By adopting an entitlement mentality, Americans are sowing the seeds of their own destruction. Because of an ever-growing list of social programs, subsidies, and entitlements, more than half of all Americans now look to the government for at least a portion of their sustenance. As a result, many Americans have come to view government as the solution to their problems rather than the cause of them. The principles of limited government that undergirded Ronald Reagan’s Republican Revolution are being steadily undermined by the seductive allure of government handouts. This dangerously misguided trend promotes an entitlement mentality in a country that has long been known for its positive work ethic. The entitlement mentality, in turn, encourages the growth of government and the cycle continues, creating a downward spiral toward disaster.
America became an economic superpower not by accident, chance, or luck but because it was established with a free-market economy and people who thrived in an environment of economic freedom. These two pillars of America’s economic success—a free-market economy and economic freedom—hold the key for reversing America’s descent into insolvency. The only contributions to an economic recovery needed from government are: 1) get out of the way, 2) get out of the pockets of Americans, and 3) stop over-regulating businesses and the lives of American citizens. Sharp reductions in spending, taxation, and regulation will do for America’s economy what the government can never do: unleash the power of the free market, encourage entrepreneurship, and reinvigorate America’s work ethic.
After decades of prosperity, America’s economy is being undermined by a rapidly mutating government that devours initiative, drive, innovation, and the capital needed to seed an economic recovery. Too many Americans have bought into the increasingly discredited philosophy of the left that the government is the answer to all problems. No one exemplifies this misguided philosophy more than Maxine Waters, the Democrat Congresswoman from California. During the height of the budget reduction debate in August and September 2011, Waters indulged in a flight of fantasy and proposed increasing government spending rather than cutting it.
Her solution to America’s economic problems was spend, spend, and spend some more. In spite of the demonstrated failure of the hugely expensive stimulus bills, Waters and her colleagues on the left proposed that Congress stop shooting the American economy in the foot and start shooting it in the head. All that this kind of thinking has brought America is an entitlement mentality that will make it increasingly difficult to do what is necessary to effect and economic recovery.
Dr. Goetsch served as a professor of management and leadership for 36 years and was also a college vice-president for 20 of those years. He is a widely-known management trainer and consultant with more than 100 private and public sector clients firms. He is the author of more than 70 books on business, management, and leadership including “Effective Leadership,” “Developmental Leadership,” and “Quality Management.” The latter book is an international best seller that has been translated into several foreign languages inlcuding Korean, Indonesian, and Malaysian. His book “Effective Leadership” is currently being translated into Hindi, the principle language of India. He is currently Chairman of the Board of the Okalooa Economic Development Council in Fort Walton Beach, Florida–an organization of business leaders dedicated to job creation and retention.