Of course, all right-thinking Americans know that it’s shiftless, unemployment check-cashing, layabouts (like me), along with their entitlement-gorged brethren in other government handout programs, who are singlehandedly draining the American economy dry as they relentlessly feed at the public trough. This view has been repeated ad infinitum by our august elected officials, captains of industry, and the precious national brain trust also known as cable news personalities.
So, I think we can all agree that it’s other people (well, maybe me too, but certainly not other Northbrook residents!) who are responsible for the deep, dark waters of the entitlement culture in which our country is seemingly adrift. Well, maybe not.
Recently, I saw the headlines about a plan to increase the interest rate on student loans. My reaction was more visceral than thoughtful. Charge more money for student loans – are they crazy?
Of course, the intensity of my reaction may have been a wee bit affected by the fact that in a little over a year I will have a son in college, with a second one trailing a mere two years behind. How dare the government ask my sons to pay a higher rate of interest for a government loan program?
Ah, entitlements don’t feel so much like entitlements when you’re the entitled. At heart, I still think creating barriers to education is not the way out of our financial mess, but in fact I was rushing to the defense of an entitlement program, just one that happens to disproportionately favor my socioeconomic group.
Which leads me to my main point – at core, are there places with more of an air of entitlement than the wealthy suburbs of Chicago, including our beloved Northbrook? Dear readers, I can almost hear you leaping to your feet to defend our fair village! Who can say I’m right or horribly wrong?
HEY! I have an idea. Let’s play a game! The rules are simple. Below is a list of five ways that Northbrook’s citizens may (hypothetically of course!) display a bit of the entitlement mindset themselves:
I’m entitled to:
- Faster service;
- To go ahead of you in line;
- Not to have to wait;
- To act condescendingly to you; or
- To act like you don't exist at all!
With me so far? Great! Now, match the entitlement behaviors listed above with the rationalization the Northbrook resident might use to justify his or her behavior. This will be fun!
- Because my shoes are from Manolo, and yours are from the Buy Low.
- Because while I drive to the office in my BMW 760 in metallic tan, you schlep to my house in the Merry Maids minivan.
- Because while my husband Kendall and I recently won a thrilling escape to Mexico at the Club dance, you recently had a thrilling escape from Mexico to work at the Club dance (or so our friends Chad and Jen like to joke over cocktails after a game of paddle!).
- Because I graduated from one of the Ivies, and you work at the Secretary of State’s office making ID’s (Do I have to wait in this line? I’m late for a very important mani/pedi!).
- Because while my home looks like the setting for a “life amongst the idle rich” novel, your house is truly a hovel.
Fill out your entry in the comments section below. Grand prize winner will receive a personally-presented Starbucks gift card, which should be just enough to cover their new Grande Spendoccino Blended Beverage. Yummy!
Mike Krebs June 7, 2012