The great moral hazard of socialism and similar (involuntary) wealth distribution schemes is that eventually, people who resist taking other people’s wealth view themselves as “suckers”. Nobody wants to be a sucker, a chump.
What stimulated this thought was a post by Ann Althouse regarding the gift billionaire, Robert F. Smith, is making to the graduating class of Morehouse College. Ann’s comment was:
Am I the only one whose first thoughts were about the parents of students who’d sacrificed to pay the expenses of their kids and keep them free of debt?
And there it is. Those parents were suckers. They thought that by living disciplined lives and providing for their children that they were providing those children with advantages. Oh, excuse me, the now correct term is “privilege” not “advantage.” Advantage is earned difference. We don’t recognize that anymore.
Does this mean that there is no place for charity? No, but the charity needs to be individual, targeted, and received by the beneficiary with gratitude that does not morph into entitlement. Don’t you love that as soon as Smith’s gift to the Morehouse graduates was reported, someone was after Oprah for not doing the same thing at her commencement address at Colorado College?
There is a problem with the cost and value of Higher Education today. There is a problem with the cost and value of many things today. But we need to find our way through without finding “sugar daddies” or plundering the wealth of others. And most importantly, we cannot devalue earned advantage from our parents or ourselves.Published in