I’ve been reading the word “entitlement” a lot lately, indicating that those who represent us in Washington were elected by an ignorant society that couldn’t care less as long as they get their “entitlements.” Let’s talk about “entitlements.”
Hardworking men and women are entitled to fair wages and are entitled to not live in poverty; are entitled to support and feed their families because of their hard work; are entitled to the opportunity to earn sick leave to keep their jobs (which 40 million employed Americans are denied); are entitled to a federal minimum wage that has kept up with inflation and isn’t deliberately kept stagnant for corporate profit; are entitled to respect; are entitled to earn more per year than (the low wage) they make, the equivalent of which their employer’s greedy executives can earn in a matter of minutes; and Americans are entitled to reliable medical insurance, because greedy insurance companies were devising tactics, denying valid claims and refusing anyone who would cost them money.
There’s something desperately wrong with the thinking of some that excuses such deliberate injustices by blaming those who struggle and are harmed the most from of them.
If people “voted for entitlements,” it’s because too many of them weren’t given the entitlements they deserved in the first place, and they voted for the person they felt could do something about it.
During the budget talks, we need decisions based on conscience and fairness. Let the tax cuts for the wealthiest expire. This will save over $1 trillion in revenues and added interest, and prevent deep cuts to essential domestic and mandatory programs that help the most vulnerable and the most cheated.
Judy Quaglia-Belanger, Action Network Rhode Island.
Judy is a homecare worker and regular contributor to her local paper. She is an active member of the Action Network and loves to speak out about the issues that affect women today.