Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Class Divide: Moochers

I firmly believe that your class in the United States is not the result of income or wealth, but of attitude.  The amount you make in life or the stuff you’ve obtained is largely tied to your own choices and attitudes rather than some external source.  Granted, there are things that can happen which will be detrimental to your financial condition, but how you deal with those situations is where it truly counts.

I have come to classify people into three distinct classes, based on my various readings and observations: moochers, looters, and producers.  While the political ideology among the three can be similar, their primary motivations are based on their outlooks and attitudes in life, which allow them to be classified as such.  There are plenty of reasons that back these attitudes, so I will focus on one class at a time in what will hopefully be a series of posts.

First of all, there is the moocher class.  A moocher is someone who believes that they are entitled to something in exchange for nothing.  This something may be money, but it could also be services or some kind of relational benefit.  They firmly believe that they are entitled to whatever that thing is for various reasons.

As near as I can tell, at least 35% of Americans are essentially moochers.  The only measure I have is how many people are accepting government payouts of some kind.  These payouts include things like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Unemployment “Insurance”.  In these cases, these individuals believe that for some reason or another, they deserve this money.

A common reason that comes from the elderly, even among the conservative elderly, is that Social Security and Medicare are entitled to them because they spent all their lives paying into the “system”.  While there is no disputing that they paid into the system all their working lives, nor can I deny that these programs have provided people with short-term benefits, the truth is that when they paid into the system, that money went directly to the existing recipients.  So while they can argue that it was a kind of savings plan, in truth it was really just a giant Ponzi scheme.

Another reason is usually because they’ve lost their job.  OK, I can see how losing your job is a huge financial detriment, but why do you deserve money just because of your poor financial planning?  Seriously, don’t you know that most sensible people save in times of plenty so that when times of famine hit, they are prepared for it?  Apparently, there are a lot of people who do not plan beyond their first paycheck and even then they do not plan the best way to spend that money for them.

Digging deeper, however, you can usually identify the moochers by how they relate to others.  Often times, they can be needy and, in extreme cases, narcissistic when dealing with those around them.  Instead of listening, they will talk.  Instead of visiting, they will insist of others visiting them.  Instead of respecting the boundaries, both physical and emotional, of others, they will cross them.  When confronted, they will play the victim or redirect the conservation to the bad behavior of others in order to justify their own.

In other words, the moocher class is nothing more than a bunch of children.  Never mind that they may be older than you or even smarter than you, at the end of the day, they lack the maturity of a fully functioning adult.  As such, they tend to have the same attitudes of children and are often too foolish to recognize it.  For them, life is about what they can get, not what they can do.  If things do not go their way, they will behave like children with the full force an adult can provide.  If you have ever seen the aftermath of a moocher protest of any kind, you are bound to see a lot of broken property and trash.

Personally, I do hold sympathy, but also no small amount of contempt for the moocher class.  Having dealt with some family members who are moochers and knowing that they are capable of so much more, it merely frustrates me.  Cutting them off as much as possible, though painful, has proved to be more beneficial to me.

Moochers, however, will always be with us.  Depending on how a society treats its moochers, their numbers will vary, but you are always guaranteed more moochers in a society such as ours.  Seeing as how people who make less money than us tend to have more disposable income, why wouldn’t someone become a moocher?