February 20th 2012

Somehow people are starting to think of “entitlements’ as ‘extra unearned luxuries’ that should be taken away during hard times. But the definition of an entitlement is a right that is granted by law or by nature, to which all are guaranteed access. True entitlements are basic needs not luxury items. When politicians insist on cutting ‘entitlements’ they need to ensure that only luxuries are on the cutting block not basic needs.

We have forgotten the basic SOCIAL CONTRACT of rights and responsibilities that binds us together as a society. Society expects citizens to follow laws it has instated in order to protect individuals and institutions. Without these laws there would be chaos — the strong would simply take anything they wanted and the rest would have no recourse. In return the social contract guarantees that if people follow these rules or responsibilities they will be guaranteed basic rights – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. A guarantee of life ensures they will have access to basic human needs of water, food and shelter needed to live and to support their family. Liberty involves the ability to engage in activities the individual wishes, as long as it does not violate the law. The pursuit of happiness is a guarantee that the laws are meant to be fair and provide an equal playing field for all members of society, so that through hard work and creative enterprise, all law-abiding citizens are free to strive to attain the wants and desires they believe will bring them happiness. — Robert Alan Silverstein

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