Encourage self-reliance

over seeking entitlement

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

A political viewpoint gaining popularity asserts that freedom requires economic rights — such as rights to a living wage, health care and affordable homes — arguing that political rights alone do not guarantee freedom, equality or the luxury of pursuing happiness. Unfortunately, it ignores human nature and economic reality, and requires believing those who would implement these promises are immune to human weaknesses.

There only are two real freedoms: freedom from control and freedom from responsibility. With one exception, they're mutually exclusive. The road from infant to adult is learning to maximize freedom from control and relinquish freedom from responsibility. The exception is the ruling class of a tyranny — free from control because they have control and free from responsibility because they take what they want from those they control.

Yet this viewpoint unwittingly espouses that exception — the great temptation to believe you can get what you want for free. My right to a living wage frees me of the responsibility to earn it. Such entitlements disincentivize productivity in both the lazy and the energetic, for whatever society would give to one it must take from another.

A healthy society minimizes entitlement and maximizes virtues of self-reliance and generosity. History shows that only this approach provides the abundance of resources needed for both the pursuit of happiness and help for the needy.

Edgar Doleman.

Heathsville.

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