Saturday, August 08, 2009
"I Didn't Earn It... I Don't Need It...."
"But why aren't I getting my share?"
It was inevitable, and I doubt this is the first example. The Washington Post has run an editorial by an author who complains that her car was "not clunky enough" to merit "cash for clunkers". The gist seems to be, "Other people are getting this money, so I should as well, even if I don't qualify for the program." No mention is made of need.
Personally, I wouldn't have created a "cash for clunkers" program. I might have considered creating a need-based "cash for reliable, fuel-efficient transportation" program, helping low-wage earners trade in their decrepit cars or acquire their first car. But I have little sympathy for the notion that we should subsidize people trading in their old SUV's so that they can buy new ones.
It's sort of an American tradition, I guess, to complain that other people are "getting something" that you're not getting. But if you can't explain to me how you've earned that benefit or why you need it, my well of sympathy doesn't have much room for you.