(Michael Chamberlain/Nevada Business Coalition) – This weekend brought a perfect example of the “entitlement mentality”:
Lawmakers in Nevada push for major changes to Millennium Scholarships, and students aren’t happy about it. One such change would obligate students to perform some kind of community service in order to qualify for the scholarship.
“I think it’s kind of ridiculous. When you give away something for free, you shouldn’t have to go back on your promises and change the rules. This bill is really unfair,” said Nicole Dion, a senior at the University of Nevada, and recipient of the Millennium Scholarship for four years.
How dare you make me work for my free stuff!
There is a bill in the Legislature that would require students who receive Millennium Scholarships to work 20 hours of community service in order to receive the award. Twenty hours – the horror of it all! This amounts to less than a half-hour a week during a school year.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Everything of value costs something to someone. When the recipients don’t have to pay the costs they soon begin to forget about them, to believe they don’t exist.
There are real costs on the other side. The increased taxes and fees and regulation required to provide these benefits harm the ability of businesses to hire people and keep them employed. They also prevent many ventures from getting off the ground in the first place. People who dream of being entrepreneurs, in charge of their own destiny, simply can’t do so because of the ever-increasing costs of starting and running a business.
But those stories are rarely told. More often we hear from the recipients of government largesse, complaining that mean people want to take away what is theirs.
This is what happens when people are too generous. The recipients lose all appreciation for the fact that someone else is providing the benefits to them and begin to believe they are owed, entitled.
The slowing economy has reduced the ability of the private sector to provide the funds government uses to pay its employees and the recipients of its programs. But that has done little to slow the demands of some of the recipients. It is past time for a wake up call for those who feel entitled to what the taxpayers provide.
(Michael Chamberlain is Executive Director of Nevada Business Coalition.)