more liberal Oxbridge colleges (Balliol and Wadham at Oxford, King's Cambridge etc.) as shown here: http://order-order.com/2008/05/21/guardianista-class/
    and they probably don't have a clue what life is like living on the breadline in Far Town, but we don't know their life stories so can't be certain.

    Also, being privileged and being left wing shouldn't be mutually exclusive, look at Tony Benn.

    And some have done so, my housemate's dad sounds like a prime candidate for it: Guardian news writer, lives in Camden, PPE at Oxford. But, his dad was a miner, he comes from Grimethorpe, he grew up in the strike and went to a Comp.
    Being privilaged and "left wing" (I don't know any left wing guardian writes really, they are just liberal statists) aren't mutually exlusive. Most middle to upper class people will be conservative, but what annoys me are the number of socialists and "left wing" petite socialsits, they are fake. I mean anybody can be a social liberal, infact, most middle class and upper class people tend to actuall be sociallly liberal and economically liberal (which ironically falls under the conservative party label). I've found that most working class and underclass people tend to be quite backwards in some respects, any non-white ethnic slum in London is a hot bed of homophobia, Northern working class towns the same with regards to gay people, immigrants, the wars, crime and punishment etc etc.

    Most conservative voters tend to be lower middle class anyway, they are funded by the rich lobbyists though.

    It all stems from expirience I suppose, all the socialists I know are middle class, all the people with socially backward views are working class.

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