I am reading a copy of a new book by Charles Sykes called A Nation of Moochers: America’s Addiction to Getting Something for Nothing. Sykes is also the author of similar titles on entitlement including A Nation of Victims: The Decay of the American Character and Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can’t Read, Write, or Add.
The book is good for those who feel like suckers, playing by the rules and paying for those who don’t. As you read the book, you can really understand why it is that people vote for wealth redistributionists like Obama. “Roughly 60 percent of American households actually were receiving more government benefits and services than they were paying back in taxes and the Tax Foundation estimated that under the 2009 federal budget, 70 percent of households would take in more than they contribute.” Why not keep the gravy train going at little or no expense to themselves? But what about the producers, those who are paying?
One of the central questions of the book is whether we are at the “tipping point.” The author asks:
When do independent, self-sufficient men or women realize that they are society’s suckers, being made to work for the benefit of an ever-growing, ever-shifting, and increasingly insistent and more grasping class of moochers? When do they decide to jump the line? Are we already there?
In one of the last chapters, Sykes states, “Finally, we need to recognize that mooching simply recycles wealth; it does not generate it.”
We all lose if we let the moochers among us dictate our demise. The book gives some suggestions on how to change things but ultimately, it is up to us, by who we elect and our political class to make those changes. If the same losers end up in office, what are the chances? This is one reason that moochers should not be encouraged, either through policy or culture. If we make it more unpleasant to be a moocher, perhaps there would be fewer moochers among us.
So, are you a sucker or a moocher or somewhere in-between? Are you a sucker who has reached the “tipping point?” What do you feel you can do about it, if anything?