WOW Word-Of-the-Week #355: Gentitlement

May 24, 2011 by  

Gentitlement – geriatric entitlement.

Do you know anyone who has lost a limb or is paralyzed? Do you know anyone who has had a hip or knee replacement? Have you witnessed a healthy person take advantage of handicap parking?

Well I am going to apologize if I offend anyone with my “rant” this week. Are you aware that the Baby Boomers are the single largest generation? They make up 28% of the population. Did you know that the oldest ones are turning 65 this year and the youngest ones will turn 65 in 2030?

This Sunday’s LA Times featured an article written by Martha Groves titled, “Placards Can Bring a Curbside Surprise.” In it she writes, “Fraudulent use of disabled parking placards that allow motorists to park for free – or in specially reserves spaces – has exploded in the last decade. 10% of California drivers are legally registered to carry the placards and more than a third of the vehicles displaying the tags – and parking without paying – are doing so illegally says the DMV.”

“The Americans with Disabilities Act was intended to make it more convenient for individuals with missing or paralyzed extremities, impaired vision or heart, circulatory or lung disease to park conveniently and for as long as necessary to visit doctors or run errands.”

My personal experiences with “Gentitlement” included an elderly couple with canes getting early boarding and then walking down the jet way carrying their canes. They were clearly capable of walking without assistance. That miffed me a bit. But then when we were parking at the golf course and viewed the handicapped driver slinging his clubs over his shoulder and walking to the club house, I lost it!

This week let me know how you feel about “Gentitlement.” Have you experienced it? Have you ever thought about the repercussions of 28% of the population having placards because they’re having a hard time walking or getting around? Isn’t that what happens to all of us when we get old?  Are these people disabled? Or are they just feeling entitled because they’re getting older? Or are they just abusing the system? Where are all of the law abiding citizens going to park? Will it come down to us being bused from the parking lot to our final destination? Do you have any idea the amount of tax payer dollars and the expense to business owners that violators are causing? Is America becoming an “entitled society?”

Reader Responses

“It is sad when people who are not handicapped try to get away with abusing placards and other privileges, specifically set aside for those who truly are handicapped. What many don’t realize is they are taking a space from a person who really needs it. A number of years ago, former Chicago Bears quarterback Cade McNown abused the privilege of a handicapped placard when he could clearly walk from his car to the Bears training facility. He was caught and called out about it by the local sports media. There are a lot of people who attempt to get away with abusing these privileges, and many times they do. But maybe that is the time we live in today. I don’t know if most people today fell embarrassed if they are caught. Some say, “Oh, I didn’t know.” That really stretches credulity. Others don’t care. I don’t know what it will take, but it is a sad statement on our society these days. Hopefully it will change. Thanks for the word. I hope you had a great holiday. Take care.” – “Warrior” Joe