An entitlement mentality is a state of mind in which an individual comes to believe that privileges are instead rights, and that they are to be expected as a matter of course. An entitlement mentality is frequently characterized by the following viewpoints or beliefs:
- A lack of appreciation for the sacrifices of others. Those with an entitlement mentality often criticize the military--failing to acknowledge that it is that selfsame military, and the sacrifices of the countless servicemen who have died in the service of their country, which ensures that they are free to make such criticisms.
- Lack of personal responsibility. Just as those with an entitlement mentality typically expect others to solve their problems, they also refuse to accept that the problems are of their own making. Thus, those with an entitlement mentality are frequently unable or unwilling to acknowledge fault or error; this typically leads to denial.
- An inability to accept that actions carry consequences. This can be seen in public schools, where grade inflation and social promotion have resulted in students who expect that they will be promoted to the next grade regardless of their level of effort.
- Arrogantly assuming that privilege reflects on the merits of the individual in question. For example, someone who is fortunate enough to be born extremely intelligent might arrogantly assume that that intelligence is an achievement on his part.
- Increased dependency on government intervention, and an expectation that the government will intervene to solve personal problems. Upon losing a job, for instance, someone with an entitlement mentality is likely to turn to the government for handouts, rather than immediately seeking another job.
- Ignorance of the Bill of Rights. Those with an entitlement mentality frequently imagine "rights" that are in no way guaranteed--for instance, the "right to employment," or the "right to not be offended." Moreover, they misinterpret the Declaration of Independence's affirmation of their right to pursue happiness as a Constitutional guarantee of happiness.
- Support for wholesale expansion of government social programs as a cure-all for perceived "injustice."